Beautiful Natural Wonders in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a state filled with mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys, gorges, waterfalls and many beautiful natural wonders. It is a great state for outdoor recreation as well over a million people hunt and fish in the state every year. Tourism plays a big role in Pennsylvania's economy as tourists from all over the country and the world travel to the state to see historic sites like the Liberty Bell, Gettysburg, Independence Mall and Valley Forge but the state also contains many scenic wonders worth visiting. These are the beautiful natural wonders in Pennsylvania.
Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania
Pine Creek Gorge is a long deep gorge carved out by Pine Creek in northern-central Pennsylvania that is known as The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. The gorge runs for some 47 miles and reaches depths of 1,450 feet near its southern end at Waterville. The northern end of the canyon is protected on the western side in Colton Point State Park and on the eastern side in Leonard Harrison State Park and the distance between the rims in the two parks is 4,000 feet. There are plenty of motels and campgrounds in the area to accommodate tourists visiting Pine Creek Gorge the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.
Hawk Mountain and the River of Rocks
Hawk Mountain is located about 20 miles west of Allentown in eastern Pennsylvania. Hawk Mountain is a rocky ridge with great clear views where bird watchers gather each migrating season to watch birds of prey like hawks and eagles as they migrate through the area. Hawk Mountain is home to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary which was started in 1934 by environmentalist and socialite Rosalie Edge in response to the annual slaughter of raptors that used to take place on the mountain each year. Today some 70,000 people and tourists visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary each year to hike up to the viewing areas to see the great hawks and eagles as they soar by.
The River of Rocks is also located on Hawk Mountain and consists of a mile long 40 foot deep boulder field that was created during the last ice age when glacial melt cracked and broke apart boulders from rocky ridge tops above.
Image Source (Mount Pocono Overlook)
The Pocono Mountains or just the Poconos is a mountain range in eastern Pennsylvania that is very popular with tourists the year round for recreational activities including hiking, fishing, skiing, water sliding, hunting, camping, boating and sightseeing especially in the fall when the leaves turn brilliant colors. There are many resorts and hotels and motels in the Poconos and the area is Pennsylvania's most popular tourist destination. Tourism is big business in the Poconos and in 2007 gambling even came to the area with the opening of the Mount Airy Casino Resort.
Ricketts Glen State Park
Ricketts Glen State Park is located in northeastern Pennsylvania about 30 miles northwest of Wilkes-Barre and contains an amazing and beautiful array of waterfalls. Twenty-two named waterfalls are located in the park with many of them along the Falls Loop Trail which many people consider the best hiking trail in Pennsylvania. Ricketts Glen is just an amazing natural wonder park in Pennsylvania that is an extremely popular tourist attraction.
Presque Isle is a beautiful natural wonder sandy peninsula that stick out into Lake Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania. Presque Isle is protected in Presque Isle State Park which contains 13 beaches and 21 miles of hiking trails and is very popular with tourists for swimming, sunbathing, boating, hiking, fishing and camping. Cabins are available to rent in the park and there are plenty of motels and hotels in the surrounding area.
Located only a few miles south of Presque Isle is another beautiful natural wonder in Pennsylvania the Erie Bluffs. Protected in Erie Bluffs State Park this 1 mile stretch of land features bluffs along the lake shore that reach heights of 100 feet.
Worlds End in Pennsylvania
Worlds End is a state park in Pennsylvania located in the northeastern part of the state that offers visitors fabulous views of the mountains, rivers and valleys that make up the terrain in this part of Pennsylvania. Worlds End is popular with tourists who like to fish, hike, camp, swim and kayak, raft and canoe on the whitewater of Loyalsock creek. There are 19 rustic cabins in Worlds End State Park to accommodate overnight visitors complete with a refrigerators, stoves and fireplaces.
The Boulder Field in Hickory Run State Park
Hickory Run State Park is located in eastern Pennsylvania just off Interstate 80 southeast of White Haven and contains the amazing massive 17 acre large boulder field. The beautiful natural wonder in Pennsylvania was created at the end of the last ice age as massive glacial melting carried large amounts of water into the area which broke off boulders from ridge tops above and carried the boulders to their present day location. The boulder field is so massive and heavy it has compressed the underlying soil in the field down over 12 feet. The boulder field is a popular tourist attraction in Pennsylvania and there are plenty of hotels, motels and campsites in the area to accommodate overnight visitors.
Hyner View State Park
Hyner View State Park is located in central Pennsylvania above the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and offers visitors fantastic views of the Susquehanna River Valley and surrounding mountains right from the park road. Hyner View State Park is a very popular spot for hang gliders to launch from and on good weather days tourists to the park are almost guaranteed to see hang gliders and para-gliders floating on the mountain winds and currents.
The Susquehanna River flows beautifully through eastern Pennsylvania as it makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean at the Chesapeake Bay. This natural wonder in Pennsylvania is a popular tourist attraction and is extensively used for recreational purposes such as fishing, boating, kayaking and canoeing. There are many viewpoints above the Susquehanna River where tourists can get great views of the river flowing through Pennsylvania's mountains and plenty of hotels and motels are located along the river's course.
Waterfalls Along the Delaware River Tributaries
There are no real waterfalls along the Delaware River in eastern Pennsylvania however there are a ton of waterfalls along the tributaries that flow into the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. Bushkill Falls in the Pocono Mountains drops 100 feet and is the best known of the eastern waterfalls in Pennsylvania. Other well know waterfalls in the area include Dingmans Falls, Factory Falls, Deer Leap Falls and Fulmer Falls. All of them are beautiful waterfalls well worth visiting but the prettiest waterfall in the area is probably Silver Thread Falls pictured above.
For more see 10 Natural Wonders in New York State