“In small towns people scent the wind with noses of uncommon keenness.” – Stephen King
Wellsboro, PA – Every new start is important, no doubt about that. And when it comes to traveling, it can be said that every destination you choose affects you as much as you affect it. So, when you think about the first place you should travel to in 2016, we have just the perfect small town. It’s called Wellsboro and it’s located in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
But, why should you choose Wellsboro as the starting point for your travels in 2016? Well, Wellsboro is home to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, but more on that later. For now, we’ll tell you that this particular small town, which has a population of just over 3,300, used to be the trade center and shipping point for a rather large area early in the 20th century. Some of the industrial wonders that were located in this small town included manufactories of furniture, carriages, cigars, bolts, rugs, chemicals, glass, foundry and machine shops, saw mills, marble works, a milk-condensing plant, woolen and flour mills and several fruit evaporators.
Home Of Pennsylvania’s Crown Jewel
Today, however, Wellsboro, which is the county seat of Tioga County, represents a town of culture and beauty rich in natural resources. It is so breathtaking, in fact, that many say it would find itself in familiar surroundings were it to be set down in any section of New England. Settlers from Philadelphia, Maryland and Delaware founded Wellsboro in 1806, but it was not until 1830 that it was incorporated. Wellsboro got its name after the wife of one of the original settlers, Benjamin Wister Morris. Her name was Mary Wells.
Seeing how this charming small town is nestled in northern Pennsylvania, it certainly has no shortage of outdoor recreational opportunities. However, it boasts one of the most breathtaking natural attractions in this part of the country, referred to as The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, although, some also call it The Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania. Either way, they’re talking about the Pine Creek Gorge – a 1,000-ft. deep, 47-mile long gorge that winds its way through a vast wilderness landscape of indescribable beauty.
A Plethora Of Stuff To See And Do In And Around Wellsboro, PA
Bird-watching is a favorite activity in the Canyon, especially since it was designated in 2004 by the Pennsylvania Audubon Society as an Important Birding Area. It is not unusual to see American Bald Eagles up-close in numerous locations throughout the canyon. Also, kayaking, canoeing and rafting are said to be THE ways to explore the canyon, especially since Pine Creek is a combination of quiet pools, moderate whitewater, scenic drama and sensory exhilaration that awaits beyond each bend. However, keep in mind that these three activities are limited to springtime due to the fact that Pine Creek is dependent on rainfall and snowmelt.
Mountain biking, equestrian trails, horse-drawn wagon rides and cross-country skiing all represent typical adventures that can be enjoyed while visiting Wellsboro and Pine Creek Gorge. However, bicycling seems to be most popular with both the locals and visitors, mainly because of the legendary Pine Creek Trail, also known as the Rail-Trail. With a length of 62 miles, it is almost as long as the Canyon itself and suitable for bicycles of almost any type because of its near flat grade.
A Favorite Among Nature Enthusiasts And Photographers
Finally, hiking, backpacking and guided tours of the Canyon also represent a great way to experience the breathtaking wilderness located near Wellsboro firsthand. The Colton Rim Trail and Overlook Trail located at Colton Point and Leonard Harrison State Parks, respectively, offer great scenic views. But, for anyone looking to get that picturesque, postcard-worthy money shot, you should really check out the West Rim Trail or the Barbour Rock Trail.
As for anything else you might want to experience in Wellsboro, we could tell you about it…but we’d much rather let you create a hands-on, vacation experience of your own. You definitely won’t regret it.