Camping Confidential: Stony Fork Creek Campground

The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania is located in the historic town of Wellsboro, Pa. There are a few campground options, but the Adventurtunity Family chose Stony Fork Creek Campground. Learn about their experience here.

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By Adventurtunity Family
Camp Ambassador
(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

When we departed from Maryland to live full-time on the road, we were like kids at Christmas, full of excitement and anticipation for all of the wonderful adventures we would have together as a family! But we were also very green to the whole camping scene. With only two short camping trips (in our still very new to us motor home) under our belts, we decided to start off slowly. Our goal was to get out West and experience the vast views and mountains. But instead of trying to attempt long, coffee-fueled drives, we decided to take our time, and our journey began in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania. From there, we moved west through the state.

At that time, we didn’t have a set agenda of where to go or what we wanted to see while in Pennsylvania. We also didn’t have a list of “must-haves” at campgrounds, so we would search for a few things to do in Pennsylvania and check out places that piqued our interest. Through our searching, we came across the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. We had never actually heard of such a place, but the clever name worked, and we absolutely wanted to check it out! Turns out it is located in the historic town of Wellsboro, Pa., which also had a few campgrounds in the area. We chose to stay at Stony Fork Creek Campground, about 20 minutes outside of the downtown area. The campground is accessible through a few country roads and nestled between two mountain ranges.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

While we didn’t plan it intentionally, we happened to be traveling right as the fall foliage was hitting its peak. Both to the right and left of the campground were rolling waves of the most vibrant hues of golden yellow, orange and red leaves. Right from the start, Stony Fork Creek captured our hearts with its beautiful views and perfect fall temperatures.

Stony Fork Creek properly gets its name from the rolling creek adjacent to the campground. Many permanent park model homes and seasonal sites are peppered along the creek. The campground has over 200 sites available for every type of camper. In addition to the seasonal sites, you’ll find primitive tent sites, electric and water only, as well as full hookup sites. And with each different site type is an appropriate overnight cost.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

The campground does have a website with a site map and other detailed information; however, you are not able to book online, so we called to reserve a spot. We booked a few days in a full hookup site and naively didn’t pay attention to our given site number. When we arrived, we thought our site was great with the view of the field and playground. What we didn’t realize at first was that we were right next to the dump station. That means when campers without full hookups were leaving, they would come next to us and dump their waste tanks. Not exactly ideal, but also not the worst. It was actually a great learning experience for us to pay closer attention to our campsite locations.

The campground was really well-maintained and had multiple playgrounds for kids and open-field areas for playing or group camping. The weekend we were there they were hosting a pretty good-size music festival on the far end of the property. We did not attend the festival, but the music wafted over the grounds and made for a great atmosphere to hang out and enjoy a campfire! And we met some really cool people just walking around and riding bikes.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

There is a huge pond in the center of the property where they held a weekend fishing contest for the campers. It was also a peaceful place to sit and enjoy morning coffee while taking in the view of the colorful trees on the mountainside reflecting in the water. They also have a pool on-site, which is always a plus, but it had closed for the season when we were visiting. Additionally, they have a camp store with firewood, sweet treats, essentials and souvenirs. One thing we do need to mention is that the campground Wi-Fi was not very good, and it got even worse when more campers showed up for the weekend. Cell signal was all but nonexistent in the valley, so we had to drive to town to get some work done. But if you’re looking for a place to unplug and really enjoy nature, this is it!

Being surrounded by nature and off the beaten path was both refreshing and relaxing. Next to the campground was a gravel road that you could walk or drive that took you to hiking trails. We took an afternoon and just adventured near the campground. It was a beautiful area, and along the creek we found cool rocks, a small waterfall and tons of mini frogs. Our son had a blast catching and releasing the tiny frogs!

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

Our main reason for visiting Stony Fork Creek Campground was the Pine Creek Gorge, also known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. It’s not quite what you’d picture from the description since it’s not a rocky canyon like the actual Grand Canyon in Arizona is. While it is large, it’s a tree-covered canyon, so the visual appeal is vastly different. About 20 minutes from the campground, you can hike or bike through the Pine Creek Gorge area along the extensive trail system. We drove to the Lookout Tower for an absolutely breathtaking view and then hiked along some of the nearby trails. Like I said, we accidentally timed our visit perfectly within the peak fall leaf season and were in awe of the natural beauty of the changing leaves. It looked like a giant quilt had been draped across the canyon and surrounding mountains.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

Even though we were only in the area for a few days, we made sure to spend time in the downtown area of Wellsboro. Known for its Christmas on Main Street and Dickens of a Christmas Celebrations, the town looked like you just stepped onto the set of a Hallmark movie. One of the coolest parts was the gas streetlights along the median of the main street. Still operating on gas, the lamps add to the historic charm of the town. And, once adorned with bows and wreaths, they really bring the Christmas celebrations to life! The streets were clean, and the main street was lined with local shops and restaurants that led to the historical town park and chamber of commerce building. We grabbed a few bagels and enjoyed lunch in the park. Our son made friends with a few other kids, and they had a blast building huge leaf piles and jumping in them!

On one evening, we enjoyed dinner at a restaurant called Red Skillet, which we highly recommend. The food was amazing, and small-town hospitality is always a treat! They even have outdoor seating along Main Street for when the weather is nice. One thing we learned quickly is that small-town restaurants and shops tend to close early during the week and are often closed altogether on Sundays. Just something to keep in mind when visiting.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

It’s towns like Wellsboro, and campgrounds like Stony Fork Creek, that continue to feed our love for local businesses and small-town America. Even though it was one of our first stops on our journey, we still talk about this area and plan to visit again — hopefully during the holidays!

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