For 26 years now we have spent our anniversary weekend taking road trips (and the occasional short plane flight) to places where we could get in some interesting hiking, biking or both. For years Carole has been lobbying for the alleged "Grand Canyon" area of north central Pennsylvania, about 200 miles north of us. She finally wore me down, so one Friday am we headed north on a sunny cool Friday, with a forecast of clouds and possible showers for Saturday.
We stopped in Williamsport PA for a lunch break, passing the Little League museum on the way to Alabaster Coffee for a very nice pourover, but no coconut milk for Carole. I had forgotten to bring a jacket, so a trip further into town to a Starbucks and a Walmart solved both problems.
The very scenic drive up followed the Susquehanna River for the most part. The weather was so nice, and the forecast for Saturday so iffy, that we decided to drive directly to the Pine Creek Rail Trail and get in some biking before checking in at the Bed and Breakfast. We started at Blackwell, headed north through the canyon along the river to Tiadaghton. A bit breezy but a beautiful rail trail.
We then turned around, went back downstream and went past Blackwell, over a railroad bridge down to the Rattlesnake Trail area. That represents the southern end of the "Grand Canyon", so we turned around and visited the small country store near where we started with a total of 20 miles on the bike odometer.
Carole had booked us in the La Belle Auberge Bed and Breakfast, which, true to its name, sort of looked like a French brothel. But great breakfasts, nice room and just a short walk into cute cute cute downtown Wellsboro.
To get to the downtown area, we had to walk past a park that featured a statue of Wynken, Blyknken and Nod being sprayed by fountains. I have no idea why they chose W B & N, maybe the Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker wanted higher residuals?
That night we strolled the picturesque gaslight-lit Main Street and had a great dinner at the Steak House.
The next morning dawned cloudy and chillier so we planned on doing some hiking along the rim of the Pine Creek Canyon, or as they like the call it "Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon" which is very nice but sort of like Baltimore calling the Bromo Seltzer tower "Maryland's Empire State Building". A stop to get maps at Pine Creek Outfitters, where they recommended we bike 5 miles along the Pine Creek Rail Trail to the Turkey Path and climb up to the top of the East Rim past a number of waterfalls - off we went.
After a short bike ride downstream (during which one of us filled the time with complaints about the temperature and concerns about having to bike upstream at the end...) we reached the start of the Turkey Path - essentially a mixture of switch back paths and wooden steps that climbed 1,000 feet up a side canyon, passing four nice waterfalls along the way.
At the top, some beautiful foliage and more gorgeous views but we continued on to a 1 mile loop path to the Otter View point which had the real killer view.
Oops. that is a nice view of Carole but mostly points out my need to buy a selfie stick, here's the killer view of the canyon.
Most people tend to park at the top of this area, walk down to see the waterfalls and the river and then slowly slog back up. Since we had biked to the bottom of the Turkey Path and done the uphill part first, we had an easy walk down, passing many people on their way back who had passed us earlier when we were slogging our way upwards. They gave us puzzled looks until someone finally said "Are you guys doing multiple laps of this hike??" Carole suggested we say "Oh, yes - we are going up and down 4 times this morning..."
After biking back to the car, we drove over to the West Rim side and walked to a few overlooks for some more impressive views, but the rain drops were moving in and that ended the outdoor activities. Another fine breakfast Sunday am and we headed home after a Grand weekend.