Winter in the Wilds

Every season offers something special in the Pennsylvania Wilds. In fact, having four distinct seasons is part of the region’s allure. One of the most beautiful times to visit the Pennsylvania Wilds is wintertime. Although the lush leaves have fallen, the land is often sprinkled with snowy white dust, the air is crisp, and familiar views suddenly have a new aesthetic. New adventures also become possible.

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Outdoor Recreation on Public Lands

Fun winter activities abound! You can experience:

Check out this article to learn more about places that permit these activities.

Winter Shopping

Shopping in the Pennsylvania Wilds means you’ll be doing more than just providing a good gift! The communities across the Pennsylvania Wilds have much to offer — from items provided at small retailers across the region to unique handmade products sold by independent creative makers.

Click here to learn more about where to find unique, made-by-hand gifts for friends, family or yourself!

A Place to Rest

No excursion is complete without knowing where you’ll rest your head. And for those inclined to reel at the thought of winter camping, it’s always a safe bet to pre-plan your lodging accommodations to be sure a bed is ready and waiting for your arrival. With a little research, you’ll find a variety of lodging options, from bed and breakfasts and inns, to cabins and other unique lodging experiences.

Check out this article featuring 10 of unforgettable overnight stay options.

Considering cold-weather camping? 

Make sure you’re prepared by reading this article before you set out.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.