Day 144: In The Heart Of The Pennsylvania Wilds


time of year

Today are exploring the Pennsylvania Wilds. This region includes 29 state parks, eight state forests and over two million acres of public lands. This region is home to the largest free-roaming elk herd in the northeast and some of the darkest skies in the country.

Sinnemahoning State Park, Austin, PA. Sinnemahoning State Park in First Fork Valley is right in the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds. We walked to the Beaver Pond Observation Blind.

The Red Spruce Trail. (2.3 mile total out and back, 72’ elevation). The trail is beautiful, green with moss and fern ground cover and the smell of fresh spruce. Patches of bright sunlight break through the thick trees. We stopped to admire the wetland overview and then turned back. Near the parking lot we encountered a giant timber rattlesnake rattling at us. He had to be 4-5’ long, 4-5” in diameter, by far the biggest rattlesnake we’ve ever seen and, luckily, he was very loud.

We drove back through the park to the visitors center to visited to the Arch Tree.

In September monarch butterflies they travel through the First Fork Valley in swarms on the way to their winter home in Mexico. September is also Elk rutting season, which is when they are most likely to be seen. Hopefully we’ll come back to see them both.


difficulty: 1.5

George B Stevenson Dam overlook on First Fork Sinnemahong Creek.


Fred Wood Trail, PA. (4.9 mile loop, 300’ elevation). This trail is at the top of a mountain. It starts in beautiful ferny woods, become rocky and then turns into a group unique rock formations. The loop continues through huckleberry bushes to a couple of overlooks with a view of the valley below. We had the whole, very peaceful trail to ourselves.


difficulty: 3

Pronto! By Brandy Camp Creamery, St Mary’s, PA. Good in a pinch (we’re pretty hungry and good food is oddly slim pickings around here) but not very high quality ice cream, weak flavors and watery.


Best Western, DuBois, PA.

Price: $143/night


You May Also Find Interesting:

Have a question or comment?

%d bloggers like this: