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Things to do in Crawford County, Pennsylvania

10 Awesome Things to Do in Crawford County, Pennsylvania

Located just south of Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania, Crawford County is often overlooked by travelers heading through the region. However, for those that take the time to stop and enjoy the county, there are plenty of amazing things to do.

I recently had a chance to spend some time in the county, which gave me an appreciation for the many great things there are to do in this little-visited county. Whether you love amazing history, art, or the outdoors, there is a bit of something for everyone to enjoy in the region.

Here are my top ten things to do in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, along with a special honorable mention:

PennDot Road Sign Sculpture Garden

PennDot Road Sign Sculpture Garden Crawford County Pennsylvania

A barn made entirely of used road signs on the PennDOT Road Sign Sculpture Garden in Meadville.

Since I had mentioned this as my top thing to do in Crawford County in a recent article, I figured I should also mention it first here. Designed by a local artist and local college students, the PennDot Road Sign Sculpture Garden in Meadville is a 1200-foot mural made entirely of used road signs. Designs include many local points of interest, local history, and other beautiful scenes.

For more information, check out my full article on the PennDot Road Sign Sculpture Garden.

Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish

Where Ducks Walk on Fish - Pymatuning Lake - Crawford County, Pennsylvania

Visitors feed the fish and the ducks at the Linesville Spillway on Pymatuning Lake.

Located along a spillway in the middle of Pymatuning Lake, Where the Ducks Walk on Fish might be the most literally-named tourist attraction in Pennsylvania. Even if you’ve fed fish dozens of times before, nothing can prepare you for the chaos here. Hundreds of fish crowd this tiny spillway in Linesville, PA, and compete with ducks for the morsels of food dropped by visitors. While it might sound strange to say, there were definitely times where the ducks appeared to actually be standing on top of fish in their fight for food.

Find out more about this strange attraction on Roadside America.

Pymatuning State Park

Pymatuning State Park -Things to do in Crawford County, Pennsylvania

An abandoned beach area on Pymatuning Lake in Crawford County.

Located along the Ohio border, Pymatuning State Park surrounds the Pennsylvania side of Pymatuning Lake. This man-made lake has more than double the surface area of Raystown Lake, but, as it stretches partially into Ohio, it loses out on the title of the largest lake entirely within Pennsylvania.

In addition to things like fishing and boating, the 17,000-acre Pymatuning State Park has seven miles of hiking trails, swimming pools, public beaches, and even a disc golf course. Those looking for a unique experience can explore the abandoned buildings and beach at Manning.

For more information, visit the park’s official website.

Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum

Touring the Baldwin-Reynolds House in Meadville, Pennsylvania

The Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum is the home of the Crawford County Historical Society.

The Baldwin-Reynolds House was built in the 1840s and was the home of Supreme Court Justice Henry Baldwin and two Meadville mayors. Today, the house is home to the Crawford County Historical Society and showcases both the history of the home and the history of the county.

For more information on visiting the home, check out our article on the museum.

Meadville Market House

Meadville Market House - Crawford County, Pennsylvania

The Meadville Market House is a highlight of downtown Meadville.

Dating back to 1870, the Meadville Market House is located in the heart of downtown and is one of several markets in the state that claim to be the oldest, continually-operating market in Pennsylvania. While not large, the market contains several restaurants and a small collection of shops selling local goods. On the second Saturday of the month, it is also home to a farmers’ market. It is definitely a highlight of historic downtown Meadville.

For more information on the market, visit their website.

John Brown Tannery

John Brown Tannery - Crawford County, Pennsylvania

The foundations of the John Brown Tannery are located in a rural part of Crawford County.

Until researching northwestern Pennsylvania, I had no idea that John Brown, of Harper’s Ferry fame, had spent a considerable portion of his life in the region. The tannery was built by Brown in 1825, and he lived and worked there until 1836 when he moved to Ohio. While initially successful, Brown’s time in Crawford County was fraught with disease and debt, as well as the death of his wife and two of his children.

The tannery burned down in 1907, but the foundations remain, along with signage telling the story of John Brown and his time in the region. According to this website, there is also a museum nearby, but I was unable to contact anyone to confirm if it is still open.

Conneaut Lake Park

The Blue Streak at Conneaut Lake Park in Meadville, Pennsylvania

The Blue Streak at Conneaut Lake Park is one of the most historic roller coasters in Pennsylvania.

Located along the shores of Pennsylvania’s largest natural glacier lake, Conneaut Lake Park has been in operation since 1892. Featuring the sixth-oldest wooden roller coaster in the country (built in 1938), the park features nearly two dozen rides sure to delight both adults and children. Those wanting to enjoy the grounds can visit for free, and the rate for an all-day pass is nominal. The park also has a boardwalk and beach along the lake.

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    For more information about visiting, check out my article on Conneaut lake Park.

    Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad

    Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad

    Riding through Oil Creek State Park from the open-air car of the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad.

    I’ve done a lot of excursion trains in Pennsylvania, but few were as historically interesting or as beautiful as the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad. While the majority of the trip is actually in Venango County, the railroad’s main starting and ending point is located in the Crawford County city of Titusville.

    The railroad travels on an old rail line along the banks of Oil Creek and through Oil Creek State Park. While it’s hard to believe today, this park was once home to tens of thousands of oil workers and was the site of the world’s first commercially dug oil well.

    Find out more about this train ride in this trip report that I put together.

    Riverside Inn

    Riverside Inn - Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania

    The Riverside Inn in Cambridge Springs is a historic hotel and dinner theater along French Creek.

    Sadly, the Riverside Inn burned to the ground in May 2017. I have left it here, however, for posterity.

    Built in the 1880s when Cambridge Springs was a popular destination for its natural hot springs, the Riverside Inn is a beautifully-restored historic inn along the banks of French Creek. More than just a place to stay, the hotel features an impressive dinner theater and a great restaurant. Its setting along the creek and near the beautiful downtown of Cambridge Springs also makes it a popular destination for those looking for a place to unwind for a few days.

    Find out more about the Riverside Inn on their website.

    Breweries and Wineries

    Visiting Voodoo Brewery in Meadville, Pennsylvania

    Voodoo Brewery in Meadville offers up some of PA’s best beers.

    Crawford County is home to several great wineries and breweries that are worth taking the time to check out. During my travels to the county, I’ve only had the chance to stop at Voodoo Brewery in downtown Meadville, and I can honestly say that it is one of the best breweries that I’ve visited in Pennsylvania.

    The county is home to three other breweries and a several wineries, ensuring that there are adult beverages to match any taste.

    For more information on some of the region’s breweries and wineries, check out this page from the Crawford County Visitors Bureau.

    Honorable Mention: Drake Well Museum

    Visiting the Drake Well Museum in Venango County, Pennsylvania.

    The Drake Well Museum is in Venango County, but is a can’t-miss attraction when in the area.

    I decided to include the Drake Well Museum on here as an honorable mention, because even though it has a Titusville address, it is actually just over the border in Venango County (though many mistakenly believe that it’s in Crawford County). The Drake Well Museum is the site of the world’s first commercial oil well and is where this earth-shaping industry was born. If you are visiting Titusville and Crawford County, the Drake Well Museum should definitely be on your must-visit list.

    Note: Some of the places on this list provided me with complimentary admission in order to facilitate a review. However, inclusion on this list and all opinions are those of the author.

    AUTHOR - Jim Cheney

    Jim Cheney is the creator of UncoveringPA.com. Based in the state capital of Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited all 67 counties in the state. Jim has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.

    14 Comments

    • Alan Confer

      Please, in season do visit Hank’s Frozen Custard between Meadville and Conneaut Lake (it’s YUMMY) …….https://www.facebook.com/Hanks-Frozen-Custard-Conneaut-Lake-PA-125563977504363/?fref=ts

    • Dennis P Lutz

      Kelly Run Gallery and Framing in Cambridge Springs! Located in the Springs National Bank Building. The bank was part of the mineral water boom of the 1800’s. The gallery features the works of Jan Lutz, who is known nationwide.

    • Dan Bickel

      The Spillway is within Pymatuning State Park. This will free up space # 10 for Hanks Frozen Custard!

      • Jim Cheney

        True, but since the spillway is known aside from its connection to the park, I thought it was worth including both. I’ll have to try to custard place the next time I’m in the area, though.

        • Jeannene Webster

          Hanks is awesome, and the custard is made with the original equipment from the ’40, I believe. And right down the road is Eddie’s Footlong Hot Dogs, which also has been around since the ’40’s. Wonderful folks, wonderful footlongs!

    • Roxanne Schweter

      Dont forget Eddies Footlong hotdogs

    • Gary Semroc

      How about Ernst Trail!

    • Lynn Sandieson

      The Woodcock Creek Nature Center is also a great place to see! Includes a park, stream, nature trails, hands-on displays and programs.

    • Marinda Waid

      Pymatuning Park also has a wildlife Center and the fish hatchery with a huge fish tank in the center with all the types of fish from the lake in it

    • Cheryl D French

      Campbell’s Pottery on Plank Road, Camb.Spgs. open March – December.

    • Amy Chismar

      The wildlife center at Pyma Park is closed, unfortunately, for another season. It is very interesting, though, so look for it’s reopening and plan a visit! We visited John Brown’s tannery. The museum is across the road from the ruins & operated by the family who live next door. It is hit-miss as to open hours. I keep hoping to get to Woodcock Creek Nat. Ctr. I definitely will after reading the great review!

    • Alain Koseff

      Cambridge Springs was a mineral springs resort town, not a hot springs resort, and had over 40 hotels, rooming houses, and other related businesses at the height of its boom.

    • Bob Scott

      The Riverside Inn burnt down.

      • Jim Cheney

        It’s definitely a shame. I have that noted in the place where it’s mentioned. Thought I’d leave it up for posterity sake for now.

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