Exploring Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon

Hiking to Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon.

Barbour Rock Overlook in Tioga County offers visitors an exceptional view of the natural wonder which is the PA Grand Canyon!

Pine Creek winding through the PA Grand Canyon far below Barbour Rock Overlook.
Pine Creek winding through the PA Grand Canyon far below Barbour Rock Overlook.

Accessed via the mostly-flat, 0.7 mile-long Barbour Rock Trail, this relatively easy hike is a must-do when visiting the PA Grand Canyon’s western rim.

Barbour Rock Trail sign along Colton Road in Tioga County.
Barbour Rock Trail sign along Colton Road in Tioga County.

How to Find the Barbour Rock Trail

The trail head for the Barbour Rock Overlook hike is located along Colton Road at GPS coordinates 41.72323, -77.45591.

A map to Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon.
A map showing multiple trails leading to Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon.

Turn onto Colton Road off of Route 6, and follow it for 3 miles to the parking area on your right (trailhead will be on your left, across from parking lot).

The Barbour Rock Trail Head along Colton Road in the PA Grand Canyon.
The Barbour Rock Trailhead along Colton Road in Tioga County.

Hiking the Barbour Rock Trail

The Barbour Rock Trail starts out as a wide, crushed-stone path that according to the DCNR is wheelchair-accessible.

The Barbour Rock Trail in the PA Grand Canyon.
The Barbour Rock Trail in the PA Grand Canyon.

I would caution that despite the handicap-accessible designation, there are sections of the crushed-stone trail that have as much as a 6% incline, so be prepared for that.

200 yards into the hike, you’ll come to a fork where you can either continue along the wide, crushed-stone trail, or follow a more narrow, yellow-blazed dirt trail.

A fork in the Barbour Rock Trail in the PA Grand Canyon.
A fork in the Barbour Rock Trail in the PA Grand Canyon.

The yellow-blazed dirt trail will get you to Barbour Rock Overlook faster, covering less distance at 0.4 miles.

The yellow-blazed shortcut trail to Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon.
The yellow-blazed shortcut trail to Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon.

The blue-blazed crushed stone trail will take a bit longer, covering 0.7 miles, albeit it a smoother trail.

Either way, they both bring you out at the same point – the incredible Barbour Rock Overlook!

Approaching Barbour Rock Overlook on a summer afternoon in the PA Grand Canyon.
Approaching Barbour Rock Overlook on a summer afternoon in the PA Grand Canyon.

Exploring Barbour Rock Overlook

The view from Barbour Rock Overlook faces east, with 180-degree views to the north and south as well.

A summer afternoon at Barbour Rock Overlook in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.
A summer afternoon at Barbour Rock Overlook in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.

The “official” overlook has a bench and wooden railing around it – a safer bet if you have kids with you.

Barbour Rock Overlook in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
Barbour Rock Overlook in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.

Several other vantage points to the right and left of the official overlook offer slightly different angles.

A hiker at Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon.
A hiker at Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon.

Far below on the eastern side of Pine Creek you can make out the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

View from Barbour Rock Overlook in Tioga County PA
View of the Pine Creek Rail Trail from Barbour Rock Overlook in Tioga County.

The view to the northeast is in the direction of nearby Chimney Hollow Falls.

The view to the northeast from Barbour Rock Overlook in the Pine Creek Gorge.
The view to the northeast from Barbour Rock Overlook in the Pine Creek Gorge.

A short but challenging off-trail hike, Chimney Hollow Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the PA Grand Canyon!

The author at Chimney Hollow Falls in the PA Grand Canyon.

Once you’ve had your fill of Barbour Rock Overlook, simply backtrack along the trail you took to get there, or make a loop hike out of it and take the yellow or blue-blazed trail opposite the one you hiked out on.

The Pine Creek Gorge as viewed from Barbour Rock Overlook in Tioga County PA
The Pine Creek Gorge as viewed from Barbour Rock Overlook in Tioga County.

Nearby Attractions

The trailhead for Bear Run Falls is just 0.6 miles further down Colton Road, in the direction of Colton Point State Park.

Waterfalls along Bear Run in the PA Grand Canyon
Waterfalls along Bear Run in the PA Grand Canyon

This series of 6 unnamed, off-trail waterfalls along Bear Run makes it one of the prettiest stretches of stream anywhere in PA!

Rusty Glessner at Lower Bear Run Falls in Tioga County Pennsylvania
The author at Lower Bear Run Falls in Tioga County

Colton Point State Park is home to several waterfalls along Fourmile Run.

Fourmile Run Falls in the PA Grand Canyon
Fourmile Run Falls in the PA Grand Canyon

Colton Point State Park is also home to more fantastic views of the PA Grand Canyon, including this popular roadside overlook pictured below.

Looking out over Pine Creek from Colton Point State Park
Looking out over Pine Creek from Colton Point State Park

Leonard Harrison State Park lies directly across the Pine Creek Gorge, on the eastern rim of the PA Grand Canyon.

Looking out over the Pine Creek Gorge at Leonard Harrison State Park.
A guide to the State Parks in Pennsylvania.

Leonard Harrison State Park is home to what is arguably the most famous hike in the PA Grand Canyon – the Turkey Path.

Turkey Path trailhead at Leonard Harrison State Park in Tioga County.
Turkey Path trailhead at Leonard Harrison State Park in Tioga County.

This mile-long trail takes you from the top of the PA Grand Canyon down to Pine Creek at its base, passing numerous waterfalls along its switchback descent.

Observation area along the Turkey Path in the PA Grand Canyon.
Observation area along the Turkey Path in the PA Grand Canyon.

People flock to Tioga County every October to enjoy the changing autumn leaves, and if that appeals to you be sure to check out my guide on where to find the best fall foliage views in the PA Grand Canyon.

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon Fall Foliage
Fall foliage on display in the PA Grand Canyon.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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