In 2018, the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation recognized Cook Forest State Park as the commonwealth’s Park of the Year “for its exemplary and innovative work in customer service, education, programming, recreation, stewardship of the natural, cultural, historic assets, and accommodation of special needs of visitors.”
Each year, the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship recognizes outstanding individuals, organizations, programs, communities, and places that exemplify the great work being done across the 12.5-county Pennsylvania Wilds region to develop nature tourism and the outdoor recreation economy in a way that creates jobs, diversifies local economies, inspires stewardship, and improves quality of life. This year, six winners from the five-county Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region within the larger Pennsylvania Wilds tourism area were announced as Champions of the Pennsylvania Wilds, bringing well-deserved attention to the ways they improve the region and enhance visitor experiences to the special places within.
Each spring, the heart of Elk County explodes in a flurry of noise and sawdust as chainsaw artists from around the world put their creativity on display. The Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, now in its 19th year, attracts tens of thousands of visitors who come to see skilled craftsmen and women transform raw logs into life-size wildlife sculptures, indoor and outdoor furniture, signs, home décor, and other surprisingly intricate works of art. Over the past two decades, the free festival has grown into the largest of its kind in the world. This year, the action transitions to a three-day event, and it all happens April 26-28 in downtown Ridgway.
You may think that drive-in movie theaters went the way of sock hops, poodle skirts, and McCarthyism after the 1950s, but a few still continue to delight moviegoers across the country, including one right here in the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region. Every weekend through the spring, summer, and fall, Brookville’s Moonlite Drive-In Theatre entertains audiences under a blanket of stars, just as it did more than half a century ago.
The Clarion County Trails Association and the Clarion County Chapter of the North Country Trail Association are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Clarion Loop Trail, a three-mile spur off of the North Country National Scenic Trail, which passes through the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region on its 4,600-mile route from New York to North Dakota. This weekend, the university and community are invited to explore and enjoy the new trail at the grand opening event.
If you’re lucky enough to catch one the many tagged trout in Elk County this spring, you could win a prize from an area merchant or even free beer. This year’s Elk County Trout-A-Thon starts on the opening day of trout season, April 14, and runs through May 31.