We found Leonard Harrison State Park to be the perfect spot to camp while exploring the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, the city of Wellsboro, and the surrounding Tioga State Forest in the PA Wilds. Although this campground boasts only 28 sites, it still gives you lots of room to kick back and relax in a quiet atmosphere.
Campground: I honestly took a gamble staying at Leonard Harrison campground since the online reservation system said the sites could only accommodate (at max) a 30-foot camper. Based upon my map research I was pretty confident that we could fit in at least a few sites, and thankfully I was right. I am not sure why the reservation system says that the electric sites can not accommodate larger units, but the campground map and our site evaluation confirmed that this campground can handle much larger units than the online system indicates. All of the electric sites (22-28) can easily accommodate units that are longer than 30 feet.
Leonard Harrison is on the east side of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and offers amazing picturesque views of the Pine Creek Gorge. Due to the scenic location and because the campground is small, the electric sites fill up quickly so it is advisable to make reservations early (especially in the fall when the leaves are changing). The roads in the campground loop could use to be rehabbed as they were mostly sandy dirt and got muddy (and rutted) when it rained. However, the sites were well graveled and mostly level. Our site (23) was the longest but had significant slope (see pictures) going up to the pad, which made hooking and un-hooking a bit more challenging. If you are up for this challenge and are ok with full sun, site 23 has a large yard area where the kiddos can play and is probably the most “private” of all the sites. If we were to return again, though, we would most likely choose site 25 since it is a large site with the added benefit of a nice, big shade tree.
I do suggest exercising caution when driving through the campground as there are some trees in the non-electric portion of the campground that are very close to the road (and a few look like they have met the side of a camper before 🙂 ).
Bathrooms: The bathhouse had been remodeled in recent years and it was very clean during our stay. Interestingly enough, the main bathrooms did not have a plug for a hairdryer … but the family bathroom did. There was also a wash station located at the bathhouse.
Amenities: Next to the bathhouse was a small playground. Just outside of the campground entrance is the area where visitors can access a large overlook area of the Grand Canyon of PA. There are some hiking trails that leave the state park and go into the surrounding Tioga State Forest. Also nearby is the Pine Creek and the Pine CreekRail Trail for those interested in canoeing or biking. Just watch out for the rattlesnakes–we saw one just off the bike path!
Touring: While the region is replete with outdoor opportunities, also consider setting aside some time to visit Wellsboro, Pa. The historic downtown region is famous for it’s beautiful and still operational gas lampposts. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the area, sit a spell at “The Green,” stop for a piece of pie at the Wellsboro Diner, or swing into Pop’s Culture Shoppe where you can find and enjoy just about any board game available. We spent over an hour looking at games and talking with the owners who were super knowledgable and fun people!
Dates of Stay: June 1-2, 2016
Cost: $27.50 per night