Friday, October 7, 2016

The PA Grand Canyon

On Sunday my friend Heather and I traveled to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. The reason for our visit was to check out the course for the Grand Canyon Half Marathon.  We thought fall would be the perfect time of year to check it out because of the abundance of colorful leaves.  Turns out Green was the most abundant color, but I'm not complaining, it was still beautiful.





Here are 5 things I'll share about out trip.

1.  So yes, there is a half marathon/ marathon  through the Grand Canyon, or there use to be anyway. I knew that the race had been cancelled earlier this year, but I got word from someone in that area's running club that their local Chamber of Commerce wanted to continue the event under a different name. So in that case, we decided that we would still go check it out so we were prepared if we wanted to run.


2. There are two ways to enter the Canyon. One is through Leonard Harrison State Park (off of route 660) known as the East Rim. The other is through Colton Point State Park (off route 6) known as the West Rim.


                                                            We entered on the East Rim.    


3.   On the East rim there are only 2 trails. We did not know this at the time.  The first trail we hiked was a short loop called overlook trail.




 It was down hill and stopped at Otter View and then looped back up.  It's only about .6 miles but it's pretty steep on the way back up.


The second trail we hiked was called the Turkey Path. This path was 2 miles down and back and was estimated to take an hour and a half.  This trail was the one that would actually take you down into the canyon. It was no doubt challenging.

We were close to the end but didn't actually hike all the way down to the creek.  We didn't know how long it would take us to hike back up the canyon and we worried about it becoming dark. Because of all the tree covering, we couldn't tell how much daylight was still left. We made it to this waterfall before hiking back up.  Turns out it only took us an hour not an hour and a half that was estimated. My Garmin recorded the total elevation for this hike 799 ft.

4. Now THIS is something I wish I would have known BEFORE we went to the Canyon. It turns out that the West Rim of the Canyon has 7 trails and over 14 miles of hiking path. THIS is the side we should have visited because this is where the Grand Canyon Marathon and Half Marathon took place. I didn't know this until we were ready to leave the East rim and by then it was getting late.  We would have had to get in our car and drive over to the East rim and it was quite a few miles away in the opposite direction of the way we would go home. I guess I'll have to check it out next time.

5.

The canyon is actually called Pine Creek Gorge.  The reason I was confused on how to get here is because it actually spans several state parks.  In additional to hiking other activities include biking, camping, horseback riding, fishing, and boating.  I also saw a sign for covered wagon rides through the canyon.  The day we were here there were actually people in the water kayaking and canoeing.

There is also a rail trail that spans 62 miles. As we were trying to find our way to the  canyon ( we stopped at the wrong trail head at first) we met a group of bikers who were biking the entire rail trail over the course of the weekend.  I definitely want to make a return visit next summer with my bike and check out the rail trail (or at least part of it).  -M



We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5.



34 comments:

  1. A couple bloggers have been posting about various parks in Pennsylvania and I have to admit that I never realized how beautiful it was there! Thinking I may have to visit some time!

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    1. Definitely lots of beautiful places in this state, that's for sure!

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  2. Hold the phone -- there's a Grand Canyon in PA?! How have I never known about this?! Googling...

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    1. I've actually known about this for a while but it took me this long to check it out!

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  3. How no idea there was a grand canyon in PA! Looks like a gorgeous place to hike and visit

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  4. We went here when I was a kid! Paul and I would like to go together as a couple. There's a lot of cool things up in northern PA we want to do. This year we HAVE to get to Christkindle Mart!

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    1. I rarely explore Northern PA so this was nice!

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  5. That looks so pretty. I'm not much of a trail runner, but I love gorgeous scenery.

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    1. Yea, there was no way I'd been running on these trails!

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  6. How beautiful! I didn't even know this existed! I'll have to see if we can visit sometime when I'm visiting my inlaws.

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  7. Wow, it looks beautiful! I had never heard of this before but I'm definitely going to have to look into it.

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  8. This looks beautiful! I had never heard of this before but I'll have to look for information on it.

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    1. The information I found on it was very confusing but now that I've been there I have a better understanding of how it is all laid out.

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  9. Today I learned that there is more than one Grand Canyon in the United States! And what a gorgeous canyon it is!

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    1. It is great but nothing like the original out west!

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  10. Oh my gosh, what a breathtaking area! Our leaves only JUST started to change color this week in Wisconsin. I wasn't mentally prepared for fall before that anyhow, and I think the Man Above planned that. Haha! ~Jessica Marie @ FlashFitTrainer.com

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    1. This is north of where I live so the leaves in my area haven't changed yet. They are still green as ever! Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. I'm like everyone else - confused there is a Grand Canyon besides THE Grand Canyon. But I guess there is also like a DOZEN Greenville's in the US ;)
    Those views. WOW!

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  12. OMG!! I Love the PA Grand Canyon!! It is amazing! I did a super long blog post on it. We hiked the Turkey Path and it was very steep, we ended up losing a bottle of water. we visited and hiked the Colton State side last year. We loved it!

    Did you visit Wellsboro? The town right before it? That place is amazing too! We loved the town so much, that we went back in December for their Christmas Festival. We have a thing for small pa towns.

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    1. I'll have to go find your post. We drove through wellsboro and I thought it was so cute. We didn't stop though.

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  13. That sounds amazing- all of it! I love a good steep climb up-so fun! The pictures are beautiful. Our peak time if the end of OCt. usually, I guess your peak is a few weeks ahead our ours. The colors are so worth catching a glimpse of.

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    1. Looks like our Peak time won't be till end of October this year too!

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  14. Wow that looks so beautiful! I can't get over how green everything looks compared to the brown I've gotten used to seeing here in California!

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    1. It really is beautiful. Why so much brown in CA? Is it because it's so dry?

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  15. Oh, wow, I haven't heard of this. I'd like to go hiking and biking there.

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  16. Wow, what beautiful views!!! If I lived nearby I'd go all the time. I hate that FL only has beaches - I miss canyons and trees!

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  17. That is seriously beautiful and never heard it before. Thanks for sharing with us. I really hate it when they cancel small, local races. Those are some of my favorites!

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  18. WOW! That is just beautiful! Definitely a lot to see and do there! Thanks for sharing :)

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  19. My husband and a friend are considering a 100 mile hike over 50 hours in the canyon (the even is next June). I'll have to show him your photos and see if he's still up for it with the elevation changes! ;) They'd have to hike at night, so it seems like it could get interesting.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.