Life’s pretty hectic for many of us. Add everyday stress to that fast pace, and fatigue can set in pretty quickly. We all need time to relax, to recharge, and to forget about the responsibilities of every day life, right? Fortunately, we live in an amazing state chock full of spots that allow us to embrace tranquility – whether you prefer hidden gardens or gushing waterfalls. Next time you’re aching to get way, head to one of the following 10 most peaceful places in Pennsylvania.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Chanticleer Garden – Wayne
Feel as though you've stepped into the pages of a fairy tale at Chanticleer Garden. The lush garden, with its more than 12 different sections, offers plenty of opportunities for exploration. Stroll along an elevated walkway, stopping to admire the view of the flowers and gardens below. Listen to the gentle rolling of the streams. And, picnic in the glass greenhouse.
Chanticleer Garden is located at 786 Church Rd., Wayne, PA 19087.
2. Cherry Springs State Park – Coudersport
Lie back and stare at the nighttime sky at Cherry Springs State Park, which boasts the clearest skies on the Eastern Seaboard. Stake out your spot at the nighttime viewing area, and spend a few hours pointing out the constellations. And, serious astronomers can spend the night at the Astronomy Observation Field.
Cherry Springs State Park is located at 4639 Cherry Springs Rd., Coudersport, PA 16915.
3. Pine Creek Gorge – Watson Township
Drink in the spectacular beauty of Pine Creek Gorge - the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania - from either Leonard Harrison State Park or Colton Point State Park. Both parks offer numerous scenic vistas to enjoy the views. The spellbinding natural wonder stretches 50 miles and is more than 1,000 feet deep.
Pine Creek Gorge is located at Watson Township, PA 17740
4. Elk County – Benezette
Share the road with the elk - literally - during a visit to the peaceful
and charming town of Benezette. For a unique experience, head to the Elk Country Visitor Center, where you can watch the elk from observation spots. And, stop by the Old Bull Cafe for a delicious meal (and some more elk watching).
5. Hammersley Wild Area – Austin
Journey to the most
remote place in PA to experience pure tranquility. Hammersley Wild Area spans 30,000 acres of undeveloped land. (Motor vehicles are not permitted in the protected area.) Explore the lush area via one of the trails, like the Twin Sisters trail that boasts forests, streams, and footbridges.
Hammersley Wild Area is located in Austin, PA 16720.
6. Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area – Blakeslee
Explore some of the 130 acres of Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area, protected land that features several hiking trails. Discover picturesque footbridges, Tobyhanna Creek, waterfalls, and shimmering pools.
Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area is located in Blakeslee, PA 18610.
7. Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve – New Holland
Nestled in Lancaster, Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve offers more than 900 tranquil acres. Stroll along hiking trails that overlook picturesque Amish Farms. And, keep an eye out for the more than 150 species of plants, such as pink lady slippers and carrion flowers.
Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve is located at 601 Gault Rd., New Holland, PA 17557.
8. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary – Kempton
Lace up your hiking boots for your visit to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, an ideal spot to view raptors, hawks, and even bald eagles. Start your visit at the Visitors Center before exploring the expansive sanctuary on foot. For an easy hike, head out on the one-mile Lookout Trail that features a spectacular overlook.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is located at 1700 Hawk Mountain Rd., Kempton, PA 19529.
9. Ricketts Glen State Park – Benton
Waterfalls and relaxation just go hand-in-hand. And, Rickets Glen State Park delivers
both in a big way. Embark on the Falls Trail - just over seven miles - that boasts 21 breathtaking waterfalls, including the 94-foot Ganoga Falls. (Warning: wear sturdy shoes as the trail can become slippery.)
Ricketts Glen State Park is located at 695 State Route 487, Benton, PA 17814.
10. Columcille Megalith Park – Bangor
Tranquility awaits at Columcille Megalith Park, often referred to as "America's Stonehenge." Stroll along the paths that connect the stone structures, including towers and rings. Relax as you admire the more than 80 stone structures. And, stop by the pond to watch the goldfish.
Columcille Megalith Park is located at 2155 Fox Gap Rd., Bangor, PA 18013.
What do you think are the most peaceful places in Pennsylvania? Let us know in the comments! Then,
click here to read about another spot, ChesLen Preserve, that promises sheer tranquility.