Country Squirrel Outfitters serves Sinnemahoning State Park
Country Squirrel Outfitters recently opened an outpost at Sinnemahoning State Park, located in the Elk Country landscape of the Pennsylvania Wilds. On a Saturday afternoon, I took a trip down to the park with a couple of friends.
To understand the outfitter’s outpost at Sinnemahoning State Park, one first has to know what exactly Country Squirrel Outfitters is.
Country Squirrel Outfitters’ main post is in Ridgway, Pennsylvania. It is an excellent place for tourists and locals alike to visit when they are looking to find new opportunities to enjoy the beauty and nature of our area through recreational activities such as biking, canoeing, and kayaking. I took a trip down to the shop in Ridgway and had a chance to speak with the owners, Steve and Miranda Putt.
Steve and Miranda initially started the business because of their interests in the outdoors. Their passion encouraged them to start their business in Colorado. After a couple of years, they moved their store to Pennsylvania in 2011. They fell in love with the area and settled in Ridgway.
Country Squirrel Outfitters offers a lot of recreational activities for everyone. They not only rent out their bikes, canoes, and kayaks, but they also give tours and demonstration days.
An outfitter post is a great resource to have in our area. Not every local has a bike or a kayak, but they can still enjoy outdoor recreation through this business. And the same goes for those visiting the area; it can be a big hassle to travel with bikes or kayaks. The business also rents helmets, life jackets, paddles, and other necessities for trips.
The store in Ridgway functions not only as an outfitters post, but also a store to purchase anything one would need for their next outdoor or camping trip.
Because of the success of the main post in Ridgway, Steve and Miranda opened a branch shop at Sinnemahoning State Park, a remote park about an hour and a half from Ridgway.
On a day trip to Sinnemahoning, we rented some bikes for a couple hours and traveled through the breathtaking scenery next to the First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek to the reservoir. The outpost also typically rents out kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards at the park, but due to flooding from extreme weather, these were not rented out that day.
In the shop, which is in the Sinnemahoning State Park Wildlife Center, customers can also check out the retail spaces. This included t-shirts, water bottles, some camping gear, artwork, postcards, and even hammocks.
The process to rent bikes was surprisingly easy. After some paperwork and a few minutes of picking out our bikes, we were set to go on the trail. The bikes were all high-quality gear-shifting bikes that were suitable for trail riding.
There are several trails throughout the area.
We decided to take the route along the creek to the reservoir. It was about five miles out and back on a paved road.
I have traveled by bike on many different trails throughout the years, but the view from the trail at this particular park was unrivaled. There were incredible mountains in the background, the sound of the creek rushing along next to us, and of course, the stunning green foliage that the Pennsylvania Wilds is so well known for.
We reached the reservoir and parked our bikes to get a closer look at the stunning water. At the edge of the water, there is a pavilion, picnic tables, and a dock for canoes and kayaks. In the distance, we could see the dam and the rolling landscape in the background.
After returning to the wildlife center, we simply parked our bikes back in the shop and checked out with the store clerk.
It was an awesome experience to get out into the nature and enjoy a day with friends while getting exercise and supporting a local business. I hope to return to the park soon and, in the meantime, I strongly encourage locals and tourists to visit Country Squirrel Outfitters’ new outpost. It was truly rewarding to get out there and try something new.
Country Squirrel Outfitters is a Host Site member of the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. One of rural Pennsylvania’s largest networks of creative entrepreneurs, the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania (WCO) is the main program through which small businesses and nonprofits – from artisans to breweries to B&Bs to outfitters to retailers to restaurants to galleries to designers to videographers – engage with the Pennsylvania Wilds brand, networks and platforms. Functionally, the WCO is the listings backbone for the regional visitor site pawilds.com; the product supply line for the PA Wilds Conservation Shops physical and online stores; and the entry point for those looking to team up on PA Wilds licensed products in the market place. The PA Wilds Center promotes the WCO as part of the overall Pennsylvania Wilds experience. The PA Wilds Center promotes the WCO as part of the overall Pennsylvania Wilds experience. Visit WildsCoPa.org to learn more.