Community and Business

Strengthening and inspiring communities in the Pennsylvania Wilds


The Pennsylvania Wilds, one of the state’s 11 official tourism regions, is a large rural area that covers about a quarter of the Commonwealth and is home to about 4 percent of the state’s population. The 13-county landscape is known for its more than two million acres of public land — more than Yellowstone National Park. It also boasts two National Wild & Scenic Rivers, the largest wild elk herd in the Northeast and some of the darkest skies in the country. It has a rich oil and lumber heritage.


Tourism currently accounts for about 11 percent of the region’s economy. It is not the only piece of the pie, but it is an important piece, because in addition to the jobs it creates, it also creates amenities that make it easier for our region’s larger employers to attract and retain talent, and improves quality of life for residents. Visitors currently spend an estimated $1.7 billion annually in the Pennsylvania Wilds.


When you visit or move to a PA Wilds community or support a PA Wilds business, you make an impact on the lives of the people who call this area home. If you are a PA Wilds resident, community leader or entrepreneur – check out the resources below!

PA Wilds Network

Businesses, nonprofits and communities located in the 13-county Pennsylvania Wilds region are invited to join the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania (WCO). Members are promoted on, in addition to gaining access to branding and marketing resources, networking and professional development programs, opportunities to sell handmade products on the PA Wilds Marketplace and at PA Wilds Conservation Shops, and referrals to regional resource providers. Perhaps best of all, there are no annual membership dues.

PA Wilds Big Idea Contest

The finalists have been announced for the 2023 PA Wilds BIG IDEA Contest, in which local entrepreneurs will compete in a pitch contest for the chance to win $50,000 to develop their small business. Find out who the 8 finalists are and join us on June 8 in Bradford for the final pitch competition to see who wins! Details here.

The 2023 contest focused on the Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds — including Cameron, Elk, Forest, McKean, or Warren County, PA. The 2024 contest will highlight innovators in the Pine Creek Valley & PA Grand Canyon — including Cameron, Clinton, Lycoming, Potter and Tioga Counties.

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