This Natural Wonders Road Trip Will Show You Pennsylvania Like You’ve Never Seen It Before
Pennsylvanians are, admittedly, pretty spoiled. After all, our beautiful state features spectacular landscape and so many natural wonders that visiting them all on one road trip would keep you moving for quite a while. Get a firsthand view of some (only some) of our state’s most amazing natural wonders on this road trip across Pennsylvania.
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1. Ringing Rocks County Park – Upper Black Eddy
Bring a hammer to your first stop. That’s because Ringing Rocks County Park features a nearly eight acre field of rocks that, well, make music. Gently hit the rocks to hear them chime like a bell. Skeptical? Click play on the video above to see for yourself. Although the ringing rocks are certainly the centerpiece of the 128-acre county park, save some time to hike the trails or to enjoy a picnic lunch.
2. Archbald Pothole Park – Archbald
We’ve all seen potholes. Heck, we’ve all, without a doubt, unexpectedly hit one. But, you’ve never really seen a pothole until you’ve see Archbald Pothole, in Archbald Pothole State Park, the world’s largest glacial pothole. Over 20,000 years old, the massive pothole drops 38 feet and is 42 feet by 42 feet at its widest point. A protective fence keeps visitors from getting too close. After visiting the pothole, consider hiking the park’s loop trail, where you’ll pass by an old coal mine and go through a forest.
3. Seven Tubs Natural Area – Wilkes-Barre
Experience a tiny slice of paradise at Seven Tubs Natural Area, a beautiful series of tubs (well, glacial potholes filled with water) and natural water slides. Daredevils often zip down the natural water slides while the tubs themselves promise the ultimate way to cool down and to relax on a hot summer afternoon. Visit all seven tubs by following the two mile trail loop that will take you past waterfalls, a stone tunnel, and a quaint bridge.
4. Ricketts Glen State Park – Benton
Nature’s magic awaits at Ricketts Glen State Park, considered one of Pennsylvania’s most picturesque parks. Spend the day or camp out in a tent, in your RV, or in a rental cabin. The 22 waterfalls that decorate the park are, undoubtedly, the stars of the 13,000 acre park. But, you’ll also find a sandy beach, plenty of hiking trails, horse trails, and a lake that’s perfect for fishing.
5. Pine Creek Gorge – Watson Township
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of one of Pennsylvania’s most popular tourist spots. Pine Creek Gorge, commonly referred to as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, spans 50 miles and boasts a depth of more than 1,000 feet. Both Leonard Harrison State Park and Colton Point State park feature overlooks that provide sweeping views of the canyon. Don’t forget to get a glimpse of Pine Creek Gorge from the base of the canyon. Simply hike from the top or drive to the bottom and park at one of a number of parking spots.
6. Cherry Springs State Park – Coudersport
Go stargazing at Cherry Springs State Park, one of the darkest spots on the east coast. Flanked by the Susquehanna State Forest, Cherry Springs State Park spans a cozy 82 acres but the masterpiece of the park, of course, is the view of the nighttime sky. For the best stargazing experience, experts advise that it often takes 15 minutes for the naked eye to adjust to the dark and, if you bring a flashlight, point it downward when using it.
7. Coudersport Ice Mine – Coudersport
Discover a natural phenomenon at Coudersport Ice Mine. One caveat, however: you must visit during the summer months. The water in the ice mine, once used as a communal refrigerator, turns to ice in the summer, providing views of stunning icicles, and melts in the winter. Protected by a fence, visitors can view the ice mine from various spots around the fence. After seeing the natural phenomenon, relax on the deck with a snack or buy souvenirs from the gift shop.
8. Kinzua Bridge State Park – Kane
Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for one of the most amazing views of Kinzua Bridge State Park from high atop – 302 feet high – the Skywalk that once functioned as the Kinzua Bridge. Walk across the 600 foot Skywalk and stop right on the glass floor for a spectacular view of the park floor below. After your trip across the Skywalk, enjoy a hike through or a picnic in the park.
9. Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park – Centre Hall
Climb aboard a motorboat. Sit back and relax as a guide leads you on a tour of Penn’s Cave. First discovered several centuries ago, Penn’s Cave boasts itself as the country’s only all water cavern. The boat tour of the cave generally takes between 45 and 50 minutes and, if the weather is acceptable, guests will enjoy a ride on Lake Nitanee. Penn’s Cave also features a wildlife tour, a maze, and gem mining for the kids.
10. Dinosaur Rock – Elizabethtown
End this amazing natural wonders road trip through Pennsylvania by slipping back in time to the Jurassic era. In Elizabethtown towers a stunning natural wonder in the shape of a dinosaur. The boulders of the dinosaur stand 15 feet higher than the woods flanking it. Unfortunately, this aging natural wonder now has the tag of potentially endangered status due to those who spray graffiti on the boulders. A stop at Dinosaur Rock is certainly worth your time but, as with other natural wonders in Pennsylvania, please leave the rock as you found it and take only pictures out of the area with you.
Ready to road trip across Pennsylvania? Visiting some of the state’s natural wonders is only one amazing way to see all that Pennsylvania has to offer. Consider following this road trip itinerary to visit the state’s most picturesque small towns.