Our Third Grand Canyon

Another View of GC of PA

We have seen The Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and now the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.  That last one is known as Pine Creek Gorge to all but those who market Penn tourism.  Penn’s Grand is not too far from the Tioga-Hammond Lakes CoE campground where we spent several days in mid-August.  There is no admission charge, perhaps because this canyon is merely pretty and not exactly grand.  Still, it is 50 miles long and either 1,000 or 1,400 feet deep depending upon what you read.  Kat took some nice pictures which will give you a better idea of the place.

This canyon was formed not by moving water but by moving ice, as in glaciers.  The process covered several recent Ice Ages beginning two million years ago and ending only with the most recent Ice Age 18,000 years BCE.  Glaciers shaped most of New England over that time all the way from the lobster deeps off the Maine coast, to Cape Cod, and westward to Pennsylvania and its little Grand Canyon.  I would not have wanted to try to make a living back then, but from Northern Exposure I understand that woolly mammoth chops were quite the delicacy.

A Maple Dog, Dressed

Our trip to this canyon was a nice drive but the food (even without mammoth chops) may have been more remarkable than the geology.  Did you know that Pennsylvania produces fine maple syrup?  The locals say so, and at the Penn Grand Canyon state park we sampled the wares of its only food vendor.  This fellow markets Pennsylvania maple syrup and associated products.  Those include maple mustard (variants also include maple-onion and maple-habanero), maple hot dogs, and maple ice cream.  All are made with Pennsylvania grade maple syrup.  “Grade” is an adjective the lawyers made Quaker State and Pennzoil slap on their products decades after the Keystone State’s petroleum ran out.  It is possible that this fellow buys Vermont or New Hampshire syrup and repackages it in Penn, but it tastes like maple syrup, at least if one considers – as do I — Vermont Maid the gold standard for syrups.

One Tasty Maple Sundae

I cannot tell a lie: although plenty hungry, I found my maple hot dog just okay, not great.  The maple sundae, now that was delicious!

Wildflowers on the Rim of the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania

6 thoughts on “Our Third Grand Canyon

  1. As usual, gorgeous photos and a fine tale. 🙂

    How cool that you all have now seen three Grand Canyons.

    There is also a GC in NYS. It’s called Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY, and has been dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the East.” That probably doesn’t make those tourism marketing folks in PA very happy.



    1. We considered a visit to Letchworth several weeks ago knowing it was a very well regarded state park. But we saw no mention of a grand gorge or gorgeous canyon. And so it goes ….


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