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Seven Tubs Nature Area: Waterfalls & Hiking near Wilkes Barre

Seven Tubs Nature Area gives a nice glimpse into the rugged terrain on PA 115 between Wilkes Barre and the PA Turnpike. This rugged section of road always impressed me driving through it. We opted to check out the Seven Tubs Nature Area as a quick morning stop. It is definitely a nice little quick jaunt if you happen to be in the Wilkes Barre Area. 
The nature area consists of 500 acres across a steep gorge, with a series of small waterfalls cut through the sandstone bedrock of the area. There are well developed trails through the gorge, though I cannot imagine them being able to handle huge crowds. I have heard discussion across the web about the trails getting pretty crowded, and evidence of that could definitely be seen in the small parking area. There were about ten cars in the parking area, and this was at about 9:00 in the morning. The parking area can probably handle about 30-50 cars. Any more people than that and you would likely practically be walking in a queue line through the trails, not to mention practically unable to social distance, and while this destination is cool to see, it is not worth that kind of effort. 

The facilities and the tight gorge are just not able to handle that sort of onslaught of people. It seems like the most logical way to limit people at the gorge is to turn people away once the parking lot gets full but according to what the DCNR is saying, it seems like that is just not enough. Limit spots and direct people to other local area parks. I wonder if the answer to places with crowding issues, like here and Ricketts Glen, could be with reservation times? I don't know how the infrastructure could be put in place like that, but to preserve these places for future enjoyment and as natural habitats, something will have to change. The state and municipalities have straight up closed some great places to the public specifically because of overcrowding, major injuries/deaths with visitors, and vandalism. Places like Glen Onoko Falls, Marshalls Falls, and Swatara Falls have been wrecked due to a mix of things. These things include overzealous bloggers out to make a buck that bring outsized internet attention to places with a lack of infrastructure and facilities built to handle those crowds. Even in a place like Seven Tubs that have some infrastructure, there comes a point where those facilities quickly reach capacity simply due to the fact that the location itself has a limited amount of space. As with any outdoor destination, the best times to go to avoid crowds are early in the morning and/or on weekdays. Seven Tubs Nature Area is a great place to go to blow off some steam after a day at work to take a nice little walk through the woods and let your dog wade a little bit in the creek. 
The trailhead is easy to find, but make sure you are heading outbound from Wilkes Barre on PA 115. There is a small trailhead that leads to steps to take you down into the gorge. The gorge is pretty neat in that the weathered sandstone and limestone is smooth and there are seven distinct potholes at the base of each of the 10-15 foot waterfalls. 
A map outlining the 2.1 miles of hiking trails at Seven Tubs. The Audubon Trail is 1.8 miles long, but the most scenic points are located on a 0.3 mile stretch near the parking area. 
CeCe was beside herself when it came to wading in the water.
I think the coolest aspect of the Seven Tubs Nature Area is the smooth weathering on the rocks.
A view from the top of the bridge that crosses over the main portion of Wheelbarrow Run.
If you are in the Wilkes Barre area or Passing through, Seven Tubs Nature Area is definitely worth a stop. If we lived around Seven Tubs, you would surely find us there on a weekday after work. It is just the right kind of place to go to spend an hour or two and relax. We need to fight to preserve places like this, which greatly benefit the community.

1 comment :

  1. Hi I'm from the area. A couple friends and I went years ago to the spot you have pictured (picture #6) with the wide flat rock slide. I know it's through the tunnel and across the train tracks somewhere. I have been trying find it ever since. I'm making my summer goal my mission is to find it again. If you remember the way to that spot please help me out. It's been on my mind for over 7 years.


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