Outdoor Recreation

May 21, 2024

Urban Connections – Allegheny National Forest offers overnight backpacking experiences

For those who live in places like Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, the Allegheny National Forest can be a daunting place to take a first backpacking trip. The forest is a far cry from city life… trees as tall as buildings, the constant songs of birds or chittering of squirrels, roots and rocks for your feet to navigate, and inky-black darkness at night. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Forest Service offered its first Urban Connections backpacking program at Allegheny National Forest in 2023, and they plan to offer several more similar programs in 2024. 

May 2, 2024

2024 ATV permits available and season dates set for Northcentral Regional ATV Trail in PA Wilds

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced that permits for the Northcentral Regional ATV Trail, formerly called the ATV Regional Trail Connector Pilot, are now available for purchase. The 650-mile riding area will include parts of Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, and Tioga counties, in the Pine Creek Valley and PA Grand Canyon landscape and Dark Skies landscape of the PA Wilds region.

April 15, 2024

Elliott’s Park in Clearfield: John Crissman’s love for his dog and his community

Along River Road in Clearfield, within the I-80 Frontier landscape of the Pennsylvania Wilds, sits a narrow park that overlooks the West Branch Susquehanna River. Decorated with a Bigfoot statue, a totem pole, wooden carvings, a stone Ford truck, a cabin used for storage and lots of images of a labrador, the park is one man’s testament of his love for his dog and his community.

April 2, 2024

Tips for a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse experience in the PA Wilds

On April 8, 2024, a small part of the northwestern section of the PA Wilds region will experience the path of totality for a solar eclipse! This includes places like Warren and the Allegheny Reservoir, along with parts of Warren County and McKean County. Even though just a small part of Pennsylvania will be in the official path of totality, there is still a good chance to see a partial eclipse from the rest of the PA Wilds region.

March 29, 2024

Forest Fridays: Bountiful brooks

Spring is here and tomorrow’s youth opener begins another season of trout fishing in Pennsylvania. It seems as good a time as any to talk about our state fish, the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Few creatures provide a more awe-inspiring sight than the incredible brook trout. Displaying a carnival of colors, brookies may be small, but they are mighty. Pound for pound, they put up a fight on a taut line as vigorous as any fish of pugilistic repute.

March 19, 2024

YouTube in the Pennsylvania Wilds – “Forest County Outback” 

While hiking through the PA Wilds’ Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds over the years I cannot remember how many times I have come upon a stack of ancient foundation stones or old lumber in the middle of nowhere and wondered, “What’s the story with this, what was this, why is it here?” Somehow, somewhere, there must be somebody who knows something about these little mysteries. Meet Forest County’s Terry Janosik who has investigated at least 40 of them.

March 11, 2024

Apply for the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Allegheny National Forest

The USDA Forest Service is once again accepting applications for the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Allegheny National Forest. Applications for the 2024 summer and fall residencies will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, 2024. The Artist-in-Residence Program provides artists of all mediums the opportunity to pursue their craft outside of their normal environments, with free housing in the ANF and a stipend for those three weeks.

March 8, 2024

Forest Fridays: Squirrel dogging

Growing up at the base of a mountain in Northwestern Clinton County, one of Eric Probert's passions as a youth was loading his single shot 20 gauge and pursuing squirrels. Still hunting across a grape vine choked red oak sidehill or sitting quietly in a hickory flat waiting for squirrels to appear was probably how most young hunters cut their teeth on the sport in Penns Woods. As Eric grew older, the thought of hunting those bushy tails faded as he grew more interested in chasing deer and bear through the same hills.

March 7, 2024

Learning how maple syrup is made in the PA Wilds (and how you can see a live demonstration!)

Maple syrup and other maple products are a big part of Pennsylvania’s agricultural economy… and it sure is sweet to get an inside look at how those products are made, both by big companies and by small producers at their own homes! Learn about maple syrup with an educational program at Parker Dam State Park, or celebrate maple goodness with the Potter-Tioga Maple Weekend on March 16 and 17, 2024!

March 1, 2024

Celebrate without screens: Global Day of Unplugging 2024

Smartphones, computers, smart home devices, gaming systems... it seems like we're always connected, reachable, and entertained. However, one global holiday is encouraging a moment to unplug and disconnect from our screens. The Global Day of Unplugging has been celebrated annually during the first weekend of March since 2009. Now in 2024, people around the world are taking some time between sundown March 1 and sundown March 2 to turn off their devices, step away from screens, and engage with the real world around them.