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Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Northern Pennsylvania: Enjoy these super stops on Route 6

National Geographic called U.S. Route 6 “one of America’s most scenic drives” for a reason. Traveling this tranquil highway yields historic sites, forgotten gems of natural beauty and fall foliage you have to see to believe. From Sheffield to Dalton, discover the pristine beauty of the still-wild Northern Tier.

214.6 miles, 5 hours, 54 minutes

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Sheffield

Starting Point

Once one of the great lumber towns east of the Mississippi, Sheffield’s legacy lives on during October’s Johnny Appleseed Festival. With professional lumberjack and chainsaw competitions, as well as apple-pie-eating contests and a chili cook-off, it’s classic Americana that the whole family can enjoy. Thankfully, the festival is in autumn, so visitors will also be treated to some of the finest fall foliage in the state. Start by exploring Minister Creek Trail, a six-mile loop that’s welcoming to beginners, but challenging enough for experienced hikers.


2. Coudersport

67.7 miles, 1 hour, 51 minutes

Stargazers, rejoice. The seclusion of Cherry Springs State Park—and lack of light pollution—results in skies that burst with constellations. Amateur stargazers are encouraged to bring their binoculars and telescopes to the Night Sky Viewing Area just north of Route 44. There are kiosks and information booths to help you get started, but remember to keep your flashlight pointed down. For more serious stargazers, the Astronomy Field is located on the top of the mountain, offering a 360-degree view of the night sky. As one of the last great refuges for the night sky on the east coast, you’re sure to see something spectacular.


3. Mansfield

55.7 miles, 1 hour, 27 minutes

With three state parks, seven lakes and Pennsylvania’s own “Grand Canyon” to its name, the Northern Tier of the state is a popular destination for outdoor lovers. Hike the Turkey Path Trail in Leonard Harrison State Park as it winds past waterfalls and leads to the Pine Creek Gorge. At nearly 1,500 feet and 47 miles long, the gorge is truly one of a kind. In nearby Wellsboro Junction, hop on the Pine Creek Rail Trail for what’s been called “one of the 10 great places to take a bike tour.” The trail heads south for over 60 miles and is largely flat the entire way, allowing you to take in the breathtaking scenery without losing your own.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Tunkhannock

77.2 miles, 2 hours, 8 minutes

With the Susquehanna River on one side and the Endless Mountains on the other, this stop will spoil you. Paddlers will relish the 53-mile stretch of river known as the Water Trail, which provides intimate access to the historic landscape. Birding, fishing and hiking are also popular here, so be sure to pick up a map and guide in town. For a glimpse into the rugged beauty of the Endless Mountain region, try Worlds End State Park—the Canyon Vista and Worlds End trails never disappoint. After a day in the wild, the art deco Dietrich Theatre in Tunkhannock is the ideal place to relax. There’s always something happening at this historic movie venue and cultural hotspot.


5. Dalton

14 miles, 28 minutes

The gateway to Lackawanna State Park, Dalton welcomes both seasoned outdoors lovers and those just looking to get their feet wet. Start with a dip in Lackawanna Lake, surrounded by picnic areas, multi-use trails and plenty of opportunities for paddling, fishing and swimming. Popular with hikers and bikers, the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail spans 70-miles and numerous communities as it winds along old rail and cold mining routes. Take a quick trip into nearby Scranton for a visit to the Steamtown National Historic Site or Scranton Iron Furnaces to learn more about the influence of mining and the railroad on the area, or simply relax at one of the exciting new restaurants in this up-and-coming city.