Find your (overnight) home away from home in the PA Wilds
Traveling in the Pennsylvania Wilds is full of endless discoveries and unexpected pleasantries. The sights will astound you. The communities will humble you. And the experience will leave you with anticipation for your next return.
However, 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.
Here, we’ve outlined 10 charming and unique places to stay across the region, and they’re organized conveniently by where they’re located in the Pennsylvania Wilds to help you finalize your vacation plans.
So whether you’re coming home for the holidays, visiting your kiddos at college, looking for a fun winter weekend excursion, or planning your next summer getaway, be sure to check out the places to stay outlined below to find your overnight home away from home!
Whether coming from the east, south or west, the I-80 Frontier is the quintessential welcome mat to the Pennsylvania Wilds.
The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle
201 Warbler Way | Howard, PA 16841
Voted the #1 Eco-Lodge in the Nation in the 2016 USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards, the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle is the premier lodge, meeting and event destination within the Pennsylvania State Park system and it is conveniently located along the I-80 Frontier of the PA Wilds in Northern Centre County. The LEED Gold certified lodge features 16 overnight guest rooms and multiple meeting spaces, sweeping lake views and comfortable modern accommodations and amenities, all within the pristine natural setting of Bald Eagle State Park.
The Queen, a Victorian Bed and Breakfast
176 East Linn Street | Bellefonte, PA 16823
This restored 1880s Queen Anne home located in the historic district of Victorian Bellefonte is just 5 minutes from Interstate 80 in Northern Centre County. In addition to offering cozy rooms with private baths, other on-site lodging options include a fully-equipped apartment or a furnished three-bedroom guesthouse. The Queen is pet-friendly, and it’s also just a short walk to the historic and commercial districts. From there, visitors might also opt for excursions to nearby Spring Creek and Bald Eagle State Park, or they could take a day trip on the Elk Scenic Drive.
Dancing Bear Lodge
2377 East Winter Road | Loganton, PA 17747
Hop off of Interstate 80 to locate this country lodge in Clinton County. Located on the outskirts of an historic Amish community, Dancing Bear Lodge sleeps up to 10 and features a beautiful yard with perennial gardens, a full front porch, a spacious back deck and gazebo. Hiking trails in the Bald Eagle State Forest are less than a mile away and three state parks are within 15 minutes of the lodge. If requested, lodge host Lucy also offers Shinrin Yoku, a Japanese healing practice known as “forest bathing” that deepens participants’ connection to nature.
Castanea Railroad Station Restored Caboose
15 Logan Avenue | Lock Haven (Castanea), PA 17745
Consider a stay in a 1941 Vintage Restored Caboose just outside of the small city of Lock Haven, just seven miles from Interstate 80 and situated along the West Branch Susquehanna River and the Bucktail Scenic Byway. The caboose, one of four historic properties managed by the Clinton County Historical Society, sleeps 2 and is equipped with a sink, toilet, shower and microwave. The region’s railroading history comes roaring back to life at the property. The caboose is adjacent to the former train station that was constructed in 1883, as well as an informational kiosk and the future site of a trail head for the region’s new Rails to Trails. (Read more about this unique lodging experience here.)
Dark Skies is home to the world’s second certified International Dark-Sky Park. Cherry Springs State Park – the epicenter of the region’s stargazing – is world-famous for being one the best places in the USA for stargazing and the study of astronomy.
Frosty Hollow Bed and Breakfast
1077 Cherry Springs Road | Coudersport, PA 16915
Located in the Dark Skies Landscape of the PA Wilds, Frosty Hollow Bed and Breakfast is a 10-room lodge just a few miles from Cherry Springs State Park and Coudersport in Potter County. The property includes a large remodeled barn with additional bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a rehabilitated farmhouse and cottage. Frosty Hollow B&B has been serving sleepy travelers for the past 25 years and features the Country Mercantile, a gift shop that both guests and community members enjoy.
5039 US Route 6 West | Ulysses, PA 16948
This country lodge is conveniently located between the communities of Galeton and Coudersport along Scenic Route 6, a thoroughfare that takes travelers 400+ miles across the Commonwealth and through four counties of the PA Wilds. Susquehannock Lodge can accommodate up to 40 people in private and semi-private rooms. With just a short drive, lodgers can enjoy cross country skiing, hiking and stargazing, or they can kick back and relax on the deck and enjoy the Dark Skies (or sunshine!).
Cook Forest & the Ancients
Known as a land of giants because of the forest cathedral of ancient pines and hemlocks, Cook Forest & the Ancients is an ode to the majesty of the Pennsylvania Wilds and home to many of the tallest hemlock and pine trees in the Northeast.
14870 Route 36, Box 125 | Cooksburg, PA 16217
Located in the Cook Forest & the Ancients Landscape of the PA Wilds, Gateway Lodge is just a half-hour drive from the I-80 Frontier town of Clarion. The remote lodge offers luxury suites, rustic and luxury cabins, an on-site restaurant and a spa. Nestled in the old growth forests and tranquil surroundings of Cook Forest State Park, Gateway Lodge is the perfect setting for couples, retreat groups, weddings and family gatherings. Luxury accommodations include romantic fireside Jacuzzi suites, charmingly intimate historic rooms, and rustic cabins.
Fair Winds Cabins
7205 Route 36 | Leeper, PA 16233
800-680-0160 or 814-744-8300
Fair Winds offers affordable, pet-friendly cabin rentals in the Cook Forest & the Ancients Landscape of the PA Wilds, with three locations conveniently located near Cook Forest State Park, Clear Creek State Park (and the Allegheny National Forest). The Fair Winds River Cottage, open year-round, is located along the Clarion River and sleeps 6 guests, with three bedrooms, a large covered deck, Wi-Fi, and a stone fireplace. Also open year-round, the Cook Riverside Cabins (pictured) include 21 cabins, cottages, and vacation homes located on 15 acres adjacent to the Clarion River that sleep up to 12 guests. Whispering Oaks Cabins include seven cabins available April through December that each sleep up to eight and border Cook Forest State Park. Fair Winds in the Forest Cabins & Lodge describes nine cabins on three acres, some of which are available year-round.
Home to the largest free-roaming elk herd in the northeastern United States, Elk Country features two large visitor centers to welcome you, including the Elk Country Visitor Center and Sinnemahoning State Park Wildlife Center.
The Manse in the Pennsylvania Wilds
622 Huron Avenue | Renovo, PA 96815
Experience a restful evening in a former church rectory by staying at The Manse in the Pennsylvania Wilds, a 4-bedroom, 1.5-bath house in Elk Country. Located along the West Branch Susquehanna River and in Renovo, Clinton County, outdoor recreation and sightseeing destinations abound, with Hyner View State Park and several other public land options within a 20-minute drive. The Manse, open year-round, is just one hour from Benezette, known for wild elk sightings. The lodge features original hardwood trim and floors, a large covered front porch, and a fully-equipped kitchen. Travelers can easily access The Manse using the Bucktail Scenic Byway.
Allegheny National Forest & 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 features some of the region’s most treasured places and experiences. Learn more here.
Albinas Guest House
215 Kane Street | Wilcox, PA 15870
Located in Wilcox, Elk County, Albinas Guest House is situated in the Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds Landscape of the PA Wilds. The restored home was originally built in 1910 and is now available year-round for overnight rentals and vacations. The lodge sleeps up to four and features a full kitchen, bath, laundry, patio, and grill. The North Country National Scenic Trail is not far away, and easy day trips include Elk Country, Cook Forest & the Ancients and the Kinzua Experience.
The lodging establishments listed above are Host Site members of the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, one of rural Pennsylvania’s largest networks of juried artisans and creative entrepreneurs. Managed by the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc, a nonprofit organization serving the 12.5-county Pennsylvania Wilds region, the WCO is the main program through which small businesses and nonprofits – from artisans to breweries to B&Bs to outfitters to retailers to restaurants to galleries to designers to videographers – engage with the Pennsylvania Wilds brand, networks and platforms. Functionally, the WCO is the listings backbone for the regional visitor site pawilds.com; the product supply line for the PA Wilds Conservation Shops physical and online stores; and the entry point for those looking to team up on PA Wilds licensed products in the market place. The PA Wilds Center promotes the WCO as part of the overall Pennsylvania Wilds experience. Visit WildsCoPa.org to learn more.
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