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Nearby Attractions to Elk State Park

Information about Elk State Park’s nearby attractions is available from the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau.

Explore the Area

Elk State Park is located near the community of Wilcox, which is near the East Branch Clarion River. It is a productive farming and lumber region with a history of paper mills.

Learn about some of the area businesses and things to do from the Johnsonburg Chamber of Commerce and the Ridgeway-Elk County Chamber of Commerce.

Nearby State Parks and Forests

Elk State Park is close to two state parks and one state forest, where visitors can enjoy recreation, education, and other activities.

Bendigo State Park

The 100-acre Bendigo State Park is in a small valley surrounded by picturesque hills. About 20 acres of the park is developed, half of which is a large, shaded picnic area.

The East Branch of the Clarion River flows through the park, where visitors can swim, kayak, and fish.

Kinzua Bridge State Park

The 339-acre Kinzua Bridge State Park is the home of the reinvented Kinzua Viaduct. The viaduct, once the longest and tallest railroad structure, was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003 and was reinvented as a pedestrian walkway in 2011.

Picnicking and trail opportunities are available. The Kinzua Bridge Scenic Byway is a designated shared use hike/bike corridor.

Elk State Forest

The nearly 200,000-acre Elk State Forest offers 17 hiking trails, areas that allow mountain biking, approximately 53 miles of designated horseback riding trails, and opportunities for picnicking, fishing, hunting, and camping.

Elk State Forest is one of eight state forests located in the Pennsylvania Wilds Center.

Other Nearby Outdoor Spaces and Natural Places

There are several other nearby outdoor spaces and natural places near Elk State Park:

  • A recreation area by the East Branch Dam and is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has camping with facilities, sanitary dump station, and boat launch. The East Branch Dam of the Clarion River was finished in 1952 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam provides flood protection and recreational opportunities.
  • State Game Lands 25, a 24,523-acre wooded area consisting of long narrow valleys and flat mountaintops, welcomes visitors to hunt, fish, hike, and bird-watch. A large stone marker at the entrance to State Game Land 25 in Glen Hazel commemorates the purchase of this land in 1920.
  • The Allegheny National Forest is a few miles from Elk State Park and provides a myriad of recreational opportunities.
  • The Quehanna Wild Area is a state forest wild area about an hour away from Elk State Park that offers a variety of recreational opportunities.

The Pennsylvania Wilds

Elk State Park is part of the Pennsylvania Wilds, which offers 2 million acres of public lands for hiking, biking, fishing, boating, hunting, and exploration in northcentral Pennsylvania.

Highlights of the area include

Pennsylvania Heritage Areas

Heritage Areas protect, enhance, and promote Pennsylvania’s historic, natural, cultural, and scenic resources.

In the Lumber Heritage Region, roughly 2 million acres of public lands give both wildlife and humans room to roam. Unsurpassed beauty, natural treasures, rich history, and outdoor adventure can be found here.

In 1807, Pennsylvania State officials mandated a road be cut through the Moosic Mountains to enable easier travel to the western part of the state. What would become the Route 6 Heritage Corridor was born. By spanning the entire state, the road ties together a unique collection of special places and communities, capturing the spirit of the state’s diversity.