Chasing Waterfalls in the Pine Creek Gorge 6.28.2015
I spent this past Sunday morning and afternoon trekking around the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area (Tioga and Lycoming Counties) in search of waterfalls with my friend Steve Rubano. The near-record amounts of June rainfall and the rugged terrain surrounding the PA Grand Canyon made for fertile conditions, and we found some nice falls along some of the more obscure feeder streams that eventually dump into Pine Creek.
We started out our mission at Owassee Slide Run, just off of Owassee Road near the village of Ansonia. We had visited this same area back in early December (write-up HERE) and were unable to drive down Owassee Road due to snow/ice, instead parking where it meets Colton Road and hiking in. But on this late June day we were able to drive right to the bridge where Owasse Slide Run passes under Owassee Road.
A short but strenuous hike a few hundred yards up Owassee Slide Run brings you to the base of Chimney Hollow Falls, an impressive and towering double-tiered masterpiece.
After getting our fill of Chimney Hollow Falls, we backtracked up Owassee Road to Colton Road, hung a left, and drove uphill to the northeastern corner of Colton Point State Park where Bear Run makes up the border between that portion of the state park and the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.
Parking at a nearby pull-off and hiking down Bear Run brought us to a series of unnamed waterfalls that we again had visited this past December.
After poking around on Bear Run for 45 minutes or so, we hiked back to Steve's truck and proceeded through Colton Point State Park along Painter-Leetonia Road until we came to where Little Slate Run passes underneath the road.
The stream didn't look all that large at that point near it's headwaters, but looking at our topo map and taking into consideration the excellent waterflow conditions, we decided to investigate a bit to see if it didn't pick up steam downstream, perhaps yielding some decent waterfalls.
At first it seemed like maybe Little Slate Run was going to be a bust, but as we got donwnstream maybe a half-mile or so we found a few nice smaller falls (pictured above and below).
At maybe 3/4 of a mile downstream the number of blowdowns and hiking difficulty increased exponentially, so rather than push our luck on that day we back tracked to the truck and proceeded down Painter-Leetonia Road, eventually stopping at a few small roadside falls on our way to the village of Slate Run and a delicious dinner at the Hotel Manor along the banks of Pine Creek.
All in all another fine day in the woods, and I look forward to getting back up that way to explore more of the small streams that dot the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.