Make memories • Make it by hand • Make a living • Make it in the PA Wilds
Lose (or find!) yourself in the Pennsylvania Wilds lifestyle: a slower pace where the way of life is intertwined with nature and stewardship.
The Pennsylvania Wilds is a special place — with more than 2 million acres of public lands, the region is home to the largest wild elk herd in the north east, internationally-certified dark skies, the commonwealth’s only national forest, and so many unique outdoor experiences. It is also home to many towns that dot the rural landscape, adding to your experience in the region.
Lycoming County — home to the largest city in the PA Wilds: Williamsport — serves as the southeastern gateway into this lush region. Take advantage of the modern-day amenities that the communities of Lycoming County have to offer and learn about the county’s legacy in the region, while finding some of Pennsylvania’s hidden gems and most beautiful places in the Wilds. Whether you’re coming to visit and explore, you’re looking to relocate to the region and start a new beginning, or you’re already a local seeking out a new adventure — you can always find a way to make it in Lycoming County and the PA Wilds!
The Eastern Gateway to the PA Wilds...If it’s your first visit to the region, the Pine Creek Valley + PA Grand Canyon is a must see landscape of the region, and exploring it is 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.
The I-80 Frontier is the quintessential welcome mat to the Pennsylvania Wilds. 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. Lycoming County is located on the eastern side of the PA Wilds, along the I-80 Frontier, making it an easy-to-access destination to start off your trip and begin exploring.
Flowing 228 miles total, the West Branch Susquehanna is one of two principal branches of the mighty Susquehanna River and a meandering and beautiful journey through the PA Wilds Lumber Heritage Region. It flows right through Lycoming County, a county that has more than one way to explore the river. A paddler's paradise, this scenic water trail flows through remote and mature hardwood forests, past historic river towns, and alongside rolling agricultural fields through. The West Branch Susquehanna Greenway corridor is a must-experience journey in the PA Wilds and includes the river itself as well as the parks, trails, and communities that line the river’s banks.
One is unable to appreciate the majesty and sheer awesomeness of the 1,000 feet deep Pine Creek Gorge (aka the PA Grand Canyon) without a bicycle ride, walk, or horseback ride along the Pine Creek Rail Trail, voted by USA Today as one of the “10 great places to take a bike tour in the world.” The Pine Creek Rail Trail's southern terminus can be found in the Lycoming County community of Jersey Shore, where you can begin heading north to experience a fun day on a flat trail. You can also orient yourself to the trail and the surrounding area at the Tiadaghton Resource Center, just up Pine Creek Valley.
Ready to explore more ways to make it in the Wilds?
Check out other nearby landscapes and journeys, or events and activities that can fill out the rest of your PA Wilds adventure using the links and resources below!
Unique Opportunities in the PA Wilds
The Pennsylvania Wilds is home to many charming and thriving local businesses, creators, makers, and artisans. They all celebrate and draw inspiration from the natural landscape, culture, and heritage of the region.
This is how they “Make it” in the PA Wilds — and you can too.
Need help planning your trip?
Our local tourism partners can make it happen for you by providing on-the-ground tips, maps, itineraries and more.
ALLEGHENY NATIONAL FOREST VISITORS BUREAU
The Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau (ANFVB) provides in depth traveler information ranging from trail guides, to outdoor recreation, must-see stops, road trips, shopping, lodging and more! Request a brochure and check the ANFVB calendar for special events.
CLEARFIELD COUNTY VISITOR’S BUREAU
On the southern border of Elk Country, Clearfield provides a south-central entry point off of I-80. The Clearfield County Visitor’s Bureau provides traveler resources for Williamsport and beyond, including sporting and cultural events, outdoor recreation, historical sites and more.
CLINTON COUNTY VISITOR’S BUREAU
The Clinton County Visitor’s Bureau is on the eastern border of the Elk Country landscape and offers maps, visitor planning and more. An extension of the Elk Scenic Drive begins in Lock Haven, and takes travelers through Sinnemahoning State Park to the Elk Country Visitor Center.
LYCOMING COUNTY VISITOR’S BUREAU
Located on the eastern access point of the I-80 Frontier, the Lycoming County Visitor’s Bureau provides traveler resources for Williamsport and beyond, including sporting and cultural events, outdoor recreation, historical sites and more.
PENNSYLVANIA GREAT OUTDOORS
The Pennsylvania Great Outdoors (PAGO) provides traveler resources and itineraries for a 6 county region that covers a large portion of the Elk Country Landscape, including expert elk viewing tips, road trips, special events and more.
VISIT POTTER-TIOGA PENNSYLVANIA
Headquartered in Wellsboro, the Potter-Tioga Visitor’s Bureau provides traveler resources and itineraries for a 2 county region that covers a vast portion of the Pine Creek Valley & PA Grand Canyon landscape, extending into the Dark Sky Landscape.
WARREN COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU
The Warren County Visitors Bureau Warren County covers the northwestern portion of the Allegheny National Forest, and is a gateway to the Kinzua Dam.
Special thanks to the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania
The Make It in the PA Wilds campaign was funded by the First Community Foundation Partnership of PA as a way to highlight Lycoming County as part of the regional experience. Learn more about the First Community Foundation Partnership of PA — whose mission is to improve quality of life in north central Pennsylvania through community leadership, the promotion of philanthropy, the strengthening of nonprofit impact and the perpetual stewardship of charitable assets — here.
Outfitting the PA Wilds: Rich Port Adventure Company