Although the Pine Creek Gorge was clearcut in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it is now covered by second growth forest, thanks in part to the conservation efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The park is named for Leonard Harrison, a Wellsboro lumberman who cut the timber there, then established the park, which he donated to the state in 1922. The CCC improved the park and built many of its original facilities. Since a successful publicity campaign in 1936, the park has been a popular tourist destination and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Leonard Harrison State Park was chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Parks for its "Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks" list, which praised its "spectacular vistas and a fabulous view of Pine Creek Gorge, also known as Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon".
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