Planning your springtime adventure in the PA Wilds
Birds migrating back home, delicate buds appearing on tree branches, the grass returning to a vibrant green color, the birth of fawns and other babies, the smell of rain and sweet flowers… it’s springtime in the Pennsylvania Wilds! Now that the sun is shining and the weather is warmer, check out these popular activities to plan your spring adventure in the PA Wilds.
Shake off the winter blues with a visit to a state park
It’s time to come out of hibernation! State parks are great locations for outdoor recreation, and you’re in luck… the PA Wilds has 29 of them, just waiting for you to explore. Get your heart racing with a trip more than 220 feet into the air when you walk out onto the Kinzua Skywalk at Kinzua Bridge State Park. A trip to Leonard Harrison State Park or Colton Point State Park will earn you fantastic views into the Pine Creek Valley and the PA Grand Canyon, where you can see the new buds and bright green leaves on the trees. A visit to Cherry Springs State Park is beautiful even in the daytime, but it really sparkles at night with its internationally recognized dark skies!
Revisit those New Year’s Resolutions that you’ve forgotten about
Think back to a few months ago when you made your New Year’s Resolution. You might have started the year with an abundance of optimism, but the truth is that about 80 percent of resolutions are abandoned by February. With the renewing energy of spring, this could be the perfect time to revisit why you made that New Year’s Resolution in the first place. Did you want to get healthier? Exercise more? Explore the outdoors and travel? Planning a trip in the PA Wilds is a great way of building those good habits. One great resource could be the PA State Parks Passport Book, which lists out each state park with a description and a space for a park-specific stamp. Make it your goal to visit all of them!
Test the waters
Although the beginning of spring can still be a little cold, the days get warmer and warmer as the season continues. Cooling off and relaxing on the water can help you disconnect and unwind in the Wilds. This region is famous for water recreation, with over 16,000 miles of lakes, rivers and streams to enjoy. Break out the kayak or canoe and explore wide open waters surrounded by scenic shorelines and forest land.
Soar into springtime with some birdwatching
Springtime means that many migratory birds are coming back into the region, bringing with them their bright colors and cheerful songs. Want to learn a new hobby this spring? Birding or birdwatching is easy (and inexpensive) to get started. All you need is information (from the internet or a guidebook) and some binoculars. This laidback hobby consists of finding and observing birds in their natural habitat, whether that’s in your own neighborhood or on a forest trail. Need some tips for how to get started and go birding responsibly? We have a whole article about it!
Do some spring cleaning
Just like you would spring clean your home, many communities throughout the PA Wilds do spring cleanup days where volunteers collect litter and remove fallen branches, freshening up the streets and trailways. Check out our volunteer guide, dedicated to helping connect you with opportunities to give back and volunteer within the PA Wilds. This includes activities like trash pickups, trail maintenance, planting trees and flowers, pulling invasive plants and awareness events. Volunteering will revitalize your sense of community and connections with nature.
Reawaken your tastebuds
Plan a road trip based on your tastebuds! Check out the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania directory to find WCO-member restaurants near you. Whether you’re looking for a casual dining experience or something a little fancier, there are so many options throughout our region. Many restaurants also offer special menu items that are either made and grown in the PA Wilds or are a popular local dish, such as the ones listed in our “Flavors of the PA Wilds” blog. You can also read our previous blogs highlighting some of the best wineries and breweries throughout the PA Wilds region, which are perfect for doing tastings and relaxing in the fresh spring air.
Get back to biking
It’s time to pull those bicycles out of the garage! Breathe in that fresh spring air, strap on a helmet and pack a lunch to make a day trip on many of the bicycle loops and trails throughout the PA Wilds! Many of these bike trails go straight by attractions, downtown centers and restaurants, so plan to make a few stops along the way. You’ll be able to catch your breath and enjoy the pitstop. Craving something a little more daring? Try some mountain biking, perhaps at the Trails at Jakes Rocks!
Break in those hiking boots
Although you can hike during all four seasons in the PA Wilds, many folks put a pause on their hiking adventures during winter, often opting for snowshoeing or cross country skiing instead. Now that the snow has melted and the trails are clear, it’s time to pull the hiking boots out of the closet or break in those new hiking shoes. There are hiking trails of all difficulty levels throughout the PA Wilds, so you’re bound to find a hike that is right for your preference and ability. Lace up those boots, come prepared with water and a map, and hit the trail.
Reel in some springtime memories
Whether it’s with family or friends, some of the best memories can be made while sitting on a dock or a boat and fishing in the PA Wilds. After a long bout of cold winter weather, fishing in the spring allows you to quietly enjoy the warm breeze, fresh air and peaceful waters. Have a child or another family member who has never fished before? A fishing adventure can be a great excuse to spend quality time together and learn a new skill together.
Freshen up your home or wardrobe with locally made products
Springtime carries the spirit of renewal and freshening things up. Ready to revamp your home or your wardrobe? There are plenty of places around the PA Wilds to go on that shopping spree! You can shop responsibly here too, simply by choosing businesses that are locally owned and sustainably managed. For help finding businesses and brands that are based in the PA Wilds, check out the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania directory to find WCO members near you or shop online at ShopThePAWilds.com for the PA Wilds Marketplace.
It’s the perfect time to go to those places you’ve always wanted to visit or to revisit those special locations that are close to your heart. If you live in the PA Wilds, you’ll likely be able to reach any of these locations by driving three hours or less. And even if you don’t live in the Wilds, you’re probably within driving distance! More than 80 million people live within a 6-hour drive of the PA Wilds, so it’s a great option for weekend getaways. The Pennsylvania Wilds is full of that joyful spring energy, so start planning a new adventure!
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