The Region’s Communities

Tour the rich histories of PA Wilds communities

The Pennsylvania Wilds region is larger than some states, including Massachusetts and Vermont! Encompassing nearly 13 counties, over 2 million acres of public land and Pennsylvania's only National Forest, there are hundreds of communities that serve the traveling public and offer rich histories worth exploring. These hamlets add to the experience. Take the time to tour the rural communities of the Pennsylvania Wilds, from the larger cities to the quaint villages. Tours have already been established for many communities, making it easier than ever to find all the hidden gems!

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Historic Williamsport: Walking & Driving Tours

Explore the architectural wonders of Williamsport, the largest city in the Pennsylvania Wilds. Conveniently located in the I-80 Frontier, along the West Branch Susquehanna River, the City of Williamsport was once known as the Lumber Capitol of the World and today, Millionaire’s Row, serves as a reminder of the city’s heritage. Home to Little League Baseball, the city offers a thriving arts community. Many of the buildings featured in the walking tour were constructed in the 1800s.

Download the walking tour here.

Take in the rich history infused in the City of Williamsport, from a paddle wheel boat ride on the West Branch Susquehanna River to a stroll through the many museums and shops of downtown, using the simple One Day or Two Day itineraries developed by the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau. These quick lists provide visitors with a go to guide for must-see locations.

Get the itineraries at www.vacationpa.com.

Smethport Mansion District: Walking Tour

Take in the Gilded Era in Smethport and explore the history of this Scenic Route 6 community, located in the Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds landscape of the Pennsylvania Wilds.  The tour developed by the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) Visitors Bureau includes over 30 stops, encompassing a visit to the Old Jail Museum, quaint shops and the historic Route 6 Diner.

Download the walking tour here.

Bradford National Historic District: Walking Tour

Walk in the footsteps of of early oil barons of the Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds landscape and marvel the architectural treasures that remain today.  “From backwoods to boomtown,” the Bradford National Historic District Walking Tour, developed by the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) Visitors Bureau, helps travelers find all the not-to-be-missed attractions in this McKean County community!  The guide includes a brief description of 25 places to visit, in addition to the popular Zippo/Case Museum and Penn Brad Oil Museum.

Download the tour itinerary here.

Brookville & Beyond

This guide developed by the PA Great Outdoors offers ideas on attractions that entice people of all ages. Focusing on the small town of Brookville and the surrounding communities of Jefferson County, located along the I-80 Frontier of the PA Wilds, you can plan out a few days of travel in one sitting.

Check out the itinerary at www.visitpago.com.

Kane: A star in the forest

Unravel the history of Kane, located in the Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds landscape of the Pennsylvania along Scenic Route 6, and a stone’s throw from the Kinzua Experience. Allegheny National Forest (ANF) Visitors Bureau distributes a map of the community, and outlines various amenities found in the region. Many of the suggested stops help visitors learn about the history of the area.

Download the itinerary here.

Clarion & its Neighbors

Learn about the I-80 Frontier communities of Clarion County and some of the family-friendly adventures found there. From museums to trails and overlooks, to motorized recreation activities and ideas on where to dine, this resource developed by the PA Great Outdoors can help you kick start your vacation.

Check out the itinerary at www.visitpago.com.

Clearfield: A historical lens

The I-80 Frontier community of Clearfield offers small shops and various museums great for family entertainment. If you’re looking for a way to connect with Clearfield’s past, be sure to check out the short itinerary developed by Visit Clearfield County, which points travelers to five stops, including a tasty lunch.

Check out the itinerary at www.visitclearfieldcounty.org.

Punxsutawney: With or Without Phil!

While Punxsutawney is perhaps best known for one of its four-legged residents, Phil — the groundhog that reveals the length of winter each year, it also offers plenty of fun activities for the whole family year-round.  From the Weather Discovery Center to a classic Escape Room, the PA Great Outdoors has prepared a quick list of must-do activities while in the quaint I-80 Frontier community.

Check out the itinerary at www.visitpago.com.

Sinnemahoning & Emporium

Take time to relax in Elk Country, while exploring the remote communities of Emporium and Sinnemahoning. Take a pontoon boat tour while visiting Sinnemahoning State Park to see the George B. Stevenson Dam up close from the water, and be sure to stop into the state-of-the-art Wildlife Center while at the park. Then check out Sizerville State Park, the Sinnemahoning Water Trail, or the challenging Fred Woods Trail nearby before heading to the nearby town of Emporium to take in the local art scene.

Check out the itinerary at www.visitpago.com.

DuBois: Art & Heritage

Explore the history and culture of DuBois, an I-80 Frontier community located in Clearfield County, utilizing a short guide developed by Visit Clearfield County. This tour ensures you’ll visit some of the most popular places in DuBois, from the Winkler Gallery of Fine Art to the quirky Doolittle Station.

Check out the itinerary at www.visitclearfieldcounty.org.

Journeys & Landscapes

VISIT

Allegheny National Forest and Surrounds

Covering more than 500,000 acres, the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) is Pennsylvania’s only national forest. It dominates the western end of the Pennsylvania Wilds and contains within it and around it some of the region’s most treasured places and experiences.

VISIT

Cook Forest and the Ancients

Known as a land of giants because of the “forest cathedral” of ancient pines and hemlocks, this landscape is an ode to the majesty of the Pennsylvania Wilds and home to many of the tallest hemlock and pine trees in the Northeast. If an adventure among Cook Forest & The Ancients sounds mystifyingly exciting to you, rest assured that you’ll rest well during your exploration. So what are you waiting for? The Ancients are calling. Come see some of the tallest pine trees in the Northeast.

VISIT

Dark Skies

Inspiring awe and delight, Dark Skies is home to the world’s second certified International Dark-Sky Park. Cherry Springs State Park is world-famous for being one the best places in the USA for stargazing and the study of astronomy. But these mesmerizing, star-filled skies are JUST the beginning.

VISIT

Elk Country

This is a place that lives up to its name. Home to the largest free-roaming elk herd in the northeastern United States, Elk Country features two large visitor centers to welcome you. If you come to Elk Country for the Elk, you won’t be disappointed. But if you stick around to see what’s all around you, you’ll be delighted you did.

VISIT

I-80 Frontier

Whether you’re coming from the east, south or west, the I-80 Frontier is the quintessential welcome mat to the Pennsylvania Wilds. With its proximity to Pennsylvania’s southern population centers of Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, not to mention close by New York City, and Cleveland on the western side, it’s easy to plan a trip for each season. Home to forested state parks and storied towns and places, any given exit off the interstate is a surefire way to find and explore the natural and hidden wonders of the region.

VISIT

Pine Creek Valley and The PA Grand Canyon

The Eastern Gateway to the PA Wilds...If it’s your first visit to the region, the PA Grand Canyon is a must see and one of the perfect ways to orient your mind and senses to the wonders of the Wilds. But once you’ve delighted in the Pine Creek Gorge views, you’ll soon discover that this scenic and unique landscape is best discovered from multiple vantage points.