Unique Tours in the PA Wilds
There are a couple of ways to learn about a community. One is to study, look through the books and documents, and find all the interesting facts.
The other, and much simpler way, is to just follow around the people who already did that.
Throughout the Pennsylvania Wilds, many communities have some sort of guided tour available. These tours are worth taking; if you know where to find them, you’re in for a pleasant and informative walk through a great area.
ALLEGHENY NATIONAL FOREST AND SURROUNDS
Smethport is a great community, with historic homes and sites and lots of fascinating local stories. They also have a great walking tour, guided by a brochure available for free at the McKean County courthouse or the Smethport Visitors’ Center on Main Street. The brochure is also available at their website.
The stops on the map are numbered for easy navigation, and the tour can be taken at your own pace, with thirty sites to experience.
The borough of Ridgway sits in the heart of Elk County, and a tour is available either on foot or by car.
The brochure for the tour is available at the Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center at 300 Main Street in Ridgway. The tour travels through the National Register Historic District. Houses on the tour were all built between 1855 and 1917. The welcome center can be contacted at 814-772-9150.
The summer walking tours of Lock Haven are some of the best and most informative you will find. Okay, full disclosure: I’m the guy who gives tours. Each one begins at the Ross Library, at 232 West Main Street in Lock Haven, and takes about an hour. Each travels through a different route in Lock Haven, and shows different buildings and sites.
The tours are traditionally part of summer programming, happening on Friday evenings at seven PM in June and July. Other tours, however, are scheduled at times—In late October, haunted tours are scheduled as a fundraiser, and I can be booked for private tours at any time. To inquire, contact the Ross Library at 570-748-3321 or email@example.com
PINE CREEK VALLEY AND THE PA GRAND CANYON
The Jersey Shore Historical Society gives excellent tours of Jersey Shore and the surrounding area, and full disclosure, I’ve been known to help out with those, as well. The JSHS varies the tours to make them more interesting—They have given walking tours of the downtown, bus tours of the outlying areas, and tours of the local cemeteries.
The Jersey Shore Historical Society is at the Samuel Moss House at 200 South Main Street, and can be reached at 570-398-1573.
COOK FOREST AND THE ANCIENTS
Every November, as fall turns to winter, the annual Cook Forest Gingerbread tour is a huge hit.
Geographically, this tour is the biggest of this list, covering over twenty miles of vendors, plus restaurants and attractions.
The tour is guided by brochure, which can be picked up at any of the stops, in addition to the visitors’ bureau at 2801 Maplevale Road in Brookville.
Though there are a couple of tours in the Coudersport area to choose from, the one that most represents the Dark Skies landscape is the Potter County Stargazing tour, led by Greg Snowman, Environmental Education Specialist at Cherry Springs State Park.
These tours are held at night, obviously, and take advantage of a knowledge of astronomy and nature to provide an educational experience. Tours can be booked at 814-558-8539.
Additional Tours of the PA Wilds
Get out and take a tour. In fact, take at least six. Each landscape in the PA Wilds has plenty to see and do, and here it is, all neatly packaged up for you. Looking for even more Tours of the PA Wilds? Here are some additional resources for tours in the PA Wilds!
- Punxsutawney and Groundhogs Day
- Zippo Case Museum
- Exploring Bellefonte’s rich heritage: A Q&A with local historian and business owner Matt Maris
- Ole Covered Wagon Tour: A Step Back in Time
- Take the perfect family photo along the Lumber Heritage Region Selfie Trail
Find more tours and experiences through the PA Wilds Landscapes!
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