[as always, please click on photos to enhance image]
Two of the six major watershed divides in North America meet at a point near my home. The St. Lawrence and the Eastern Continental divides lock together on a hill near Gold, Pennsylvania. This 2502-foot hill in Potter County (occasionally referred to as “Headwaters Mountain”) has a triple watershed divide. The hill gives rise to three of my favorite trout streams: the Genesee River, the Allegheny River, and Pine Creek.
The Genesee River flows northward from the hill (oddly enough) into New York State and empties into Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence seaway. The Allegheny River flows westerly from the hill for 325 miles to merge with the Monongahela in Pittsburgh, thus forming the big Ohio. The Allegheny-Ohio merges with the Mississippi and bottoms out in the Gulf of Mexico. Pine Creek has a southerly flow from the hill to mingle with the West Branch Susquehanna and, later, the Chesapeake Bay. Pine Creek, 87 miles long, has been referred to as “the biggest creek in the U.S.”
The headwaters of these streams form the only triple divide point east of the Mississippi. The only other triple divide point in America, as far as I’m aware, is located in Glacier National Park. Each of the rivers forming on the hill near Gold, PA has a beauty all its own. New York’s Genesee has Letchworth State Park, the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Pine Creek has an equally impressive canyon southwest of Wellsboro. The Allegheny River has a stretch of “wild and scenic water.” It’s a great area for a trout-bumming, rivertop-rambling person to explore.
Over the years I’ve watched these rivers rise in my thoughts and care. As the new year develops I’ll revisit them and share the miles with you.