Visiting Bilger’s Rocks: Pennsylvania’s Best Rock Outcropping

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When I first visited Clearfield County in February 2014, I was told over and over again that I needed to come back and visit Bilger’s Rocks. Honestly, I wasn’t entirely sure what all the fuss was about.

Sure, giant boulder outcroppings are fun to check out, but there are so many different ones around the state that I couldn’t see Bilger’s Rocks being anything special.

However, given the hype, I made a point of stopping by Bilger’s Rocks on my way through Clearfield County a few months later.

As soon as I pulled up to Bilger’s Rocks, I knew that they had been hyped up for a reason. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Bilger’s Rocks is the most interesting rock outcropping in Pennsylvania save possibly Devil’s Den at the Gettysburg Battlefield (which gets extra points for its historical significance).

A rock carving of the Americas at Bilger's Rocks.
A rock carving of the Americas at Bilger’s Rocks.
Set amongst the woods outside of the tiny borough of Grampian, the rocks have attracted visitors for more than 10,000 years, when Paleo-Indians used the outcroppings for shelter.

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Today, the area is managed by the Bilger’s Rocks Association which maintains the area, hosts events, and runs tours through the rocks.

As I walked through the area with my guide, several areas of rock carvings were pointed out. While none were of significant age, several were quite interesting including a dog, woman’s head, and lion. However, the most interesting carving had to be the map of the Americas that was carved shortly after World War 1.

Walking through the towering boulders and outcroppings that make up Bilger’s Rocks, I started to have a sense of déjà vu. It took me a minute to figure out what the area reminded me of until it finally hit me; the area reminded me of the Temples of Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

On the left, an ancient Cambodian temple. On the right, Bilger's Rocks.
On the left, an ancient Cambodian temple. On the right, Bilger’s Rocks.
Even if you haven’t been to Cambodia, you likely know the image of the ancient temples with trees sprouting out of them from movies like Tomb Raider or nearly any list of must-see places in the world.

If seeing these amazing temples in person is on your travel bucket list, a visit to Bilger’s Rocks might tide you over until you can visit (which, I can say from personal experience you should definitely do).

One way that Bilger’s Rocks definitely differs from Angkor Wat in Cambodia is temperature. While the weather in Cambodia is quite hot all year long, the area around Bilger’s Rocks is actually cooler than the surrounding forest. Because of this, ice and snow stick around much later in the year.

In fact, one area is nicknamed the “Ice Cave” because of how late in the year the ice stays. While more passage than cave, the Ice Cave actually passes underground for about 25 feet, leaving you in pitch black until you can exit through the narrow crack on the other side.

Another view of the amazing roots that grow throughout Bilger's Rocks.
Another view of the amazing roots that grow throughout Bilger’s Rocks.
While the star attraction of the area is Bilger’s Rocks, the property is also a great place for a bit of easy hiking or inexpensive camping. It’s also one of the few hiking areas where dogs are actually allowed to be off leash, ensuring that your furry friend will have a great time as well.

Overall, Bilger’s Rocks is a great area to visit. I won’t go so far as to say that it’s worth driving a long distance just to visit the rocks, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you are in the nearby area.

Looking for more to do in the area? Check out Beartown Rocks, Scripture Rocks County Park, and the last covered bridge in Clearfield County.

Bilger’s Rocks

Hours: Dusk to dawn, daily

Cost: Free


Address: 1921 Bilgers Rocks Road
Grampian, PA 16838


See map below for other area attractions.

Click the map to see more nearby things to do

Map of the Pennsylvania Wilds"

More nearby places worth exploring

Find more things to do in the PA Wilds

20 thoughts on “Visiting Bilger’s Rocks: Pennsylvania’s Best Rock Outcropping”

  1. I loved Jim Cheney’s review, but I think he cowered at the last sentence when he qualified his review by saying he would not go so far as to say people should visit from a far distance. I so totally, and respectfully disagree.

    When he compared the rocks to the ancient temples of Cambodia, I think he hit on something. This place has a sacredness. It is more than an outcropping. It has mystery, beauty, and the rocks create an environment that conjures up something trancendant — like Stone Hendge.

    Be brave, Jim…tell it like it is! this place is special, and well worth a loooonnnggg drive.

    • Thanks for the comment, Elle. I’m glad you liked my review, and I certainly did enjoy my time at Bilger’s Rocks. I’m sorry that you feel that I cowered at the end, but I don’t entirely agree. Would I recommend someone driving a bit to visit the rocks? Absolutely! But I would hesitate to recommend someone driving multiple hours to visit unless they were going to spend a few days in the area or had a great interest in seeing something similar to the Angkor temples.

  2. This sounds great! We are also attracted by it being a place dogs can hike off leash … can you recommend others as well? Thank you!

    • There really aren’t many, Hilary. As a dog owner myself, I always keep my eyes open, but I can’t recall there being anywhere else that I’ve come across that allows this in a public area.

  3. We have similar places like this in western NY:
    Rock City in Olean NY
    Panama Rocks in Panama NY
    and Thunder Rocks in Allegany State Park in Salamanca NY – all fascinating places….

  4. Thank you I liked your review now I want go with all my grandkids . You know I grew up in heilwood and alverda pa and moved to emporium pa after marring . We have been passing that road for 45 years now and I just paid attention to what the sign said . Thanks we will be visiting come spring
    Janet mason

  5. Have you ever climbed the rocks at St Petersburg Village off routes 23 & 100 in Montgomery County? It was dog friendly last time I was there.


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