Colton Point State 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 (8.0 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 63.4-mile (102.0 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 and attract 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 "Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks" list, which praised its "spectacular vistas and a fabulous view of Pine Creek Gorge, also known as Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon".

Read more about Colton Point State ParkPine Creek Gorge, Geology and Climate, Ecology, Nearby State Parks

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