The best things to do in the Pennsylvania Wilds

The Pennsylvania Wilds occupy much of northern Pennsylvania, covering nearly 20% of the state’s land. Despite its large size, the area is home to less than 3% of the state’s population.

Thanks to its low population density and over a million acres of public lands, there are many great things to do in the Pennsylvania Wilds for outdoor lovers.

The region is bisected by PA Route 6, a cross-country road that travels more than 300 miles through northern Pennsylvania. Many of the region’s communities are located along this route, making it a great way to see the Pennsylvania Wilds. On the southern edge of the region, Interstate 80, another transcontinental roadway, also cuts through the area.

While there are many outdoor highlights in the region, including the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, the area is also home to many great museums, historical sites, and cultural attractions.

Every February 2nd, the eyes of the world turn to the Pennsylvania Wilds as Punxsutawney Phil makes his annual prediction on Groundhog Day. The area was also home to the world’s first billion-dollar oil field, the world’s largest hamburger-eating challenges, and one of the largest elk herds on the east coast.

Without a doubt, the Pennsylvania Wilds is made for outdoor enthusiasts, but those who enjoy other types of entertainment combined with rural charms will find many fun things to do in the PA Wilds.

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Where do you want to go?

Things to do in Cameron County, PACameron County has a smaller population than any county in PA. Dominated by forests, it’s nevertheless the birthplace of the electronics company Sylvania. Great spots to visit include The Little Museum, the jet bunkers of the Quehanna Wild Area and downtown Emporium.
Things to do in Clarion County, PAClarion County is located on the western edge of the region and offers many opportunities for outdoor adventure. Highlights include the American Golf Hall of Fame at the country’s oldest golf course, Rapp Run Falls, and the amazing Cook Forest State Park.
Things to do in Clearfield County, PAClearfield County is located along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and Interstate 80. Highlights of the county include Bilger’s Rocks, the Depot at Doolittle’s, the last covered bridge over the Susquehanna River, and the world’s largest hamburger eating challenges.
Things to do in Elk County, PAElk County is home to one of the largest elk herds east of the Mississippi River. In addition to seeing the elk at the Elk Country Visitor Center, other great places to visit include the Marion Brooks Natural Area and Straub Brewery.
Things to do in Forest County, PAForest County is dominated by the Allegheny National Forest and the only county in the state without a stoplight. Highlights include Sherman Memorial Lighthouse, Pigeon Run Falls, and Logan Falls.
Things to do in Jefferson County, PAJefferson County is home to Punxsutawney and Groundhog Day. In addition to this great event, check out Scripture Rocks County Park, hike Clear Creek State Park, and visit the Weather Discovery Center.
Things to do in McKean County, PAMcKean County is located along Route 6 and home to some great attractions. Highlights include the amazing Kinzua Bridge State Park, the Eldred World War II Museum, and the Zippo Museum.
Things to do in Potter County, PAPotter County is known locally as “God’s Country” and is one of the most rural counties in PA. Highlights here include the Triple Continental Divide, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, and Cherry Springs State Park.
Things to do in Tioga County, PATioga County is the home of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, one of the state’s most amazing natural wonders. Other great things to do here include visiting downtown Wellsboro, riding the Pine Creek Rail Trail, and hiking to Sand Run Falls.
Things to do in Warren County, PAWarren County is located in the northwestern corner of the region and is home to the beautiful Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River. Visitors also shouldn’t miss downtown Warren, the region’s great wineries, and Hector Run Falls.

Top places to visit in the Pennsylvania Wilds

Kinzua Bridge State ParkThe Ruins at Kinzua Bridge State Park – What was once the largest railroad bridge in the world is now mostly crumpled on the valley floor. What’s left of the bridge makes a phenomenal overlook.
Exploring the Pennsylvania Grand CanyonExploring the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon – The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon is one of the natural wonders of PA. Check out our guide to the area’s trails, vistas, and waterfalls.
Visiting Cook Forest State Park9Fantastic Reasons to Visit Cook Forest State Park – Cook Forest State Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Pennsylvania. See a few of our top reasons to visit this scenic spot.
The Elk Country Visitor Center in PAVisiting Pennsylvania’s Elk Herd – Pennsylavnia is home to one of the largest elk herds on the east coast, and vistors can explore the area around Benezette with great odds of seeing these majestic creatures.
Visiting Bilger's RocksBilger’s Rocks: PA’s Best Rock Outcropping – Bilger’s Rocks in Clearfield County is an amazing rock outcropping that offers great chances for climbing admist enormous boulders.
The Triple Continental Divide in Potter CountyVisiting the Triple Continetal Divide – Potter County’s Triple Continental Divide is the source of the Allegheny River, the Genesee River, and Pine Creek. Here, you can see these mighty waterways as tiny streams.


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Explore the region by popular themes

Adventure in the Pennsylvania Wilds Culture in the Pennsylvania Wilds History in the Pennsylvania Wilds
Kids in the Pennsylvania Wilds Museums in the Pennsylvania Wilds Oddities in the Pennsylvania Wilds
Outdoors in the Pennsylvania Wilds Sports in the Pennsylvania Wilds Waterfalls in the Pennsylvania Wilds

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