Home to millions of acres of unspoiled forests and mountains, as well as the largest free-roaming elk herd in the eastern United States, the Pennsylvania Wilds region is composed of 13 distinct and beautiful counties, each with its own heritage, character, charm and outdoor adventure. This region is where visitors can find breathtaking views; thousands of miles of waterways, including 2,067 wild trout streams and 99 boat launches; more than 1,600 miles of trails and plenty of wildlife. In between are lovely tucked-away towns that always welcome visitors with a friendly smile. The Pennsylvania Wilds is the perfect place to relax and truly get away to a simply gorgeous landscape. www.pawilds.com
Elk Country Visitor Center
Situated on 245 acres within the heart of Pennsylvania's elk range and within the Elk State Forest, the Elk Country Visitor Center is the premier elk watching and conservation education facility in the entire Eastern United States. The 8,400-square foot eco-friendly building has a stone fireplace to greet visitors, a “Great Room”ť with ceilings supported by large wooden trusses and a panorama of windows looking out on elk viewing areas and food plots. Interpretive exhibits will immerse the visitor in the sights, sounds and smells of a mixed hardwood forest, the natural world of the elk and native wildlife and the heritage of the region.
Kinzua Sky Walk
An engineering and historical masterpiece, the original Kinzua Viaduct was once the highest and longest viaduct in the world when completed in 1882. In 2003, the bridge was struck by a tornado and in mere seconds, 11 of its 20 towers were tossed onto the valley floor. Using six restored towers of the original viaduct, the Kinzua Sky Walk officially opened in September 2011 as a pedestrian walkway with a partial glass floor that extends out into the Kinzua Gorge, giving guests the opportunity to “walk the tracks across the sky.”ť In addition, the state park has built the new Kinzua Creek Trail, where visitors can now hike down the side of the gorge and view the fallen towers from the valley floor.
Pine Creek Gorge
Pine Creek Gorge, commonly referred to as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, is surrounded by approximately 165,000 acres of the Tioga State Forest, offering spectacular views from overlooks, hiking trails, waterfalls and more. Camping, biking, horseback riding and snowmobiling opportunities abound in the park throughout the year.
Cherry Springs State Park
Cherry Springs State Park is Pennsylvania's first Official Dark Sky Park and is considered to be the best place in the northeastern United States for amateur stargazing. Cherry Springs State Park boasts a 300 by 600 foot observation field with a 360-degree view of the sky set atop a mountain. Under ideal conditions, visitors can see more than 6,000 stars blanketing the sky from horizon to horizon, as well as satellites and the planets and moons of our solar system.
Longhouse National Scenic Byway
Named by USA Today as one of the top 50 scenic drives in 2011, this 29-mile driving loop nested in the Allegheny National Forest circles the Allegheny Reservoir and provides stunning vista views. During the drive through Pennsylvania’s only national forest, be sure to visit Rimrock and Jakes Rocks overlooks to enjoy spectacular sights of the Allegheny Reservoir, hardwood forests and pristine wildlife.
Lumber Heritage Museum
The rugged life of the lumber industry, once Pennsylvania's largest, is portrayed in this recreated lumber camp in Galeton. The museum recently debuted a new facility with expanded galleries, new interpretive exhibitions and more. Built in the 1930’s, the museum has more than 3,000 artifacts and objects, including a 1912 Shay-geared logging locomotive, Barnhart Log Loader and Brookville locomotive, guests will enjoy a step back in time as they walk through the weathered wooden buildings of the logging camp, sawmill and Sustainable Forestry Trail.
Hyner View State Park
This park is known for hang gliding and an impressive scenic vista overlooking the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The focal point of the park is an overlook wall constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. A half-mile long bedrock exposure provides a glimpse of a time when the Pennsylvania Wilds region actually sat south of the equator. Fossils have also been discovered in the park.
The Zippo/Case Museum is where fans and collectors from across the globe gather to experience the rich history of these two American icons. This 15,000 square foot attraction includes the world famous Zippo Repair Clinic and Zippo/Case Store. Fourteen custom-made Zippo street lighters line the drive leading up to the building. Over the entrance towers a 40-foot Zippo lighter with pulsating neon flame, and an enormous Case Canoe three bladed pocketknife. The Museum features four exhibits allowing guests to explore Zippo’s contributions to the American effort in WWII and glance back in time to when the Zippo lighter was in the Hollywood spotlight.
Peter J. McGovern Little League Baseball Museum
The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum is filled with the excitement of Little League Baseball and Softball. From its small beginnings in 1939 as a three-team league, to today’s millions of participants around the globe, the museum is a tribute to Little League past and present. The museum reopened after major renovations on June 6, 2013, the anniversary date of the first Little League game played in 1939.
The Weather Discovery Center
The Weather Discovery Center educates visitors about the old and new ways of predicting and studying weather, both with modern technology and with a visit to Punxsutawney Phil, the town’s resident groundhog who has achieved worldwide fame for his winter weather predictions each year. At the museum, guests not only meet Phil, but also learn about tornadoes, thunderstorms, meteorology and more through a series of interactive exhibits.