Explore the Moshannon and Elk State Forests, hike with Keystone Trails Association staff and board members, view the elk herd in the Benezette area, and complete your weekend adventure at Gunners, a quaint motel/restaurant in historic St Marys.
This weekend package trip includes: two nights lodging as well as two breakfasts, one lunch, and two dinners. Attendees will take four hikes throughout the three-day adventure and visit the Elk Country Visitor Center and state game lands in the heart of the elk viewing area.
The southern part of the Quehanna Plateau is a mostly oak-laurel ecosystem; the northern part is characterized by northern hardwoods mixed with hemlock and pine. Several of the QT connecting trails pass through State Game Land 34, featuring ponds that attract waterfowl. Feed plots and viewing platforms have been constructed throughout the whole Quehanna Plateau area, in order to satisfy public interest in viewing elk that have wandered south from their traditional stomping grounds north of Sinnemahoning Creek. The elk can now be found throughout the Quehanna area, but at such a low density that you are only occasionally rewarded with a sighting. The elk move easily through the forest, and a sighting is certainly a thrilling experience.
Part of the Quehanna Trail passes through the 50,000-acre Quehanna Wild Area. This is the largest wild area in the state, though it is traversed by two paved and several unpaved roads. The wild area is known for its beautiful streams and unusual open savannas with occasional black cherry trees that were apparently left when the area’s vast hemlock forest was logged in the nineteenth century. Two natural areas feature stands of paper birch, near the southernmost limit of that tree’s range.
Learn more about the event here.