Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stop here!

If you are ever traveling in the northern part of Pennsylvania on Route 15, make sure you take a rest stop at the US 15 Tioga Welcome Center.  While traveling the husband/driver and I often pass right by the various welcome centers on our way, but this one is a "must stop here" location.  In fact, just put it on your travel itinerary for this region - it's that good.

While camping last fall in the Tioga-Hammond Lakes campground, we decided to make a trip into Mansfield, Pennsylvania to look for a recommended lunch spot.  On the way we decided to pull into this welcome center, and boy were we glad we did.  It actually was the highlight of our day.

It's built like a large lodge, and it will supply you with every pamphlet or bit of information you could possibly want about any area of the state.  Rangers were there, too, to answer any questions about happenings in the local area.  We had seen some bald eagles the day before, and the rangers clued us in on where to look for their nests and regular roosting places.

The inside of this place is cavernous, and decorative areas were set up to inform visitors about many different facets of what this great state has to offer.  If you are into trains and railroads, there is an exhibit for you.  Those of you that like to hit every vineyard on your travels will find information and maps for that too.  Farming, museums, markets, crafts, industry,wildlife - it seemed there was a corner or a resource area for each.  There was even a play area stocked with educational toys to amuse the kiddies while they wait for their parents.

Of course the restrooms were pristine, and vending machines offering snacks and drinks were conveniently located in there too.

Passing through the building and exiting to its rear offered us gorgeous views looking out over the lakes and valleys of this area.

This overlook also offers great photo opportunities of the Tioga and Hammond Lakes, a project of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.  Camping at the Ives Run Campground along the shores of the Hammond Lake is probably my favorite place to camp among all the campgrounds we have camped at in Pennsylvania.

We stretched our legs a bit, nosed around, had some fun....

and then came across this:

The rangers explained that a local man loaned this Pennsylvania elk mount to the visitors center as a temporary display.  I would love to see one of these in the wild.  Obviously these animals can get quite large.  

All in all, this visitor center is definitely worth a look-see.  Don't miss it if you are in the area!


  1. That is a great rest stop. It sure has lots of information and exhibits.

  2. excellent rest area!!! will put it on our stop list...

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