Start your trip off at the Tioga County Visitor’s Bureau. You’ll get tips on seeing the Pennsylvania Wilds in all its rugged glory, from the Rails to Trails to rafting. Tell them you’re a shutterbug, and they’ll “point and shoot” you in the right direction.
First stop…Pine Creek Gorge to see why they don’t call it “The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania” for nothing. Keep an eye out for black bear, and eagles — it’s the Pennsylvania Wilds, after all. But back to the Grand Canyon part — on the east rim of the canyon, Leonard Harrison State Park, are the most famous scenic views of the canyon. The view of the Pine Creek Gorge is dizzying - it’s that pretty. Try to get a panoramic view if you want to capture the sheer magnitude of the place. Experienced hikers should check out the Turkey Path Trail. It is a down-and-back trail with a beautiful vista about a Â½ mile down. Note to photographers: Strap your camera in tightly for this one.
But if you really want an adventure, book a trip with the outdoor experts at Nature Quest. The company specializes in creating guided tours for the PA Wilds, with journeys that range from Birding for Beginners to “Xtreme Xperience,” a three day extravaganza of backcountry horseback riding, camping, and a 22-mile bike ride. Call ahead and plan something that fits with your trip — they have more options than the Pennsylvania Wilds has wild.
Finally, don’t let all this outdoorsy-ness get to your head. Visit downtown Wellsboro and get some main street shopping done. Maybe pick up some more camera supplies for the rest of the trip, or a souvenir or two.
Welcome to what National Geographic has dubbed “One of America’s most scenic drives.” Or what the resident poets like to call “The road less traveled.” Route 6, all 400+ miles of it, meanders through the hills and forests northern PA where the land is so wild and beautiful that it’s hard to describe with mere words. Good thing you’ll have your trusty camera to do the talking for you when you get home. But Route 6 is good for more than photo ops. It’s a road of history and heritage, linking antique stores to apple pies to the storybook small towns you always knew existed somewhere.
The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Timber is one of Pennsylvania's greatest natural resources. The story of Pennsylvania's lumber history and its impact on the everyday lives of people is uniquely presented by the museum through the Visitor Center galleries, re-created logging camp and sawmill exhibits. Â Unique photographic opportunities abound all around the museum and along the roads leading to-and-from, but while you are snapping away, don’t forget to take a moment to breathe in some fresh air and absorb a bit of history.
Cherry Springs State Park
By this time it should be getting toward nightfall. Perfect. Cherry Springs State Park is the first International Dark Sky Park in the Eastern US. You see, the park is known among astronomers and stargazers for having some of the darkest night skies on the East Coast, so dark that the Milky Way can actually cast a shadow over the scenic wilderness. Head to the Crystal Sphere and the owner, Stash Nawrocki, will give you the lay of the land, or sky. Oh, and don’t forget your tripod — with skies this dark you’ll be in for some long exposure times.
Sweden Valley Inn (Coudersport)
You’ll find this neighborly steak and seafood staple right in the heart of the PA Wilds. Give the family truckster a break and try the Surf & Turf.
Mill Stream Inn (Coudersport)
It’s just a short drive away, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place prettier or friendlier than historic Potter County. Â Which makes this charmer the perfect place to spend the night. And when daylight comes, you’ll get an introduction to some insanely beautiful scenery. Worthwhile photo subjects galore.