Discover Southern New York's & Northern Pennsylvania's Twin Tiers

Explore Outdoor Adventures, Small Towns, History
& More in the Penn-York Valley & Surrounding Areas


The Southern Tier of New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania make up what’s known as the “Twin Tiers” region. This not only includes the Penn-York Valley centered on Waverly, N.Y., and Sayre and Athens, Pa., but also several surrounding counties on each side of the border.

Largely consisting of small towns against the backdrop of rural farmland and wooded country acreage, the Twin Tiers offers four seasons of changing natural beauty. The opportunities for adventures in the great outdoors are plentiful and the quality of life is high.

You’ll find an abundance of historic homes and churches, and friendly people in close communities. There are excellent schools at all education levels (Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., is just one of many examples), and the Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre is one of the finest healthcare institutions in the nation.

Let’s take a closer look at the region United Country Real Estate | Tom Mullen & Associates, LLC calls home and the Twin Tiers’ appeal for residents and visitors alike.

New York & Pennsylvania Twin Tiers:
Recreation in the Great Outdoors


Rolling wooded mountains, deep lakes and flowing rivers cover a lot of Southern New York and Northern Pennsylvania. This makes the Twin Tiers region ideal for outdoor recreation. And without question, the best time to enjoy adventures outdoors here is in the fall, when everything is awash in a brilliant array of colors.

On the New York side of the border, Historic Hiawatha Island in Apalachin is a 112-acre nature preserve inhabited by all kinds of plants and wildlife, including several endangered species. You can explore the island by foot once you access it from the Susquehanna River. Another in Tioga County, the Logan Hill Nature Preserve, offers hiking trails and stunning views.

Perhaps the most known of New York’s Finger Lakes state parks, Watkins Glen State Park in Schuyler County offers towering cliffs and 19 waterfalls. Camping, picnicking and fishing are all popular here. Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca is another standout, named for the unique foaming cascade of the creek. Check this one out in the summer for guided tours. Broome County’s Chenango Valley State Park is great for birding, golfing and cross-country skiing, while Taughannock Falls State Park in Tompkins County features the namesake waterfall and hiking trails above and below.

If mountain bikes are your preference, you might check out the many biking trails in New York’s Southern Tier. Cycle-CNY operates within six area counties with the mission of creating, protecting and promoting the trails. Interested in downhill skiing come winter? Start with these three locations in nearby Cortland County.

State Parks are also a big deal in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier. Mount Pisgah State Park is part of the “Endless Mountains” region here. This 1,302-acre park in Bradford County offers hiking trails and a nice lake for fishing, boating and ice skating. Little Pine State Park in Lycoming County is a 2,158-acre wonderland in the Pennsylvania Wilds, featuring Little Pine Lake, hiking, camping and other activities.

Hills Creek State Park in Wellsboro is another good spot with all the usual park activities and tons of wildlife, and Salt Springs State Park in Susquehanna County is also worth a visit. But be sure not to miss Pine Creek Gorge, known as the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania” for its depths ranging from 800 to 1,450 feet.

Lastly, if you’re either an avid hunter or dedicated angler, take note there’s no shortage of spots to pursue big game or land trophy fish in the Twin Tiers in either state. You can even plan your outing around the various windows for hunting or fishing specific species.

Southern New York & Northern Pennsylvania:
Family Fun, History, Culture, Events & More

Adventures and recreation in the great outdoors will always be something people enjoy across the Twin Tiers of Southern New York and Northern Pennsylvania. But explore the region further and you’ll find a whole lot more to do here on both sides of the New York-Pennsylvania border. From fun family outings, to historical and cultural discoveries, local wineries, live music, annual events and more … the area offers plenty of engaging attractions.

Right here in Waverly, N.Y., the home base of United Country | Tom Mullen & Associates, you can take the family to Valley Bowling Center. Younger children will want to check out Treasure Castle Playland, while all ages will like Sciencecenter, (both are in Ithaca, N.Y.) a unique blend of education and entertainment. Across the border, Williamsport, Pa., is known for hosting the annual Little League Baseball® World Series, and you can catch a Williamsport Crosscutters minor league game, as well.

Back in the Ithaca area, be sure to visit the farmers markets. In fact, some of the ones here in Tompkins County are among the top-rated farmers markets in the entire country. Adults in particular might want to try their luck at Tioga Downs Casino & Resort in Nichols, or discover the many wineries and breweries via the Tioga (N.Y.) Beverage Trail. On the Pennsylvania side in Bradford County, you’ll find another great mix of adult libations, or learn all about Prince Farrington’s Bootlegger Tour in Lycoming County.

Opportunities for historical, cultural and artistic discoveries also abound in the Twin Tiers. The Waverly Historical Society runs a great museum covering the town’s past, while Owego, N.Y., offers a comprehensive historic walking tour. The Sayre Historical Society Museum covers the history of Sayre, Pa.

If live theatre is your vibe, consider Lycoming County’s Community Arts Center or one of several historic and unique theatres in Bradford County. Into art? Elmira, N.Y., has the Arnot Art Museum. Prefer live music? Head to Ithaca, where every week there’s a live show.

Local events and annual festivals are wildly popular around the country, and the Twin Tiers is no exception. Many cities and towns have regular events planned throughout the year, such as these in Downtown Elmira. June especially, it seems, is an active month for annual events. The month brings the popular Owego Strawberry Festival and Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival.

Ithaca gets things rolling in March with its Annual Chili Cook-Off, followed by the Apple Harvest Festival in the fall. Come December, it’s time for the Winter Lights Festival. Of course, this is only a sample of such gatherings. Do a little digging for what interests you, and then come out to visit the Twin Tiers of Southern New York and Northern Pennsylvania!