Pine Creek is named for the many pine trees that lined (and now again line) much of its banks.[1] The Iroquois called Pine Creek “Tiadaghton”, which according to Owlett, either meant “The River of Pines” or “The Lost or Bewildered River.” Pine Creek is the largest “creek” in the United States.[2]

Pine Creek's source is in Potter County, 5 mi (8 km) southeast of Ulysses. It flows southeast 16 mi (25.7 km) to Galeton, where it receives its first major tributary, the West Branch Pine Creek. It then flows east 12 mi (19.3 km) to Tioga County and the village of Ansonia. Here it and receives its second major tributary, Marsh Creek and turns south again for 16 mi (25.7 km). This stretch is the start of the Pine Creek Gorge, which is about 1000 feet (305 meters) deep in places.

At the village of Blackwell, Pine Creek receives its third major tributary, Babb Creek. It continues southwest 14 mi (22.5 km) and enters Lycoming County, where it turns southeast for 28 mi (45.0 km) to its mouth. At Waterville it receives its fourth major tributary, Little Pine Creek. Pine Creek continues south and forms part of the border between Lycoming and Clinton Counties.

Its confluence with the West Branch Susquehanna River is at this border, between the boroughs of Avis (in Clinton County, to the west) and Jersey Shore (in Lycoming County, to the east). 

Pine Creek

The elevation at the source of Pine Creek is 2420 ft (738 m), while the mouth is at an elevation of 520 ft (158 m). The difference in elevation (1900 ft or 580 m) divided by the length of the creek of (86.5 mi or 139 km) gives the average drop in elevation per unit length of creek or relief ratio of 22.0 ft/mi (4.2 m/km ). The meander ratio is 1.08, so the creek is fairly straight in its bed.Watershed

Pine Creek's watershed covers 979 mi² (2536 km²), the largest watershed of all tributaries of the West Branch Susquehanna River.


Pine Creek and its gorge are a popular outdoor recreation destination known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. The West Rim Trail is a 30 mi (50 km) hiking trail along the west rim of the Pine Creek Gorge.

The Pine Creek Rail Trail runs beside the creek through the gorge from Ansonia to Jersey Shore. The railroad through the gorge opened in 1883 as the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo Railway, passing into the control of the Fall Brook Coal Company in 1884, and the New York Central Railroad via a lease in 1899, with full integration into the NYC in 1914. Conrail took over the line in 1976 and the last train ran through the gorge on October 7, 1988.