Let’s be local wanderers. Let’s go out into our familiar towns and cities and adventure to the parks, sights, pizza shops, boutique stores and riverbanks that are unexplored by our own two feet. Let’s really take what our area has to offer. Let’s admire it fully. Let’s frequent the nooks and crannies of our humble hometowns. Let’s pack a car full of good friends and get out there.
Isn’t it amazing that you can live in the same area for your entire life and still not see everything it has to offer? I’m constantly being surprised by the amount of naturally occurring wonders within a few hours of my hometown. I guess that’s one of the great benefits of living in the keystone state. Mountains, rivers, islands are just as available for exploration as large cities. I like that balance. The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon is just one of the many places within a few hours drive that in my twenty three years were new, fresh and exciting.
When invited to spend a blustery fall weekend in a cabin in northern Pennsylvania, you ALWAYS say yes. In fact, you say yes and then you say it ten more times just to get your point across. Do you understand what I’m getting at? This past weekend ruled. Luke’s family hosted a family get together/ birthday party and graciously invited me and the other significant others of the clan (cue Kevin and I chanting “Topping Ten! Topping Ten!”) for a relaxing weekend upstate. It was glorious. The drive, although long after a rough Friday at work, was completely gorgeous with all of the trees’ changing colors. It was an explosion of reds and yellows amongst a sea of dark greens. Once we arrived, we ate the most delicious spread of hearty foods and beers, took in the colder weather and planned for the days ahead. What was on our radar? The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. I’ve heard many people boast about this place and I’m glad we took the next afternoon to go adventure there.
My poor little Prius barely made it through the dirt roads, but once we had parked and I had a maple coffee in my hands… we were ready to roll. With a full day on our hands, we decided to take an easier hike which was just under a mile and wrapped around the scenic views of the deep valley that formed in between the steep, layered mountains. The colors, again, were explosive. The weather was just moody enough to make us sure to wrap ourselves up in jackets and scarves. It really felt like the first taste of autumn. And here we were taking in the most expansive mountain views of our home state.
- Go in the early fall, the changing colors of the leaves are insane. I’m sure the views are just as stunning in the other three seasons, but autumn is definitely ideal!
- Bring a warm cup of coffee, boots (hiking boots not entirely necessary) and all your friends. No seriously. Pack that car!
- If you’re not up for a longer, expansive hike… take the shorter scenic hike. It’s under a mile and only slightly hilly. There is a path that leads all the way to the base of the mountain that is about 30 miles for you more experienced hikers.
- Maple maple maple everything. If you need syrup… this is your place.
- If you drive a rinky dink smart car like me, there are many routes that follow more populated roads. The dirt roads that many GPS’s try to lead you through are no joke. Setting your GPS to find the quickest route is not desirable. If you have a car with four wheel drive… more power to you!
What local sights are you interested in exploring? Get out there!