Wellsboro is one of the most popular tourist towns in the PA Grand Canyon, and thousands of adventurous visitors flock there every year to explore the Pine Creek Gorge.
But what if you’re not so adventurous, or simply can’t get around like you used to?
Not to worry – I’ve put together a list of 10 of the best roadside attractions near Wellsboro that just about anyone can enjoy, regardless of age or physical abilities.
This 35 mile road trip starts with several historic sites in downtown Wellsboro, and proceeds to some amazing locations in the surrounding parks, forest, and Tioga County countryside.
So grab a friend and lets get started exploring the best roadside attractions near Wellsboro!
1. Nessmuk’s Grave in the Wellsboro Cemetery
104 Nichols St, Wellsboro, PA 16901
Why start a road trip visiting a gravesite?!
Well this is no ordinary gravesite were talking about, this is the final resting place of the legendary outdoorsman and author George Washington Sears, better known by his pen name “Nessmuk”.
Who exactly was Nessmuk and why should you care?
If you spend any amount of time exploring the PA Grand Canyon, you’ll see references to Nessmuk on lakes, mountains, trails, camps, and a variety of businesses.
As an outdoor writer for Forest and Stream in the 1880s, he popularized the concepts of canoe camping and ultralight backpacking.
He borrowed his pen name “Nessmuk” from a Native American who had befriended him at an early age, and he lived most of his adult life in Wellsboro, until his death in 1890.
2. The Wellsboro Diner
19 Main St, Wellsboro, PA 16901
Based on aesthetics and the nostalgia factor alone, the Wellsboro Diner is a roadside attraction well worth a visit.
A throwback to the 1940s with a no-nonsense menu and dining car-style interior, I try to stop here every time I’m in Wellsboro.
3. The Penn-Wells Hotel
62 Main St, Wellsboro, PA 16901
The Penn-Wells Hotel is another great nostalgic roadside attraction in downtown Wellsboro, a historic and beautifully-maintained establishment built in 1869.
4. The Tioga County Courthouse
118 Main St, Wellsboro, PA 16901
Fortunately, I’ve only ever had occasion to view the imposing Tioga County Courthouse from the OUTSIDE, but the Federal-style entrance coupled with the Corinthian-style columns and portico makes for a grand scene along Main Street.
5. The Green
117 Main St, Wellsboro, PA 16901
Located directly across Main Street From the Tioga County Courthouse, The Green is a public park featuring several statues, historical monuments, and a fountain.
The Wynken, Blynken, and Nod statue/fountain in the center of the park is based on an 1889 bedtime story about three children sailing among the stars on a boat made out of a wooden shoe.
Another memorial in the park is dedicated to local industrialist John Magee.
Several war memorials on the Green pay tribute to soldiers from the Wellsboro area from various eras and conflicts.
6. Middle Ridge UMC Church
9 Copp Hollow Rd, Wellsboro, PA 16901
“The Little Red Church” was built in 1897, modeled after a Dutch church and painted red to resemble brick construction.
7. Leonard Harrison State Park
4797 PA-660, Wellsboro, PA 16901
When most people picture the PA Grand Canyon, Leonard Harrison State Park is what comes to mind.
With dozens of viewing areas close to the parking area and Visitor Center, Leonard Harrison State Park offers million-dollar views of the PA Grand Canyon in all directions.
Leonard Harrison State Park is named after a local businessman who originally owned the property and developed it into a public picnic area known as “The Lookout.”
Mr. Harrison donated the property to the State in 1922, and it was further developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the mid-1930s.
8. Colton Point State Park
927 Colton Rd, Wellsboro, PA 16901
It takes two sides to make a gorge, and the west rim of the Pine Creek Gorge is home to Colton Point State Park.
The roadside vistas at Colton Point State Park are spectacular any time of year, but they truly shine during fall foliage season!
9. Four Mile Vista
Colton Road, GPS Coordinates 41.701492, -77.470999
Located along Colton Road just south of Colton Point State Park, this is an excellent roadside vista in the Tioga State Forest.
10. Bradley Wales Picnic Area and Vista
Bradley Wales Rd, Wellsboro, PA 16901
The last stop on this driving tour of roadside attractions near Wellsboro is the Bradley Wales Picnic Area and Scenic View
This roadside vista is truly exceptional, and since it’s somewhat removed from the nearest park (5 miles south of Colton Point State Park), it feels more remote and wild.
The fence around the edge of the Bradley Wales Scenic View is made from the remnants of a railroad that once traveled through here.
Whether you look to the north or the south, the Bradley Wales Scenic View really epitomizes the rugged beauty of the PA Grand Canyon.
From the Bradley Wales Scenic View, you can either backtrack to Wellsboro (the quickest way back to town), or you can continue south on West Rim Road another 10 miles to Route 414 and Blackwell, then north on Route 287 back to Wellsboro (the scenic route).
In either case, you’ll have seen a diverse selection of some of the best roadside attractions near Wellsboro, all in one road trip!
People flock to Wellsboro every October to enjoy the autumn leaves, and if that appeals to you be sure to check out my “cheat sheet” on where to find the best fall foliage views in the PA Grand Canyon.
The Barbour Rock Trail is a relatively easy hike to an amazing vista on the PA Grand Canyon’s west rim.
Bear Run Falls is a series of magnificent, unnamed waterfalls accessed via a 0.6 mile (one-way) off-trail hike near Colton Point State Park.
The Turkey Path at Leonard Harrison State Park is arguably the most famous hike in the PA Grand Canyon.
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