Resolutions, PA Wilds style
I think we can all agree that 2020 was a challenging year, and we’re probably all relieved that it’s over. Not to get too cocky about 2021, but I’m hoping it’s a better one. As the New Year begins, people all over the Pennsylvania Wilds are making resolutions and looking for ways to improve themselves.
I’m willing to help with that, in the form of some specific suggestions. If you live in the Pennsylvania Wilds, there are things you can do and places you can go to help follow through on your resolutions. I took the liberty of looking up the most common New Year’s resolutions, and matching them with some ideas that might help.
If your resolution is to get in shape….
Try the Pine Creek Rail Trail. This trail runs from the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in Wellsboro all the way down toward the I-80 Frontier in Jersey Shore, a total of sixty-two miles. It can be hiked or biked, and if you need to get into shape, small segments at a time are what you want. Walk or ride a few miles at a time, giving yourself some exercise.
The nice thing about rail trails, including this one, is that they tend to be fairly flat and level because they were made from old railroad grades. It makes it easy to eat up the miles without a lot of unnecessary effort, giving you a pleasant trip.
If your resolution is to save money….
Check out the Wilds Cooperative directory or deals, or shop local to save on shipping. Whether you’re looking for gifts, clothing, food, or art, the Wilds Cooperative of PA offers a variety of products, services and experiences, and the members offer some amazing deals. All local items created by local people, this organization has some great discounts.
If your resolution is to learn a new skill or hobby….
Take a look at the many opportunities on the Pennsylvania Wilds website. Admittedly, if you’re reading this, you’re already here, so I’ve saved you a step. The Pennsylvania Wilds promotes opportunities to develop plenty of new skills and hobbies, and they’re all available right here.
Photography? We have that. Hunting, fishing, bird watching? All here. Genealogy? Geocaching? It’s all right here on the site. Just half an hour of browsing time should give you plenty of ideas for new and interesting activities to try.
If your resolution is to live life to the fullest….
Visit Cook Forest and then Cherry Springs State Park. Or the other way around; it doesn’t matter. There’s something about seeing ancient and dark places that really makes you think.
Cook Forest holds “The Ancients,” a forest cathedral with trees that go back before the founding of the country. You can walk the forty-seven miles of trails among trees that are between 350 and 450 years old, and take a moment to think of how far back that was, and how much history these trees have survived.
Then take a night at Cherry Springs State Park, home to some of the darkest night skies in the country. Nestled away from light pollution, this is an excellent place to view the night sky and feel a sense of the universe and your place in it.
Cook Forest and Cherry Springs are wonderful places to stop and think about your meaning in both space and time.
If your resolution is to spend more time with family….
Take a drive along Route 6. Maybe your family is just you and your spouse. Maybe it’s three kids, as well. Maybe it’s you and your father, who says you don’t visit enough. Regardless, Scenic Route 6 has something for all of you.
Running across northern PA Wilds and through three of the region’s headliner landscapes, the drive takes travelers right by the Kinzua Bridge in the Allegheny National Forest and Surrounds, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum and Cherry Springs in Dark Skies, and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in the Pine Creek Valley, among many other wonderful spots. All of these appeal to a variety of ages, making Route 6 a great trip to take with your family.
As the New Year moves forward, let’s hope for a better one this time around. And remember that the Pennsylvania Wilds has plenty of opportunities for you to achieve your resolutions. These are just some ideas to get you started, but there are plenty of other experiences to unravel as you explore everything our rural region has to offer.
Happy New Year, everyone.
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