March 26, 2024

BIRD LORE: Baby bird season – Please don’t kidnap the babies!

Spring has arrived, with its joyous symphony of birdsong, spectacular migrations, and feverish nest building. Soon a new generation of baby birds will hatch. If all goes well, by summer’s end these new birds will be ready to join their parents on the next cycle of migration or preparations to survive the winter locally. But sometimes young birds end up on the ground or caught by domestic pets. What should humans do (or not do!) when this happens?

February 29, 2024

How to watch the solar eclipse the Leave No Trace way

On April 8, 2024, parts of the world will experience a total solar eclipse... including a small part of the northwestern section of the PA Wilds region! This includes places like Warren and the Allegheny Reservoir, along with parts of Warren County and McKean County. It is essential to follow these Leave No Trace guidelines when checking out the eclipse so that we can enjoy the view and protect ourselves and the outdoors while we do it.

February 22, 2024

Protect PA Wilds waterways; use caution when removing ice or snow

In large doses, many popular snow and ice removal methods can be harmful to wildlife, plants, streams, and rivers. The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Chesapeake Bay Program give tips on how you can still remove ice from outdoor surfaces while being cautious about how it might affect the waterways and wildlife.

February 20, 2024

BIRD LORE: Birding without bells and whistles

For non-birders, and those just getting interested in birds, the idea of spending a lot of money on a pair of nice binoculars and a fancy Peterson’s Guide and learning how to tell eight different kinds of sparrows apart can seem intimidating. Here are some simple ways to identify common birds without binoculars, using indicators like shapes, colors, behaviors, and habitat.

February 1, 2024

Trails at Jakes Rocks named as Pennsylvania’s 2024 Trail Of The Year

The Trails at Jakes Rocks, a 35-mile natural surface trail system located in the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County, has been named Pennsylvania’s 2024 Trail of the Year. The trails, located in the Allegheny National Forest and Surrounds landscape of the PA Wilds, are used primarily for mountain biking. However, other types of recreation such as hiking, trail running, and cross-country skiing are also permitted.

January 30, 2024

Allegheny River named Pennsylvania’s 2024 River of the Year, second time winning

The Allegheny River in the western section of the Pennsylvania Wilds has been selected by a public vote as Pennsylvania's 2024 River of the Year, the second time within the past ten years that the Allegheny has won the prestigious award. Although the Allegheny River was the 2017 River of the Year, it has won again, proving its worth as a place to paddle, fish, photograph and enjoy. With specifically 86.6 miles of recreational use in the PA Wilds region, the National Wild & Scenic Allegheny River flows through forest valleys, wilderness islands and rural landscapes.

January 29, 2024

The role of quiet

The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF) set out to learn about the health and experience of a quiet environment. “The Role of Quiet” video explores the science of how sounds affect us, the benefits to our mental health, and tips for making the most out of visits submerged in nature.

January 26, 2024

Forest Fridays: Life below the snow

For many of us, thoughts of winter are inseparable from snow-covered landscapes. While we enjoy the beauty and softness of snow, along with the winter activities it supports, other creatures appreciate the snow for a different reason. For those small enough to enjoy it, a persistent layer of snow presents an exclusive world of resources and protection beneath its surface. That world is known by scientists as the subnivean environment. 

January 23, 2024

How to Leave No Trace during the winter in the PA Wilds

Wintertime is one of the most beautiful times to visit the Pennsylvania Wilds: the landscape sparkles with snowy white dust, the air is crisp and clean, and familiar views suddenly look more magical. New adventures, like skiing or snowshoeing, become possible in the snow. As you’re enjoying outdoor recreation during winter in the PA Wilds, follow the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace to ensure that you and others have the best experience possible, while also respecting the beautiful natural world and wildlife that we are so fortunate to have.

January 18, 2024

National Wild and Scenic Rivers of the PA Wilds: Allegheny and Clarion

The Pennsylvania Wilds region has some of the best flat water paddling and fishing in the United States! When anglers and paddlers research the PA Wilds, they come across these words: “two Wild and Scenic Rivers.” They often ask where those two rivers are, why the words “wild” and “scenic” are capitalized, and why only two rivers out of the many PA Wilds waterways are called out as such. The term comes from the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, a registry that was created with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The Allegheny River and the Clarion River within the PA Wilds are on the Wild and Scenic Rivers registry, and for good reason.