Saturday, April 23, 2016

5 Things To Do In The Susquehanna Valley in May


Knoebels Opening Week-End
April 30-May 1st.  Hand Stamps are Buy One Get One Free that week-end.
There's so much more to do at Knoebels than just ride the rides. Although they do have some great rides there!
Check out the live Eagles, located beside the Black Diamond Ride. Tour the museum, which is also located in this area.Then if you haven't already, ride the Black Diamond Ride, it's easy to miss this one, as it's tucked away in the back, but it's a combination between a mild roller coaster and a mild haunted house with a lot of history thrown in.  It's my favorite ride in the park.  Then check out the shooting gallery - it's just simple old time fun, and it's pretty cheap too.


Both the Danville Heritage Festival, and the Danville Spring Fling are on May 7th this year.  I've never been to either - but hope to attend at least one this year.

Middleburg Heritage Festival
May 7, 2016 from 9:00am-4:00pm.
Please join us for a fun filled day of arts & crafts, antiques, historical walking tour, heritage exhibits, business displays, local entertainment, food stands, vintage cars and antique tractors. Free parking. Free Admission.  Location: Middleburg Fireman's Field
https://www.facebook.com/Middleburgheritagefestival/

Danville Spring Fling
Date: May 7, 2016
Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
The 30th annual Spring Fling is a family-friendly festival featuring homemade crafts, delicious food, and local non-profit organizations on Mill Street in downtown Danville.

T&D's Cats Of The World
 This is a photo I took while at T&D's, near Penns Creek.   I have a decent camera lens, but it's still pretty amazing how close you can get to these animals.  They are gorgeous.  T&D's is a wildlife refuge. Most of the animals here are rescues, & they are only open about to the public 40 days out of the year.  Please note that they accept Cash or Check only.  Admission is $10.   http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2014/09/t-ds-cats-of-world.html



Attend The 11th Annual Anthracite Heritage Festival
http://www.anthraciteheritage.com/
May 28th 2016, 10-5pm
Market St, Shamokin PA

This is another festival I have not yet attended.  But the description found here is intriguing:
http://www.festivalsinpa.com/anthracite-heritage-festival-of-the-arts/
"The arts are a plenty at the Anthracite Festival of the Arts and frankly the whole festival is alive with creativity.  Caricature booths are set up on street corners and children’s art hang like banners along the street.  Homemade chimes whistle and clank in the wind and amongst the artisan crafts are local – sometimes by children – homemade goods.  Of course, the whole town is alive with the festive excitement.  To fill in the anthracite portion of this equation, enter the Shamokin Heritage Museum and Fireman’s Museum.  Both are open during the festival.  Also open to the public is the Local Arts Studio, which exhibits paintings and photography by local artists"


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Bread Day in Turbotville for May 2016 will be May 9th
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2015/04/bread-day-in-turbotville.html
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Need More Ideas?

Nine Mostly Free Road Trips-  just an hour or two from our area:
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2016/04/9-cheap-road-trips-from-susquehanna.html

Some of our favorite Kayaking Trips
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/p/our-kayak-trips.html

Great places for Bike Rides
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/p/our-bike-trips.html

Check out one of the two new Escape Rooms in our area - 
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2016/04/escape-rooms-in-valley.html

Have you tried Geocaching yet?  www.geocaching.com  Geocaching can either take you to a guard rail or a lamp post, or to some of the most unique, fun, places in the area..  we usually do a mixture of both. It's a great way to discover new places to hike!

Don't forget to get your Amish made doughnuts every Friday & Saturday in Turbotville PA - 
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2015/04/doughnuts-amish-bakery-on-54-in.html





Escape Rooms in The Valley


We have two new Escape Rooms in our area.  Can U Xcape, in Bloomsburg, & Fantasy Escape Room, in Lewisburg.

General Escape Room Info & Tips

I'll save you the trouble of googling what an Escape Room is - 
 Escape rooms are a type of physical adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit.

Each room is different, and there is no telling what the puzzles may be.  Go in with an open mind, and look EVERY where.  Search for keys, passwords, puzzles that reveal codes...

One of the best tips, from my best friend who has visited these rooms in Tennessee, New York, and both of the ones in our area, is to set everything you find on the table.  As you use it, stick it under the table, so you know it's been used.  So if you find a puzzle, solve it, then use that puzzles answer to open a lock, put the puzzle under the table.

My tip is to watch groupon, and their facebook pages, for specials.These rooms are not cheap.  They usually run around $25 a person.  For an hour.  But it's so much fun, I didn't regret the expense at either place.  (Especially since I didn't pay full price at either place....)

I've seen groups of 2, and even ONE person, tackle escape rooms, but they did not win.  Rooms typically allow 8 people, and I don't know that I'd even attempt one with less than 4. There were 7 of us in the Bloomsburg room, and 6 in the Lewisburg room.  Six seems to be a good number. Not too crowded, but lots of people looking and working on puzzles at the same time.  The catch is, if you book a room for 6, unless you book a private room, two strangers can join you.  When you make a reservation, unless it is a private room, they can fill the room with up to 8 people.

Check out the FAQ page here, there's a lot of great info: http://www.canuxcape.com/faq/

Before I describe both of our experiences for you, I'll save you the suspense and tell you right off that we loved Can U Xscape, and we liked Fantasy Escape. The Bloomsburg set up is just a notch nicer.  Cleaner puzzles, a cleaner set up, a nicer photo area for when you come out, with nicer signs..  little touches that really just made the experience a bit better.   You can see the differences just in the two websites:




Can U Xcape, Bloomsburg Pa
 We visited Can U Xcape shortly after they opened. They are located at 95 East 10th st, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. Watch their website and facebook page, they are teaming up with a local restaurant to offer group deals and specials.

When you arrive, you walk into the area you see here, and sign waivers that are on clipboards.  The foyer here has a nice polished look and feel.  Our guide did a great job of describing the game & the rules.  Then we entered the Tornado Room.

In the Tornado Room, a tornado has occurred, so stuff is everywhere.  Through walls, upside down, tossed around...  We searched everywhere for keys, clues, etc, then opened locks with the found keys, and found combinations from the puzzles.  The puzzles here are really good.  There is a variety, some are quite unique. Some are easy, some a bit more challenging.  There was a great mix.  It's really very well done.

In this room, there's a bonus. If you find the first aid kit, AND escape, it shaves minutes off your time.  (We found the first aid kit)

We had a little trouble with the directional lock. The guide was paying attention and noticed this, he came in and made sure it was working correctly.  Our guide was really fantastic for this entire game.

Our only complaint was that the sound effects were a little loud and we often had trouble hearing each other over the background noise.  (There was no background noise in the cabin game in Lewisburg, but you could hear the office workers talking in the next room over - so a little background noise might have been a good idea there.) The noise went with the tornado theme.

At the end, we posed with the signs above.  A VERY nice touch! 

We had so much fun with this - I really loved it.  I  highly recommend this place, and we look forward to going back now that the steampunk room is open.  If you are going to choose between the two locations, I'm going to try to talk you into trying both.. but if you are definitely going to only pick one, choose Bloomsburg.

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Fantasy Escape Room, Lewisburg PA


We Escaped!  Barely!  

When this place first opened, we found a groupon deal and signed up almost immediately.  The groupon process worked great, and made this a really great deal.  We chose to do the Cabin room - 
"You are next of kin to Black Bart, who owned a gold mine and he passed away before telling you where the deed and map are to the gold mine.  You must find the map and the deed in his cabin that leads to the gold mine and register it at the Assay town office before closing time today or you will lose your rights to the claim.  The Assay town office closes at 1pm today.  You have 1 hour to find the deed, the map and register it with the Assay town office.  Can you do it? "

The Lewisburg Escape Room is located right beside the old CVS building on Main Street In Lewisburg.  You go down the steps, and there's an area with tables and a fake street lamp.  The first door was the locked Cabin Room, then the second door is the office, and I assume the hangover room is to the left of the office.  It's all a bit cluttered, and casual, and lacks the polished feel of the Bloomsburg building.. but that doesn't really effect the game.

We signed the waivers in the office, heard the short spiel with the rules and how the different locks worked, then we headed into the cabin room.

Where the Tornado room in bloomsburg was a bit loud for us (and granted, we're getting older...) the Cabin room in Lewisburg was dark.  We were not allowed to use our phone flashlights.  There was a reason for this, which I won't share because I don't want to spoil the room for you, but for those of us with older eyes, this definitely added to the challenge.

The props for this room were really top notch, there were some beautiful not quite antiques in here.  Except for one.  I picked up a crate to look under it for clues, and it's hard to tell in that light, but I'm pretty sure it had actual chicken poop on it.  (Remember, I live on a farm, and I own a few of those crates..  if it wasn't real - it was REALLY a good replica.)  That was a bit off putting, even for this farm girl.  

The second room (spoiler alert - there's always a second room.  In every escape room, there's a hidden room.  You'll find it eventually, there will be more clues there)  was just weird. After we solved the puzzles and had more time to think about it, it was even weirder.  I think they were trying so hard to add distractions that they got a bit carried away and lost sight of their theme. But the first room was pretty awesome.  :-)

There was a glitch with our game in Lewisburg that did not ruin the game for us, but did make it a little less fun. One of the drawers that should have been locked was not locked.  We spent a lot of time with one of the puzzles answers, trying to figure out why we needed the code, when in fact we did not need the code, because we had already opened that  drawer.  I don't know how much that really affected our game.

 The Lewisburg room also has "distractions" - games and clues that do not mean anything and are not used anywhere.  I don't care for that. It doesn't surprise me that so few people have escaped the rooms at Lewisburg, for that reason alone.  I think the distractions take some of the fun out of the game, and I, personally, much prefer the clean and simple games at Can U Xcape.  But that doesn't' mean I won't go back and try another room at Fantasy Escape, I did enjoy the room. It just means that if I have to choose between the two, I'll be headed to Bloomsburg.

This room also lost a few points, in my book, for arguing with me about the "appropriateness" of the hangover room for teens.  I understand you encouraging us to come back, that's your job, but when I tell you that I'm not bringing my teens back to participate in something called the Hangover Room because I don't think it's appropriate for them, please do not argue with me.  My kids.  My opinion.  Find another theme and we'll likely be back. But not if you continue to argue with me.

This is the description of the Hangover Room.  I'm not surprised it's very popular, especially in a college town, but it is not what I, personally, consider appropriate for teenagers.  And it's not really something I want to be associated with myself even.  That's my choice, no sense in arguing with me.  :-)

"About the Hangover
​​​You and a couple of friends went out last night and partied a little too hard.  You wake up in your college dorm room with a hangover and no recollection of what happened.  You need to find out what you did last night and get rid of the evidence before the dorm head catches you.  You have 1hr before the dorm head makes their rounds.  Can you find the evidence and escape in time?"

Keep in mind that this is a brand new place.  Be patient with them as they work out the kinks and improve.  I think it's awesome that they offered the groupon deal, giving a great discount while they  are still new and learning what works best.

=========================================

If you want to make a longer drive, our kids went to an Escape room in the Poconos that was REALLY cheap.  They had a great time.

There's a Can You Escape game for android on google play:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.mobigrow.canyouescape&hl=en
I haven't played it yet...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Herman & Luthers

We drive right past this place every Wednesday on our way to BSF.  When they first put out the "now open" sign, we had no idea what it was.  Then we did a little research, and we thought it was just a wedding venue.  It took us weeks to realize we could actually stop here for lunch. This week when we stopped, we noticed they have added the wording on the back of the truck, that may be helpful to others driving by.  :-)

 The Historic Barn that is now Herman & Luthers.  The black doors in the middle are where you enter for The Workshop - a deli.

This was the menu this week, when we stopped.  The menu changes every week.  You can find it on their facebook page each week - 

 We had my dog Molly with us (don't we always?) so we got the boxed lunches to go.    I love the presentation. My only disappointment was that the drinks are canned, not bottles.  Bottles of hanks soda would go so much better with this.

There is seating in the barn, if you would like to eat there.

 And this is what my meal, the ham americano with potato salad, looked like unwrapped.It was GOOD.  And the sandwiches are really loaded with meat.

Meg had the smothered beef.

The food was fantastic.

Watch their facebook page, they do special dinners for Valentines Day, Mothers Day, etc. They look to be amazing, and I hope to get to one of them later this year!




Thursday, April 14, 2016

5 Things to Do In The Susquehanna Valley In April


Beaver Run (Amish Run) Consignment Sale

This sale happens twice a year, April & September.  For years, it was a lot of fun and you could find some awesome bargains! For the past two years, it's been fun and the doughnuts are still amazing. But the prices overall have been ridiculously high.  Still, this is an event to see.  And the doughnuts are worth the trip!

There will be approximately 7 auctions on the ground occurring all at once.  Livestock, quilts, antiques, furniture, farm equipment, misc, plants...  this is all amish run, and the proceeds benefit their school, which must be the wealthiest school in the state by my calculations.  :-)

You can see some photos from the event here - http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2012/09/beaver-run-amish-consignment-sale-9112.html

April 16th 2016
From Turbotville, head east towards Washingtonville on 54.  Once you see the lawn furniture/sheds for sale on your left, it will be the next turn, also on your left.  There's a sign, it's usually well marked.  Once you turn left just keep driving, you can't miss all the cars parked in the fields for the sale.  :-)


Lewisburg Arts Festival

http://lewisburgpa.com/event/celebration-of-the-arts/
All of the main street is closed down, and tents are down the middle of the street, filled with artists work. In addition to that, there are food vendors in the park, and activities for the kids, performances around town... it's a great example of a small town festival done well.

Some photos from a past years arts Festival -
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2011/05/lewisburg-arts-festival.html

Saturday April 24th 2016, from 10am-5pm
Lewisburg PA.

Try An Escape Room

We now have TWO different escape rooms in our area. Fantasy Escape Room in Lewisburg Pa, & Can You Xcape in Bloomsburg PA.  We've done Can You Xscape, and it was awesome!  We have our reservations for Fantasy Escape, so I'll soon be able to compare the two.

The escape room concept is pretty simple.  They are themed.  The one we did was a Tornado room.  The room looked like a tornado had gone through, and an alert warned us that another tornado was coming.  We needed to escape the room before the tornado hit, which would be in exactly 60 minutes, as the game is an hour long.  :-)  You search the room for clues, hidden keys, puzzles...  then you solve the puzzles until you finally get to the final puzzle, which is the code to open the door and escape.

At no time were we actually locked into the room.  There were two doors - one that was locked, that we had to unlock to win the game, and one that was closed, but unlocked.  We could have walked out that door at any time.  Although I warned our team to use the bathroom before we began..  you really don't have time to spare, you have to work hard to get out in less than an hour.

These can be a bit pricey for families - it's about $25 a person.  The Lewisburg room has a really good special on groupon, and if you follow Can You Xcape's facebook page, they post coupons and special deals as well.



Plow Day

http://jdfanatics.com/gallery/album/7-pa-plow-day-2014/
Ok, so maybe this isn't one to do, so much as one to know really happens right here in our area.
There's camping, and food.  It's an all out festival.  And then they plow with lawn mowers.  I've seen the photos, but I've yet to see it in person..  I do hope to check it out this year.  No, I don't know why they plow with lawn mowers in an area inundated with plow horses and real tractors.  Probably just because they can.  :-)
Held this year on Friday April 15th and Saturday April 16th
In Dewart, PA - there are signs up right on main street, and plenty of signs to follow that will take you right to the grounds.

There's a facebook group here with all the details
https://www.facebook.com/groups/238908716442252/


Hike the Ricketts Glen Falls Trail

April is a great time for this hike, because the falls are usually very full in the spring.
22 waterfalls on an approximate 5 mile loop.
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2012/08/ricketts-glen-falls-trail.html
Or a shorter version, just seeing a few of the falls -
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2012/08/hiking-from-adams-falls-to-waters-meet.html

Need more ideas?
Here is my list of 9 mostly free road trips from our area:
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2016/04/9-cheap-road-trips-from-susquehanna.html

Or how about dinner at an amish farm?
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2016/04/two-sisters-amish-diner-turbotville-pa.html

And don't forget doughnut day in Turbotville, every friday and Saturday -
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2015/04/doughnuts-amish-bakery-on-54-in.html








Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Old City Hotel - Now The Hotel Edison

For some reason, I always thought of the Hotel Edison as a skeezy bar.  I have no idea where I got that idea, but it is very far from the truth.  It's very dated, yes, but in a wonderful way. Antique furniture and displays, a small museum in the foyer, and a general feel that this is how it could have looked in 1890.  Anyone thinking about hosting a murder mystery dinner should definitely check out this location, it's so perfect!
Menus & Specials are posted here:

 
The City Hotel was built by E.T. Drumheller in 1871. On July 4, 1883, it became the first building in the world to be illuminated using incandescent electric lights.

 "The Drumheller family owned the hotel into the 20th century, but on January 14, 1914, a fire destroyed a large portion of the building. The cause of the fire was never determined. After the fire, the family restored the building and changed its design and also added a fourth floor. The building had been known as the City Hotel for nearly 50 years, but in July 1922, Edison returned to Sunbury at the occasion of the city's Sesquicentennial and the dedication of a plaque at the entrance to the Edison Hotel." - http://pabook2.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/HotelEdison.html


This was the $5 lunch special, one of them, the day we were there.  Just $5.  And it was good. They also have a lunch buffet that I did not see. 





Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Evening News 
(Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)
3 Jul 1922, Mon • Page 12


Williamsport Sun-Gazette 
(Williamsport, Pennsylvania)
6 Jul 1883, Fri • Page 1


The Times 
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
6 Jul 1883, Fri • Page 4

There is a history of the hotel here:


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Two Sisters (Amish) Diner, Turbotville PA

Located 9 Yoder Lane, Turbotville PA
Call (570) 437-3976 for prices, menu, and reservations
This is by reservation only - and you must reserve for 10 or more people
(I cannot remember the price, does anyone happen to know?)

Looking for a true amish dining experience in our area? This is probably as close as you will find anywhere, without being invited into a private amish home.  "Diner" is a bit of a misnomer, Two sisters diner is a very small restaurant in the basement of an amish home in Turbotville PA.  


When we went a few years back, we made reservations for a large group of our extended family.  

Food is served "family style" and is very similar to what you will find on most tables for Sunday dinner around here.  So many of us are PA Dutch that the cooking is very similar.

===================================================
By Amanda Grossman-Scott

For The Daily Item

Sally and Rebecca Yoder are sisters and friends as well as business partners. They are also Amish. You won't find advertising for them on the web, as it is against their beliefs, but unlike many Amish, the Yoders want your attention. Specifically, they want you to find their out-of-the-way restaurant, Two Sisters Amish Cooking.

Located in Turbotville, the restaurant is off the beaten path. It's a far cry from the highly commercialized establishments one might find in Lancaster, an area which is known for its more visible Amish population.

"We had a call from a tour guide in Lancaster and she was looking for something ... not so commercialized to bring her groups to," said Rebecca Yoder.

Two Sisters is nothing if not authentic, right down to the kerosene lamp lighting and gas-powered stove. One main room with one long table, meals are served family-style just as the Yoder sisters have been serving meals all of their lives.

The Yoders also sell jars of goodies like red beat eggs and pickles, crafts and their very own cookbook, now in its second printing. Also available are cheeses made by the Yoders' niece. In fact, the restaurant has become something of a group effort, with the beef bought from one brother, crafts made by another brother and vegetables home-grown by the sisters themselves when possible.

After the meal, guests enjoy traditional hymns and German songs sung by other family members of the Yoder sisters.

Rebecca Yoder does most of the cooking using all of her own recipes. She learned at her mother's knee. Sally doesn't enjoy cooking as much, but she acts as more of a prep cook and hostess. She also bakes the bread. "Everybody loves Sally's bread," remarked Rebecca.

Sharing their cooking with others has been a dream of the Yoder sisters for years. Neither had children of their own, but both have helped in the raising of 15 nieces and nephews so far, and are accustomed to cooking large quantities of food. The Yoder sisters, who are two of six children in their family, have been house cleaners and contributed to their household in other ways for years, but wanted something of their own.

After their father died a few years ago, Rebecca told Sally she would like to pursue her dream of serving meals to the public.

"I said, 'Go for it!,'" laughed Sally. Two Sisters was born.

By reservation only

Two Sisters requires reservations and those reservations must be for a party of 10 or more. The Yoders book reservations weeks, sometimes months, in advance ... and not just for dinner. Brunch and lunch meals are available as well.

Bring your appetite. A typical meal begins with "chow chow," Sally's specialty that includes carrots and pickles in a tangy juice. There is fresh-baked bread and peanut butter spread. Diners choose two meat dishes from four the Yoders offer. Most often requested is meatloaf with sides of mashed potatoes, homemade noodles or stuffing and salad with warm bacon dressing or veggies and of course, dessert.

"I almost always make at least two kinds of pie," said Rebecca. She also gets requests for traditional Amish treats like shoo fly pie but the most often requested is Lemon Sponge pie.

The Yoders have hosted everything from birthday parties to rehearsal dinners to large family parties in the year they have been operating.

The sisters boast guests from all over the country and they have hosted international guests from Thailand as well as Saudi Arabia, for whom the Yoders had the experience of preparing a kosher meal.

A map pocked with push pins in the dining room lets diners leave their mark at Two Sisters. Both enjoy meeting people from other cultures and think they may have something unique to offer, too.

"I guess our culture might be considered different ... so that's why I enjoy knowing about other people's cultures," Rebecca said.

It is not often the Amish invite people in to observe their culture with as much comfort as the Yoders do. It helps that they have had positive experiences in their tenure.

"People are very respectful ... I haven't seen anyone step over the boundaries yet," said Rebecca.


9 Mostly Free Road Trips From The Susquehanna Valley

Recently I was asked for some ideas for a cheap road trip from our area, and since I was thinking of the list, I might as well take the time to type it up here so it's handy.  I'm going to compile two lists - one of 10 Cheap Road Trips, and another of 10 things To Check Out In The Susquehanna Valley In April.  I'm always baffled by those who say there is "nothing to do" around here - we live in an amazing area.  Most of these trips are about an hour away - the Elk are two hours, but well worth the extra driving.

Ricketts Glen
The Waterfall Loop at Ricketts Glen will always top my list.  If you are not up to the full hike, try parking at Adams Falls (my favorite of all the waterfalls - and it's right beside the parking lot!) and hiking up to Waters Meet. You'll see a few falls, and it's a pretty easy hike.


Ricketts Glen State Park is located near Benton PA, and is less than an hour away from Watsontown Pa.




Graffiti Highway, Centralia PA
Centralia is the town with the underground fires. I remember visiting when I was a teen, and most of the town was still there - but these days, it's mostly empty grass lots, with a lot of dirt bikes and rvs using the area.  It's still interesting to see.  One of the most popular sites left is graffiti highway.  A new highway had to be run, the old one was too damaged by the underground fires. The abandoned strip has become a popular place for graffiti artists.
Try typing "PA 61 (Destroyed), Ashland, PA 17921" into google maps, and it should take you to the area.  These gps coord will get you there too - N 40° 47.797 W 076° 20.519 






The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon
While in the area, downtown Wellsboro is a nice place.  Antique stores, little shops, small restaurants, and the Wynken Blynken & Nod fountain. They have a walking tour, and if you are a geocacher, there's a wherigo for the town.
The PA Grand Canyon overlook is located in Leonard Harrison State Park.  (The park pretty much IS the overlook).  They have different activities and vendors and exhibits throughout the year.

The Wynken Blynken & Nod Statue fountain is one of my favorite things in our area.






The Elk In Benezette
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2012/10/visiting-elk-in-benezette.html

Both times that we have made this trip it has been in the fall, but spring is the best time to see the new babies.

This trip is a bit further - it's a 2 hour drive from Watsontown PA.  But it's always been worth the drive for us.

The Elk County Visitors Center has all the informtion you need to plan your trip:
http://elkcountryvisitorcenter.com/drupal/  and their facebook page is really informative too -
https://www.facebook.com/ElkCountryVisitorCenter/




The Seven Tubs Natural Area
This is a pretty, nice, 2.6 mile hike right in Wilkes Barre PA
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2014/04/7-tubs-natural-area.html  The tubs are unique - and there are lots of pretty falls and bridges and things to see here.

We did this hike in the winter, while in the area for another event, I'd love to go back and see this when there is not snow on the ground.   But then, I've read that a lot of people swim and slide in the chutes and falls there, and I'm not fond of crowds in bathing suits getting in the way of my photos, so perhaps winter is the best time for me to see these.  Or early spring, when it's too cold to swim in them.


Address: Bear Creek Blvd, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706



French Azilum & The Marie Antoinette Overlook
http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2015/09/french-azilum-marie-antoinette-overlook.html

During the french revolution, around 1793, french aristocrats left the violence of their country, and settled in rural Bradford County PA.  They stayed for 10 years, until 1803, when Napoleon Bonaparte gained control of his country and offered amnesty for the nobles to return.

French Azilum is located at 469 Queens Road, Towanda, PA 18848.  It's about an hour and 20 minutes from Watsontown PA.  Pay attention to the hours - we were there when it was closed, and while we could walk around the area, we could tour the buildings.  I'd love to go back and see inside the house!  It's free when they are closed though. :-)  While in the area, check out the nearby overlooks.  They are gorgeous. 
 http://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2015/09/overlooks-near-route-6-wyalusing-pa.html

http://www.frenchazilum.com/



Worlds End State Park
There's a gorgeous overlook here, that rivals the one at Leonard Harrison.  Directly behind it is a huge Rock Garden you can climb on and walk through, almost directly behind the overlook.  And there's also a great little flat trail that leads to a waterfall.

And after all of that, it's just a quick trip over to the Forksville Covered Bridge & General Store, where you can get ice cream and old fashioned bottled sodas.  I'm not sure how much has changed since the gas company has been up that way, but it used to be that this spot was about the only place our phones had service.
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/worldsend/

Look how little the kids are!  In the Rock Garden, 2002 --->


Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/hickoryrun/
Boulder Field is a National Historic Landmark.  It's a huge field of boulders you can walk across and explore.  Much smaller than the stones at world end, the ones at worlds end are the size of large trucks. But these are still large, and its an interesting site to see. There are lots of other things to see at Hickory Run too, including the beautiful Hawk falls.

The photo here doesn't even begin to show you how large this area is..  it's huge.  Some of the stones are painted - graffiti has been a problem here unfortunately. But there are also some pretty ones, like a turtle, that you may discover as you walk here.

Hickory Run is about an hour and a half  from Watsontown Pa.



The Millersburg Ferry
http://www.millersburgferry.org/
"Nestled among the beautiful mountains of Central Pennsylvania is the historic town of Millersburg, home to the last known all wooden double stern-wheel paddle boats believed to be operating in this country.  The Millersburg Ferry Boat is the oldest transportation system in Pennsylvania.  Ride the ferry across the scenic mile wide Susquehanna River and relive a part of transportation history."
When the kids were little, they got a kick out of taking the van on the ferry.. but you can go just as a passenger without your car too. There is a small fee - around $8 for vehicle & driver, with an extra $3 per a passenger..  or $5 for just a person round trip.

There's not much in Millersburg, but it is an interesting little town to walk around, with a park in the town square an a couple of small stores.  From here it is only another 15 minutes to Lake Tobias Animal Park, or another 20 minutes to the Old Sled Works



Trips On My List For This Year:
A few places I have not yet been, but hope to visit this year.
Cement Houses, Nanticoke PA
Sullivan County Game lands Falls
Bradford Teapot
Kinzua Bridge
Ringing Rocks
The Reading Pagoda