Pine Creek Gorge 2012
Day 1. To Pine Creek Gorge   (26 May 2012 Saturday)
6am to 4pm drive from Norfolk MA to Wellsboro PA. Estimated distance 400 miles and 7 hours driving time.
4pm check-in at Sherwood Motel in Wellsboro PA
At 2 Main Street, Wellsboro PA 16901. Phone 1-800-626-5802. Confirmation Number is 77159C81398. Total of $333 for 3 nights including taxes. The Sherwood Motel, Wellsboro's most popular motel, offers the finest accommodations in all of Canyon Country. We have 42 NON-smoking spacious and comfortable rooms which include cable color TV with HBO, hair dryer, refrigerator, microwave oven, direct-dial phones with free local calls, iron and ironing board, individual heat and air conditioning controls, free high speed wireless internet, and all rooms are NON-smoking. Complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea are served each morning in the office from 7am to 9am.
5:30pm drive to Ansonia and scout for Pine Creek Outfitters, Owasee Rapids and Leonard Harrison State Park.
About Pine Creek Gorge - The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania
Pine Creek Gorge is one of six National Natural Landmarks to be visited on this tour of Pennsylvania old-growth forests. There are several small true old-growth stands scattered along the steep walls of the Gorge, but the primary attraction of the area is the impressive size of the deep, nearly straight gorge cut down about 1,000 feet by Pine Creek into the flat-lying Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of the area. The cutting of the gorge must have been accelerated by drainage from the huge ice sheets that covered the entire countryside just north of here during the glacial periods. The gorge is now covered with 100-year-old secondary hardwood forest, having been largely cut over in the late 19th century. Views from the two state-park overlooks at the north end of the gorge give a good idea of what the original forest must have looked like to early explorers, trappers and finally settlers.
The Gorge is protected within the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area over a length of 12 miles within the Tioga State Forest, but the entire gorge is almost 40 miles long. A rail-trail opened in 1996 through the bottom of the Natural Area, taking over an abandoned railroad bed. The trail ends at Jersey Shore, a total of 62 miles.
The “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania” begins just south of Ansonia, along US 6 and continues south for about 47 miles. At its deepest point, Pine Creek Gorge is 1450 feet deep and nearly one mile wide. At Leonard Harrison and Colton Point state parks, the depth of the canyon is about 800 feet and these parks have the most spectacular scenic overlooks.
Park website:
Day 2. Kayaking the Pine Creek Gorge   (27 May 2012 Sunday)
9am thru 4pm Kayaking the Pine Creek Gorge from Ansonia PA to Blackwell PA
The 17-mile Pine Creek Gorge, aka the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” is an epic paddling experience that usually takes a full day (4 to 6 hours) to paddle. There are various river access points and primitive campsites along the riverbanks. In spring, there are class II/III rapids that require some skill to navigate. You should have intermediate proficiency if you are canoeing or kayaking the Canyon. The gorge is typically seasonal, and is NOT normally floatable in summer (unless there has been recent localized heavy rain).
  • Pine Creek is an all-natural, free-flowing river (no dam controlling the water flow). River levels will often fluctuate between high and low. Most people want to go when it is an average level (2.5 to 3.5 feet). The river level changes every single day, and it is very hard to predict exactly what you will encounter on the date of your trip. We always recommend that you check the river level about 2 or 3 days before your trip so you can better know what kind of conditions to expect. You have to sign up for a location and time in advance before you leave to go paddling because there is no cell signal along the river or in the canyon. Source
    As Pine Creek winds its way through the wilderness you will experience great scenery, wildlife, fast flowing current, and slower pools of calm water that provide great opportunity for trout fishing. And despite it’s reputation of being one of Pennsylvania’s most treacherous whitewater paddling creeks, in reality Pine Creek is a relatively calm creek that can be successfully navigated by paddlers of even basic skill levels. Perhaps the reason for Pine Creek’s deceptive reputation is the excitement that is raised with the idea of traversing through one of Pennsylvania’s most scenic natural locations. And because Pine Creek offers much to experience beyond paddling, such as fishing, hiking, bike riding, and camping at the top of the list of nature related activities, the area is normally bustling with human activity drawing visitors from around the Mid-Atlantic region, and this activity helps to inflate Pine Creek’s whitewater reputation. However, there is no doubt that Pine Creek is a creek that all Pennsylvania paddlers should experience.
  • Put in at Pine Creek Outfitters at 5142 Route 6 Wellsboro PA 16901 and arrange for shuttle service back to from Blackwell. Phone (570) 724-3003 or e-mail to reserve shuttle service in advance.
  • Two miles from the put in is the Owasee Rapids. Under normal water conditions novice paddlers could easily navigate Owassee Rapid if they follow the left side of the of the main section of the creek. Attack Owassee Rapid on the right side of the main section and you will encounter rocks and waves that offer more of a challenge. But even at normal water conditions the right side is relatively easy to negotiate. Then there is the option of the extreme left stretch of the creek around the small island, this short stretch is marked “Danger” and I will not recommend you approach it. Sources
  • Take out at Blackwell PA. Shuttle pickups at Blackwell at 1pm 3pm, and 5pm. $12/person + $5/boat.
  • Check Pine Creek at Cedar Run PA river gauge at &cb_00060=on&cb_00045=on&cb_00021=on&format=gif_default&period=22&site_no=01548500
  • Alternate destination (if Pine Creek Gorge < 2 feet): Kayaking Upper Pine Creek
    The Upper Pine is a short, fun, and very scenic section that is a great alternative to paddling the full-day 17-mile gorge section. It is excellent for novices, fishermen who want more fishing / less paddling, and families with smaller children. This section is the most highly recommended part of Pine Creek at low water levels (below 2 feet), and is quickly gaining popularity. Some even prefer this stretch over the canyon. There are a few smaller class I / II rapids but are generally easy to navigate, even by those with little or no experience. It is the most highly recommended part of Pine Creek at low water levels (below 2 ft), and is gaining popularity for its own unique features. Most of the rapids are smaller class I / II rapids that are generally easy to navigate, even by those with little or no experience.
  • 8am go to Pine Creek Outfitters in Ansonia PA for shuttle
  • 9am departures for Upper Pine trips from Pine Creek Outfitters
  • 9:30 am Put in at Bridge Street in Galeton PA
  • Take out at Pine Creek Outfitters
  • Estimated distance 7+ miles and 3 to 4 hours paddling time
  • 7pm thru 9m Town of Wellsboro PA
    Wellsboro is located about 12 miles from the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. This picturesque town has gift shops, antique stores, and great restaurants. Don’t forget to visit “The Green,” located across from the Tioga County Court House, and view the famous Wynken, Blynken and Nod sculpture and fountain inspired by the poem of the same name by Eugene Field. Source
    The Wellsboro area, home of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, offers hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails from flat packed surfaces to rugged mountain terrain. Spend time fishing, swimming and canoeing in one of the many area parks. They’re free in Pennsylvania! Spend a few nights in one of our many lodging options and enjoy fabulous meals at your choice of area restaurants. Stroll the gas lit streets of Wellsboro where you’ll find family owned businesses offering personal attention to your needs. Maybe you’d rather take a scenic train, trolley or horse drawn wagon ride, play miniature golf, or go rafting. You’ll find it all here in the Wellsboro area.
    Wellsboro, a town of beauty and culture rich in natural resources and the County Seat of Tioga County, might be set down in any section of New England and find itself in familiar surroundings. Founded in 1806 by settlers from Delaware, Maryland and Philadelphia, it was incorporated in 1830. The town was named in honor of Mary Wells, wife of one of the original settlers, Benjamin Wister Morris. Source
    Day 3. Biking the Pine Creek Rail Trail   (28 May 2012 Monday)
    Pine Creek Rail Trail
    Long ago, the rugged shoreline and swift waters of Pine Creek were traveled for hundreds of years via footpath and canoe. The Seneca Indians used the Pine Creek Path as a connection between the Great Shamokin Path (along the Susquehanna River) and the Iroquois settlements along the Genesee River in New York. In 1883, the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek, and Buffalo Railroads began carrying timber to the sawmills of Tiadaghton, Cammal, and Slate Run. The railroad also carried coal north to New York State and by 1896, this portion of rail was carrying 7 million tons of freight and three passenger trains on daily runs from Wellsboro to Williamsport. The railroad changed hands a few times, becoming the Fallbrook Railroad, a branch of the New York Central Railroad, and the Penn Central before it was taken over by Conrail. The last freight train passed through the gorge on October 7, 1988, ending more than a century of service.
    The Pine Creek Rail Trail travels along the floor of Pine Creek Gorge. One of the most spectacular natural areas in Pennsylvania, Pine Creek Gorge is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, and was recognized as a National Natural Landmark in 1968.
    Come and see for yourself what USA Today in their July 2001 article calls one of the 10 best places to take a bike tour in the world. The Pine Creek Rail Trail stretches for 64 miles from Ansonia in Tioga County to Jersey Shore in Lycoming County. Hiking and Biking along the Pine Creek Rail Trail provides many opportunities for sightseeing, Spot Bald or Golden Eagles, ospreys, coyote, deer, or a river otter. Wind past dramatic rock outcrops and waterfalls along the trail.
    Day 4. Drive Home   (29 May 2012 Tuesday)
    8am to 4pm drive to Norfolk MA. Estimated distance 390 miles and 6 hours 50 minutes of driving.
    4pm Home Sweet Home

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