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Colton Point State Park, Wellsboro

State Park · Nature / Park
Colton Point State Park is a 368-acre (149 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is on the west side of the Pine Creek Gorge, also known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, which is 800 feet (240 m) deep and nearly 4,000 feet (1,200 m) across at this location. The park extends from the creek in the bottom of the gorge up to the rim and across part of the plateau to the west. Colton Point State Park is known for its views of the Pine Creek Gorge, and offers opportunities for picnicking, hiking, fishing and hunting, whitewater boating, and camping. Colton Point is surrounded by Tioga State Forest and its sister park, Leonard Harrison State Park, on the east rim. The park is on a state forest road in Shippen Township 5 miles (8 km) south of U.S. Route 6.

Pine Creek flows through the park and has carved the gorge through five major rock formations from the Devonian and Carboniferous periods. Native Americans once used the Pine Creek Path along the creek. The path was later used by lumbermen, and then became the course of a railroad from 1883 to 1988. Since 1996, the 62-mile (100 km) Pine Creek Rail Trail has followed the creek through the gorge. The Pine Creek Gorge was named a National Natural Landmark in 1968 and is also protected as a Pennsylvania State Natural Area and Important Bird Area, while Pine Creek is a Pennsylvania Scenic and Wild River. The gorge is home to many species of plants and animals, some of which have been reintroduced to the area.

The park is named for Henry Colton, a Williamsport lumberman who cut timber there starting in 1879. Although the Pine Creek Gorge was clearcut in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it is now covered by second-growth forest, thanks in part to the conservation efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The CCC built the facilities at Colton Point before and shortly after the park's 1936 opening. Most of the CCC-built facilities remain in use, and have led to the park's listing as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Since a successful publicity campaign in 1936, the park and gorge have been a popular tourist destination, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Colton Point State Park was chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Parks for its "25 Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks" list, which praised its "spectacular vistas and a fabulous view of Pine Creek Gorge".
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Colton Point State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
303 reviews
  • There are 3 sites in the group camping area. They share the same parking lot. Site 1 is close to parking, and site 3 far away. Site 2 is an abomination: drainage problems and choppy ground make for a....  more »
  • Very easy to get to and appreciate the views. The vistas were stunning and the park was not crowded at all. Plenty of parking!  more »
  • Went to the woodsman festival at Cherry Springs State Park. Held in August. Worth seeing, but out in open, no shade and a lot of walking. Bleechers in sun to watch the shows. If you don't mind these.....  more »
  • Very clean and well maintained. The overnight camping rates are much more than the website indicated in June 2019. Website said $8 per night when actual rate was about $17 per night, so bring plenty of cash and some coin change. The campsites vary in size so I recommend getting there early in the week to get the best pick. Most campsites are muddy during rainfall but dry up within a day or so. Registration is by honor payment, ie you fill out a small form and drop it with cash into a box. Check out was 3pm in June 2019. Beautiful park, outstanding hikes, excellent roads, clean public bathrooms, fresh public water pumps. The rangers are friendly and helpful. Numerous large pavilions. You can get ice, ATM, and beer at a nice little tavern close to the park entry. This is one of my favorite places to hike and camp. Everything is free except for the overnight camping. Highly recommend!
  • Beautiful sights every season of the year! Beautiful Valley and catching a glimpse of the bald eagles is wonderful! Great hiking trails. Peace and quiet.
  • Took a ride out to see if colors were starting and not at that time, plan on another trip out this week. Met up with a couple from New York who hadn't been there in quite some time and couldn't remember how to get to other side so i gave them directions. Hope they had enough time to experience it.
  • Wow- absolutely amazing hike on the MST. So worth the 4 hour drive and definitely will be back next summer to swim!
  • My husband and I enjoyed the day and being out enjoying nature and plan to go back and do another trail

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