So, to wrap up our blogging requirements for my online course at Temple University, entitled Landscape Traditions, we were asked to write basically about anything!  Any modern landscape, or everyday landscape that we would be interested in discussing.  That is a very tough thing to do, to process the thousands of landscapes that we see throughout our daily ventures, or view in books or on the television, and to choose just one to talk about.  So with all of this aside, I have decided that I would like to briefly bring light to an untouched landscape, which stretches for miles across North Central Pennsylvania.   

Image taken by Kerrie Mitchener

                I enjoy going camping, hiking, and exploring whenever I have time to do so.  The Appalachian Mountains basically bisect the state of Pennsylvania, running straight through the center of the state.  A drive along the northern half of the state, specifically along route 80, brings forth rolling hills, into larger mountains, and a stunning vision of a natural, untouched landscape.  During the Fall months it is just an unbelievable site along the Interstate.  An attraction of interest which seems to go unknown during the drive through the state, is the ‘Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.’  Its location is situated off of the main interstate, but the drive and hike leading up to the view is absolutely worth the trip.

Image by Joseph C Gallagher

                Known as the Pine Creek Gorge in the Tioga state forest, the gorge extends for 47 miles beginning along route 6.  It is believed that the cutting of the gorge must have been accelerated by drainage from the huge ice sheets that covered the entire countryside just north of its location during the glacial periods. (PADCNR)  The primary location to begin a hike to the top would be from the route 6 end and on either the eastern or western sides.  Both sides have numerous opportunities to embrace the beautiful views of the gorge, through viewing decks, intentional clearings within the mountainsides, etc. 

  

                Running through the center of the gorge is the Pine Creek which ultimately culminates in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.  Paralleling the river is a hiking and biking trail which allows for you to be within the gorge and surrounded by the natural build of the landscape.  Again, during the Fall months, this trail is absolutely beautiful with the changing of the trees, and the sounds of the running water against a quiet backdrop of the surrounding nature.  It is a beautifully documented example of an untouched natural landscape that has formed over thousands of years, as a result of the last ice age.

Feel free to ask any questions and please leave some comments!

Sources:

Cutlip, Kimbra. “Pine Creek Gorge: The Other Grand Canyon.” American Geological Institute – Serving the Geosciences Since 1948. Web. 14 Aug. 2011. <http://www.agiweb.org/geotimes/oct07/article.html?id=Travels1007.html&gt;.

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/oldgrowth/pinecreek.aspx

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