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7 of the Most Beautiful Places to See in Pennsylvania

Jamie Delos Reyes

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The Keystone State is known for its rich history and beautiful landscapes. Every corner is bursting with nature’s artworks and man-made marvels. Scroll down to see the most beautiful places to see in Pennsylvania!

1. Cook Forest State Park

Running alongside the Clarion River, Cook Forest State Park is 8,500 acres of towering virgin hemlock and white pine groves. Although it is one of the lesser-known state parks, it is one of the top 50 state parks by National Geographic. It was once called the Black Forest due to the thick, evergreen forest cover.

The Cook Forest Association was formed for the express purpose of acquiring the whole tract of forest. This eventually became a national park, successfully preserving it for generations to come. Visitors to the park may hike through the many forest trails, or experience Cook Forest via the Clarion River. Go kayaking, canoeing, or tubing through the gentle, slow-moving river!

2. Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row is comprised of fifteen mansions, built along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. They were first built by the Schuylkill Navy in 1858 and have since been home to local rowing clubs at every level, from high school clubs to international-level athletes, and now as historic landmarks and the center of the rowing culture and community nationwide.

At night, the outlines of the houses are lit up by strings of lights and serve as a gorgeous backdrop for the river. Visitors looking to take beautiful pictures of the boathouses at night or during the day may visit, and those who wish to partake in the rich culture and history of the rowing community may immerse themselves during one of the many races that take place here.

3. Kinzua Bridge

Kinzua Bridge, Pennsylvania
Photo Credits: 106 Group

The Kinzua Bridge is a 30 feet tall, formerly 2,052 feet long trestle bridge, before the midsection got destroyed by a tornado in 2003. It served as a bridge for the railroad crossing Kinzua Creek.  However, rather than restore the bridge to its original length, the state opted to convert it into a destination site. The surroundings are a designated state park, and one of the most beautiful places to see in Pennsylvania.

Now, visitors can bask in the beauty of the surrounding nature and walk to the glass-floored observation deck at the end of the bridge, a prime viewing deck for the foliage in fall. Visitors may also spend the day in the shaded picnic area.

4. Cherry Springs State Park

As the second International Dark Sky Park and the first on the East Coast, the location of Cherry Springs State Park is isolated – but the view of the sky, with the Milky Way casting a visible shadow, is worth the drive. At night, over 10,000 stars are visible to the naked eye, when viewed during optimal conditions.

The park hosts two-star parties a year, and there are regular stargazing and educational programs for visitors year-round. It also offers camping, picnic facilities, and trails for biking, hiking, and snowmobiling in the winter. Cherry Springs State Park is home to many beautiful landmarks and its isolation proves to be its advantage for amateur astronomers or simply those who wish to see the stars more clearly.

5. Lancaster County

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Photo Credits: Pixels

It is home to the oldest Amish community in the US, and one of the most beautiful places to see in Pennsylvania. Sometimes called the Garden Spot of America, visitors can experience what farm life was like in America 150 years ago. The county leads the country in farmland preservation. Several groups work in partnership with landowners to preserve their farms and ways of life for future generations. The colorful, sprawling farmland, charming farmhouses and silos, and people driving a horse-and-buggy through town makes for a delightful visit.

Other attractions include the rhubarb festival, the maize maze, and Sertoma’s annual World’s Largest Chicken Barbecue. It is also home to the Susquehannock State Park, overlooking the Susquehanna River. There are three tracts of land which make up the William Penn State Forest. Lancaster County is a quaint place for visitors to experience history firsthand. Know what farming life was like in America one hundred and fifty years ago!

6. Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania
Photo Credits: Flickr | Paul McCarthy

Near the West Virginia/Maryland borders of Pennsylvania, Ohiopyle State Park is among the most frequented parks in the Keystone State. The park features several waterfalls such as Ohiopyle Falls, which is at the center of the park. The Cascades, a woodland waterfall near the park office popular for anglers, and the Meadow Run Water slides, which have unique formations ideal for exploration. Visitors can ride the natural water slides.

It also offers several outdoor activities such as camping, hiking trails, and hunting. However, another famous feature is the stretch of the Youghiogheny River that runs through it for 14 miles, providing some of the best whitewater rafting on the East Coast.

7. Pine Creek Gorge

Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania
Photo Credits: Nicholas A. Tonelli

The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania in north-central Pennsylvania takes up about 160,000 acres of the Tioga State Forest. 20,000 years ago, when Pine Creek flowed northeast, a receding continental glacier formed a natural dam of rocks and soil. This debris formed a lake, which is now near the present town of Ansonia. It overflowed the natural dam, which then flooded to the south. After many years, it formed a deep channel on its way to the Susquehanna River. During the fall, the trees flame into life along the water. It is truly a scenic place to stop and view nature.

Aside from the fact that Pennsylvania has a big role in America’s history, it is also home to many famous artists like Jeff Goldblum, Richard Gere, and Tina Fey. Famous writers like Ezra Pound, Louisa May Alcott, and Lloyd Alexander also have roots in the state.

The astounding beauty in its national landmarks, natural scenery, rich history, and impressive monuments show off the diversity of this state. You will never run out of things to do in the Keystone State. Visit the most beautiful places to see in Pennsylvania!

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