Nestled in the heart of Central Pennsylvania, Columbia and Montour counties are renowned for their rural beauty and outstanding adventure opportunities. The local landscape is comprised of idyllic river valleys, rolling hills, green farmlands, charming communities, forests, parks, and state gamelands. One must-see attraction is Ricketts Glen State Park, where hikers can enjoy a vast network of trails that take them past twenty-two stunning waterfalls. The area boasts beautiful rails-to-trails for walking and biking as well as high-caliber races for the fierce competitors.
The Montour Preserve is also an outdoor enthusiast’s dream with a 165-acre lake perfect for fishing and boating, a bird sanctuary, maple sugaring in the early spring, and plenty of great hiking trails. For history buffs and archaeology lovers, a one-acre exposed Mahantango shale pit at the Preserve is open to the public for finders-keepers fossil hunting from dawn until dusk.
The Susquehanna River weaves directly though the counties and is a perfect location for a leisurely kayak, canoe, or tubing excursion. For those who crave a different kind of adventure, the ghost town of Centralia is located in the southernmost part of Columbia County. Centralia is internationally known for the famous mine fire continually-burning below the town. The fire was started in the 1960s and has been burning for over 40 years. Visitors can see the vestiges of what used to be a bustling coal town, including an abandoned stretch of highway that now is covered in graffiti.
Nostalgia is heavy in the air at Knoebels Amusement Resort, where the old-fashioned rides and secluded woodland setting evokes sweet memories of childhood. Knoebels has no entrance fee and offers free parking. The park was recently named the “Favorite Traditional Amusement Park” in the country.
Columbia & Montour counties are also home to twenty-five covered bridges. Picturesque and historic, these “kissing bridges” recall a time when life was simpler and closer to the land. Symbols of small-town America, these covered bridges coax travelers off the beaten path to explore little streams and forgotten dirt roads.
For those looking for more time to rest and renew, the counties offer plenty of lodging accommodations that are sure to make you want to stay an extra day. There are over a dozen bed & breakfast options as well as a number of hotels, motels, and campgrounds. After a tasty home-cooked breakfast, visitors can set out for a day of downtown shopping or antiquing. Alternatively, an early stop at a local farmer’s market could lead to a day spent enjoying local flavors at any of the area’s wineries or craft breweries. The recently unveiled River Rat Brew Trail is Central Pennsylvania’s only craft beer trail and encompasses eleven enterprising breweries with countless specialty drafts.
From the earliest blossoms of spring to the last leaves of autumn, the counties have no shortage of fun in store for an unforgettable getaway!
To request a free Travel Guide and to get more information, visit: www.iTourColumbiaMontour.com.
You may also contact the Visitors Bureau by calling 1-800-847-4810.