Updated: Feb 17
The Pennsylvania Canyon is a great place to take a vacation...
Located in the northern part of Pennsylvania, Leonard Harrison State Park has magnificent views of the PA Grand Canyon and heated bathrooms!! There is a nice visitor center, with a gift shop, situated at the front entrance to the viewing vista with a parking lot right next door. Some of the trails lean toward the moderate to high range in difficulty, but the walk to the old forge is easy to take. And there is even a letterbox hidden along that path from yours truly! For more information on Letterboxing, check out my post entitled Modern Treasure Hunting - Letterboxing!
In the fall, the area is quick to fill up with people coming for leaf peeping time, so it is best to get your reservations in early.
When we visited in 2020, there was a small food vendor set up at the sidewalk with very tasty pretzels and sweet syrup to purchase. Most, if not all, of the syrup sold in this area are from local makers. It is clearer and not as sweet as the products sold in mainstream grocery stores.
Chilly nights make the best for watching the starry heavens above. It is truly wonderful to see the stars near an officially registered dark night state park, Cherry
Springs. With the Milky Way putting on an amazing show above, it is hard not to get caught up in the moment and not want to stop starring into the tiny dots of light splattering the darkened sky. But those two are not the only state parks in this area.
Leonard Harrison shares the PA Grand Canyon with its sister park, Colton Point State Park takes up the other side of the canyon and offers mesmerizing views as well. To be honest, I preferred the views from Colton Point. The park doesn't have a park office, but they do have some really neat pavilion areas built from stones.
There are so many parks in the northern area of the state that as soon as you leave one, you are entering into another one it seems.
Although this particular one is not next to the state parks I have previously mentioned, Kinzua Bridge State Park is a must to visit. The skywalk is a test to anyone who doesn't care for heights. Once you reach the end of the skywalk, you are standing higher than the Statue of Lady Liberty and depending of your visit, you will be treated to whipping winds that get magnified by the valley.
There is a lot of history built into this bridge. It was originally constructed for the railroad in 1881 and was in service until 1959. A tornado roared through in 2003 and destroyed part of the original structure. Where the steel frame feel that day is where it still lies for all to see. It is amazing to think that coal had once traveled on this railroad viaduct that was wide enough for a single railroad track. A museum of the history of the bridge and various interesting facts resides in the visitor center and above the gift shop. Parking was easy to reach but the line to enter the gift shop was long.
All in all, if you love nature and learn some really cool history, northern PA is the spot for your next vacation. #naturelover #forestlife #kinzuabridge #fallcolors #naturephotos #historicalsites #railroadhistory #pagrandcanyon