Seven Tubs Natural Area, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania USA

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This 527-acre park in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania is devoted to a rather unique natural feature that was created during the last ice age some 12,000 years ago.

During the most recent ice age the Wisconsinan glacier covered much of northeastern Pennsylvania, including almost all of Luzerne County. As the ice melted, water poured through cracks in the ice and scoured the underlying rock layers and created a feature known as potholes. In Luzerne County, a series of seven potholes were formed as the ice retreated. The largest of these potholes is 30 feet across and 20 feet deep.

As the weight of the ice was removed from the area, the surface of the earth rebounded upwards, allowing a stream to carve a deep gorge in the area of the potholes. Today, the seven ‘tubs’ and stream are part of a natural area managed by the Luzerne County Parks Department.

A paved trail leads from the parking area to a bridge which spans Wheelbarrow Run and provides great views of the gorge (known locally as Whirlpool Canyon). This trail is an easy walk and is wheelchair accessible. Stairs descend from the trail to the floor of the gorge and it is possible to hike downstream to where Wheelbarrow Run joins with the larger Laurel Run.

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