8 Magical Elk Viewing Destinations

It’s fall and that means love is in the air – at least for Pennsylvania’s storied elk! And there’s no better time or place to see the East Coast’s largest free-ranging elk herd than in PA’s “Elk Country” during the months of September and October. This is when the region’s fields and woodlands are alive with the distinctive bugling sounds from the resident bull elk as they try to impress and capture the hearts of the herd’s ladies with their vocalizations and antler sparring contests.

Located in the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds, the region’s steep mountains and deep valleys provide the perfect habitat for these majestic animals. While you might spot elk at any time of day, dawn and dusk offer your best chances. We want you to be safe, so please be sure to keep your distance. Those six-foot-wide antlers pack a punch!

1. Elk Country Visitor Center


visitors inside elk county visitor center

Learn all about PA’s elk at the Elk Country Visitor Center. The center offers interactive exhibits, a hands-on Discovery Room for younger visitors, and totally immersive 4D story theater with a new movie that puts in the middle of the herd. The 250-acre site provides three wheelchair-accessible trails leading to elk viewing areas. Bonus: The center’s gift shop features the work of local artisans and craftmakers.

2. Dents Run Elk Viewing Area


The Dents Run Elk Viewing Area is one of the most popular in the state. It’s easy to see why with its magnificent views, fields and large wooded area are frequented by elk. The viewing area has a covered stage, benches, bathrooms, and handicap-accessible parking.

3. Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area


elk mooingThe Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area is another really popular spot for elk viewing. The area offers a large parking lot atop a spectacular mountain with a walk-up viewing area overlooking a large meadow where elk often gather. There are also numerous trails and dirt roads to explore and where you just might spot some white-tailed deer, fox, and even wild turkeys.

4. Woodring Farm Viewing Area


The Woodring Farm Viewing Area is an interpretive 3/4-mile easy hiking trail. It encircles 81 acres of prime elk-viewing habitat with educational panels featuring artwork from local high school students.

5. Hoover Farm Viewing Area


Located in Moshannon State Forest, the Hoover Farm Viewing Area offers an accessible viewing blind overlooking wildlife openings and food plots that draw elk from the nearby woods – a great spot for your Instagram-worthy photos!

6. Hicks Run Viewing Area


elk viewing area

The Hicks Run Viewing Area features a covered, handicap accessible viewing area with a blind for fine photography opportunities. The elk love to congregate here all year long as a prime spot to forage for some tasty and high-quality morsels! Elk are often here early and late in the day.

7. Sinnemahoning State Park


Sinnemahoning State Park is a 1,900-acre park steep with valleys of beautiful scenery with outstanding elk and wildlife habitat as well as Wildlife Center with educational state-of-the-art interpretive exhibits.

8. Elk Scenic Drive

Pennsylvania Wilds Region

The 127-mile Elk Scenic Drive winds its way through five counties, three state forests, three state game lands, and past four state parks with 23 designated stops along the way. Drive the entire route in a day to see how many elk you can spot or explore the area over two or more days. Option 3: come back often to take your time exploring one or more sites each time using the Elk Scenic Drive brochure as your guide. It’s your choice!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don’t forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.

share this article