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 Pine Creek Gorge

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PostSubject: Pine Creek Gorge   February 26th 2011, 12:20 am

The Pennsylvania Geographic Board dropped the word "Forest" and officially named it "Colton Point State Park" on November 11, 1954.[25] The first major change in the park was in 1970, when a camping area was established. That same decade saw the completion of a new water system in 1973, and a holding tank dump station was added to the camping area in 1977.[27] A park office was built in 1983,[21] but as of 2009 the park headquarters are in the adjoining Leonard Harrison State Park and the Colton Point office does not appear on the official park map.[28] Pine Creek was named a state scenic river on December 4, 1992, which ensured further protection of Pine Creek Gorge in its natural state.[31] In 2000 the park became part of the Hills Creek State Park complex, an administrative grouping of eight state parks in Potter and Tioga counties.[32] As of 2004, the park does not have telephone or electrical lines, although it uses solar cells for limited electricity needs.[27]

The second half of the 20th century also saw significant changes to the rail line through the Pine Creek Gorge. Regular passenger service on the canyon line ended after the Second World War, and in 1960 the second set of train tracks was removed.[33] Conrail abandoned the section of the railroad that passed through the gorge on September 21, 1988. The right-of-way eventually became the Pine Creek Rail Trail, which follows the path of the former Pine Creek Path.[27][33] The first section of the rail trail opened in 1996 and included the 1-mile (1.6 km) section in the park: as of 2008 the Pine Creek Rail Trail is 63.5 miles (102.2 km) long.[23]

Colton Point State Park continued to attract national attention in the post-war era. The New York Times featured the park and its "breath-taking views of the gorge" as well as its trails and location in the wilds of the state forest in a 1950 article,[34] and in 1966 praised the whitewater boating on Pine Creek and the park's "outstanding look-out points".[26] The Pine Creek Gorge, including Colton Point and Leonard Harrison State Parks and a 12-mile (19 km) section of Tioga State Forest, was named a National Natural Landmark (NNL) in April 1968.[35] A 1973 New York Times article on whitewater canoeing noted the damage along Pine Creek done by Hurricane Agnes the year before.[36] Another Times story in 2002 noted the park for its beauty and wildlife, and cited it as a starting point for hiking the West Rim Trail.[37]

In the new millennium, the two state parks on either side of the Pine Creek Gorge are frequently treated as one. A 2002 New York Times article called Colton Point and Leonard Harrison state parks "Two State Parks, Divided by a Canyon" and noted their "overlooks offer the most spectacular views".[38] Colton Point and Leonard Harrison were each part of the twenty-one state parks chosen by the DCNR Pennsylvania Bureau of Parks for its "Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks" list. They are the only two parks treated as one unit for the list. The DCNR describes the parks together, noting how they "offer spectacular vistas and a fabulous view of Pine Creek Gorge, also known as Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon".[3] It goes on to praise their inclusion in a National Natural Landmark and State Park Natural Area, hiking and trails, and the Pine Creek Rail Trail and bicycling.[3]Bulova Ladies Watches
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