The Turkey Path is a popular mile-long hiking trail in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon that combines stunning views with several outstanding waterfalls.
The trail descends 750 feet from the vistas up top to the banks of Pine Creek at the bottom.
Along the way you will pass numerous waterfalls on Little Fourmile Run, as the stream and trail run parallel to one another for half of the hike.
So let’s examine the Turkey Path and what you can expect to see along the way.
Hiking the Turkey Path
The trail begins near the Visitors Center at Leonard Harrison State Park, and yes there are restrooms there.
For real time information about current trail conditions and any potential closures, please visit the park’s official website.
The hike is steep, but manageable. My daughter (pictured below) first hiked it with me when she was 6, so don’t let the warning signs scare you away.
ANY hike can be “hazardous” if you come unprepared.
Bring proper footwear, a bottle of water, and a hiking pole and you’ll be fine.
The View from the Trailhead
The views near the Turkey Path trailhead are some of the finest anywhere in Pennsylvania.
If you’ve ever wondered why this area is called the “Pennsylvania Grand Canyon“, you’ll wonder no more!
First Half of the Turkey Path
The first half of the Turkey Path is a descent down a series of switchbacks until you reach Little Fourmile Run.
The trail can certainly be slippery after a hard rain, so again I want to emphasize PROPER FOOTWEAR (not flip-flops) as essential gear for safely navigating this trail.
Second Half of the Turkey Path
After descending the trail for approximately 0.4 miles, you will reach Little Fourmile Run and see the first of four waterfalls that you’ll encounter on your descent to the bottom.
All of the waterfalls you’ll encounter along the Turkey Path can be seen from the trail itself, but if you want closer views, obvious user-created trails veer off at each one.
You’ll encounter more infrastructure in the form of stairways and benches as you hike parallel to the stream, on your way to the remaining waterfalls.
The next waterfall you encounter is the tallest one along the Turkey Path.
This waterfall looks particularly outstanding dressed in fall foliage.
Continue down the trail to more stairways and waterfalls.
Even without a lot of water, Little Fourmile Run provides for some stellar sights and sounds.
Of course when there IS a lot of water, it’s pretty outstanding as well!
As you near the bottom of the Turkey Path, you encounter one more remarkable waterfall.
This is an exquisite waterfall when the autumn leaves cover the rocks around it.
Not much water? No problem – still looks fantastic!
Standing downstream, with your back to the Pine Creek Rail Trail, you can take in the full grandeur and complexity of this exemplary waterfall.
Bottom of the Turkey Path
As you reach the bottom of the Turkey Path, you’ll step onto the Pine Creek Rail Trail, so be vigilant for oncoming cyclists.
Now walk down to the banks of Pine Creek and take in the view!
You’re now standing on the banks of one of Pennsylvania’s most outstanding waterways.
You’re also standing about 750 feet in elevation below where you were 45 minutes ago!
The Return Hike
AC/DC famously sang “It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll”.
The same thing applies to the Turkey Path!
The return hike is all uphill for a mile, retracing your descent and 750 feet in elevation change.
Fortunately those same benches you passed on the way down are there for when you need to take a breather.
And of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the ultimate reward for completing this hike…
Lunch at the Wellsboro Diner!
The Turkey Path at Leonard Harrison State Park makes for an AWESOME family outing, provided you are an outdoorsy kind of family to begin with.
Superb waterfalls, an exhilarating hike, and incomparable vistas – what more could you ask for?!
You absolutely MUST put the Turkey Path at Leonard Harrison State Park on your PA Bucket List!
The opposite side of the PA Grand Canyon has it’s own amazing sights to behold.
Be sure to check out Colton Point State Park and the other 1/2 of the Turkey Path there.
The easiest and most family friendly hiking/biking excursion I can suggest in Tioga County takes place along the Pine Creek Rail Trail, further south near Blackwell.
That would be a trip to see the waterfalls along Stone Quarry Run and Water Tank Hollow, both located next to the flat, smooth rail trail.
Feeling more adventurous?
Then consider hiking the Bohen Trail to Bohen Run Falls and Jerry Run Falls.
This is a more demanding 4 mile out and back hike, with the trailhead also located in Blackwell.
Speaking of the Pine Creek Rail Trail, Campbells Run Falls is located less than a half-mile off of it near the Tiadaghton trailhead.
And if you don’t mind going off-trail all together (for a short distance, but off-trail nonetheless), then let me suggest a trip to Chimney Hollow Falls.
Chimney Hollow Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the entire Pine Creek Gorge, and is located near Colton Point State Park, opposite Leonard Harrison State Park.
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