Water Recreation

Explore by Water

Explore by Water! The Pennsylvania Wilds is famous for water recreation, with over 16,000 miles of lakes, rivers and streams to enjoy. Water Recreation in the Wilds is an ideal opportunity to disconnect and unwind.… wide open waters surrounded by scenic shorelines and forest land.

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Famous Water Recreation

Explore the Wilds by Water

Water recreation opportunities are available in every landscape - from relaxing canoeing, to nationally-known flat water paddling, swimming, motorized water activities and record-breaking fishing waters. Come explore our waters!

Paddle the Allegheny River

Wild and Scenic

Paddle the Clarion River

Wild and Scenic

Paddle the Kinzua Reservoir

Wide open waters

Paddle the Pennsylvania Wilds

Take time to unwind with a paddle along our many waterways. Bring your own gear, or visit one of our many regional outfitters for rentals and water tour planning.

Locate regional outfitter experts who can help you navigate the great outdoors here.

Motorized Water Activities

With so many bodies of water and nearly 100 boat launches in region, the Pennsylvania Wilds is the perfect setting for boating, water skiing and jet skiing adventures.

Swim and Splash

Swimming opportunities abound in Pennsylvania Wilds state parks, scenic rivers and waterways, and in the Allegheny National Forest. By beach, boat or shore – it’s time to suit up!

Unwind on the Water

Splash, Paddle, Motor, Swim or Wade - Water Recreation in the Pennsylvania Wilds Means Fun and Relaxation

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More From Our Blog

Journeys & Landscapes


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.


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.


Elk Country

Elk Country 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.