Fall has arrived 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.
The steep mountains and deep valleys of northcentral PA 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
Learn all about PA’s elk at the Elk Country Visitor Center. Situated on 250 acres, the site provides three wheelchair-accessible trails leading to elk viewing areas, plus interactive exhibits, live music events, and educational sessions for children. Bonus: The center’s gift shop features the work of local artisans and craft makers.
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 areas that are frequented by elk. The viewing area has a covered stage, benches, bathrooms, and handicap-accessible parking, too.
3. Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area
The The Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area is another popular spot for elk viewing. Offering a walk-up viewing area atop a spectacular mountain, guests can overlook a large meadow where elk often gather. There are also numerous trails and dirt roads to explore, and you might even 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
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 and outstanding elk and wildlife habitats. The park also has a wildlife center with educational, state-of-the-art, interpretive exhibits.
8. Elk Scenic Drive
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!
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