PA’s got plenty of amazing qualities. Friendly people. Beautiful landscape. Four lovely seasons. And, just when you think you’ve seen and done it all, for example, you discover another hidden gem. Here are just 10 of the overlooked destinations in Pennsylvania that really deserve more attention.
1. Wolf Sanctuary of PA – 465 Speedwell Forge Road, Lititz, PA 17543
Wolf Sanctuary of PA welcomes visitors to get a glimpse of the beautiful wolves to whom it offers refuge. The wolves who live at the sanctuary were all saved from abuse, neglect, and other undesirable situations. Guided tours, which take between an hour and an hour and a half, are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Two hour private tours are available, with advanced reservations, on the weekend.
2. The Forest Cathedral Trail – 113 River Road, Cooksburg, PA 16217
Cook Forest State Park offers plenty of picturesque hiking trails, including the breathtaking Forest Cathedral Trail. The two and a half mile loop trail takes hikers through a forested area. A National Natural Landmark, the Forest Cathedral Trail boasts more than 300 year old hemlocks and pines. Leashed dogs are also allowed on the trail.
3. Columcille Megalith Park – 2155 Fox Gap Road, Bangor, PA 18013
Columcille Megalith Park has often been called "America's Stonehenge." Inspired by the Isle of Iona in Ireland, founder Bill Cohea began laying the foundation for the unique park in 1975. Take a moment to reflect at the St. Columbia Chapel or simply embark on a relaxing stroll through the park.
4. Laurel Caverns – 1065 Skyline Drive, Farmington, PA 15437
Laurel Caverns offers something for everyone, including adventurers. Join a tour of the historic caverns - Pennsylvania's largest
and deepest cave. The tour leads visitors along 3,000 feet of the three miles of walking passages. Or, if you prefer something a little more exciting, try spelunking.
5. Little Pine State Park – 4205 Little Pine Creek Road, Waterville, PA 17776
With 121 state parks, it's pretty easy to overlook some of the gems. Little Pine State Park spans more than 2,000 acres and features the cozy Little Pine Lake (60 acres). Snuggled by the mountains of Tiadaghton State Forest, the park offers plenty to do all year around. Hiking and wildlife watching popular all year around. Common winter activities include cross country skiing, sledding, and snowmobiling. Summer means swimming, boating, fishing, and camping.
6. Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center – 400 Belfast Road, Nazareth, PA 18064
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center promises visitors an opportunity to experience nature and to learn more about it. Hike along one of the 18 miles of trails, where you'll discover babbling brooks, open fields, and forested areas. Mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross country skiing are also permitted. The education center also hosts after school and homeschool programs as well as summer camps for kids.
7. Bear Creek Preserve – 47 Rabbit Run Lane, Bear Creek Village, PA 18702
Journey to Bear Creek Preserve for an unforgettable experience among nature. The 3,400 acre nature preserve boasts plenty of hiking opportunities. Hikes past waterfalls, footbridges, streams, and native wildlife. Keep an eye out for turtles, owls, porcupines, and black bears.
8. Sproul State Forest – 15187 Renovo Road, Renovo, PA 17764
Sproul State Forest, the largest forest in PA, spans more than 300,000 acres. It boasts seven natural areas, including Cranberry Swamp, East Branch Swamp, and Burns Run Wild Area. Outdoor and nature enthusiasts will find plenty to do. Explore the forest by foot (hiking), on a mountain bike, or on horseback. ATV riding is also permitted. Popular activities at the forest include kayaking, fishing, and camping.
9. Promised Land State Park – 100 Lower Lake Road, Greentown, PA 18426
Flanked by Delaware State Forest, Promised Land State Park spans 3,000 acres. The state park, open all year around, offers a plethora of activities. Spend your winter visits cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, or hiking. The warmer months mean swimming, boating, fishing, and biking.
10. Cherry Springs State Park – 4639 Cherry Springs Road, Coudersport, PA 16915
Stargazers in PA have the perfect place to go for an evening of unobstructed stargazing. Cherry Springs State Park has earned recognition as the clearest, darkest area for stargazing on the eastern seaboard. Spend an evening with fellow casual stargazers. Or, if you're a serious astronomer, you can spend the entire night at a designated area in the park.