wild and natural areas
Pennsylvania’s state forest system includes dozens of special wild and natural areas set aside to protect unique or unusual biologic, geologic, scenic and historical features or to showcase outstanding examples of the state’s major forest communities. Natural areas are “managed” by nature and direct human intervention is limited. They provide places for scenic observation, protect special plant and animal communities and conserve outstanding examples of natural beauty. Wild areas are generally extensive tracts managed to protect the forest’s wild character and to provide backcountry recreational opportunities.
Charles F. Lewis Natural Area
This 384 acre natural area is located at the western end of the Rager Mountain forest area near Cramer in Indiana County. A two mile foot trail, the Clark Run Trail, winds through the scenic Clark Run Gorge with its numerous small waterfalls and interesting geologic features.
Clear Shade Wild Area
Clear Shade Wild Area is located south of the Babcock picnic area off of Route 56 in northern Somerset County. Part of the John P. Saylor Trail and Clear Shade Creek wind their way through the 2,791 acres of cherry, maple and beech forest.