Places Dad will love in the Pennsylvania Wilds
Dad deserves to be celebrated every day, but especially on Father’s Day. We’ve put together a list of exciting destinations that dads (and father figures of all varieties) will love visiting in the Pennsylvania Wilds.
Elk Country and the Elk Country Visitor Center
Dad will definitely hear the call of the wild in Elk Country, a place that truly lives up to its name. 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 the Sinnemahoning State Park and Wildlife Center. (Does Dad want to spend some quality time with the little ones? Tia DeShong wrote about her children visiting the Elk Country Visitor Center! Read about how it’s a great spot for kids and adults alike.) If you come to Elk Country for the elk, you won’t be disappointed. But if you stick around to see what’s all around you, you’ll be delighted you did.
Pine Creek Rail Trail
If Dad loves riding his bike, walking or even horsebacking riding, you can’t beat a trip 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 1,000-foot deep Pine Creek Gorge (aka our PA Grand Canyon) is commonly ranked as one of the most thrilling and beautiful places within the PA Wilds. Orient yourself to the trail and the surrounding area at the Tiadaghton Resource Center near Waterville, closer to the southern side of the trail. Not ready to tackle the whole trail yet? Even a short walk or bike on a segment of the trail can offer a picturesque new memory for the entire family.
Scenic Route 6
Treat Dad to the freedom of the open road. Whether you’re traveling by car, bike or motorcycle, there is great freedom in travel, and it is found on the 400+ scenic miles of PA Route 6. Truly, it is a journey like no other in Pennsylvania. Even National Geographic agrees, calling PA Route 6 “one of America’s most scenic drives,” and The Weather Channel picked Route 6 as its Pennsylvania choice for “Amazing Road Trips to Take In Every State!” Time for a roadtrip! Fill up Dad’s car with some gas, his travel bag with some snacks and his heart with new adventures.
If your father figure is a historical buff or a lover of aviation, a trip to the Piper Aviation Museum might pique his interest. Did you know? Piper Aircraft were PA Wilds Made! At one point in history, Piper Aircraft Corporation was the world’s leading producer of general aviation aircraft. Although the factory was closed in 1984, the museum near Lock Haven (located conveniently along the I-80 Frontier landscape of the PA Wilds) offers both educational exhibits and actual aircraft on display.
The Trails at Jakes Rocks
If Dad is more of a daredevil, the Trails at Jakes Rocks offer some of the best mountain biking trails around! Located off of the Longhouse National Scenic Byway in the Allegheny National Forest, the expertly-designed Trails at Jakes Rocks is a 30+ mile adventure mountain bike loop that winds through natural boulders and scenic forested landscapes. The trails have been described as “fast and flowy,” and even some of the bridges are bermed. Want to see what it looks like yourself before taking Dad on a trip there? Check out this video from Jeremy Bickling at Stratos Media Solutions.
Pine Creek, Slate Run, Kettle Creek and other fly fishing spots
For those “angling” for the perfect fishing spot, the PA Wilds has no lack of places to go to spend some quality time fly fishing with Dad. Pine Creek is one of the most popular spots, in (of course) the Pine Creek Valley and PA Grand Canyon landscape of the PA Wilds. Though the Pine Creek can sometimes reach 200 feet in width, it generally is easy to wade and calm enough for the whole family. Slate Run is also a wonderful spot for trout fishing. It’s a Class A wild trout stream, full of brook and brown trout. Farther west, Kettle Creek near Renovo feeds into a reservoir at Kettle Creek State Park, where you can catch plentiful trout and bass. But don’t think that these are the only places to fish! The region has nearly 2,100 designated trout streams and 16,000 miles of sparkling waterways. Check out the PA Wilds fishing and hunting page here, or read articles from Ray Hunt about fishing at Kettle Creek and Clearfield County.
Kinzua Bridge and the rest of the Kinzua Experience
This breathtaking view is sure to inspire Dad. Named “One of the World’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Skywalks and Viewpoints in the World” by the Culture Trip, U.K., the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk is an engineering masterpiece with a rich history and one of the most stunning views you’ll see in the Pennsylvania Wilds. Pronounced “kin-zoo,” by local residents, and “kin-zew-uh” in the Seneca language, a road trip through Kinzua country is an experience rich in Native American history and modern advances. Don’t forget to stop and buy Dad a locally made souvenir at the PA Wilds Conservation Shop at Kinzua Bridge State Park!
Does Dad treasure his trust Zippo light? Does he value historical insights and oddities? The Zippo Manufacturing Company is one of the PA Wild’s most iconic brands, world famous for their collectible Zippo lighters. Treat your father figure to a visit to the Zippo/Case Museum in Bradford, where fans and collectors from across the globe gather to experience the rich history of these two American and Pennsylvania Wilds’ icons. Exhibits include: Zippo Rocks! (a rocking collection of Zippo’s role in the music throughout the years), An Ally for the Allies (an exploration of Zippo’s contributions to the American effort in WWII), The Greatest Supporting Actor of all Times (an illustration of each time a Zippo lighter is in the Hollywood spotlight) and “It Works or We Fix It Free” (a glance into Zippo’s famous repairs center).
The Little League Museum
The crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd. For baseball-loving Dads, nothing can compare to the Little League Museum, located in Williamsport. This is where Major League dreams begin. Learn about the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with hundreds of artifacts on display and cutting-edge, immersive exhibits. Before you visit, read the article about the history of baseball in the PA Wilds, written by Lou Bernard. While in Williamsport (the largest city in the PA Wilds), check out some of the other restaurants, trails, state parks, murals and events nearby in the I-80 Frontier landscape of the PA Wilds.
Hunt for Bigfoot
As the largest block of green space between New York City and Chicago, the PA Wilds is perhaps an obvious home for a cryptid thought to prefer rugged mountainous terrain with lower populations of people. It’s no wonder that so many people in our region (including many fathers!) are fascinated by the thought that Bigfoot might be out there somewhere. If Dad loves debating whether Bigfoot exists, why not treat him to some Bigfoot merchandise, a Bigfoot event, read up on sightings in the PA Wilds, or even have a glass of Bigfoot-themed wine? Check out our full PA Wilds Bigfoot page!
Breweries and beer tours
Dad deserves to kick back and have a tall, frosty glass of his favorite beverage. For many visitors to the Pennsylvania Wilds, nothing beats a refreshing brew after an outdoor adventure or time spent exploring the communities the region has to offer. If your favorite father figure needs a cure for what’s “ale-ing” him, check out this list of breweries throughout the PA Wilds. If he’d rather relax with a glass of wine, we’ve got you covered there, too.
Whether it’s for your dad, spouse or partner, father figure, brother or even yourself, these special places within the PA Wilds offer the perfect setting for a meaningful outing to celebrate that wonderful man in your life. Plan a Father’s Day trip to one of these popular PA Wilds destinations that Dad will love!
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