HARRISBURG, PA – Pennsylvania State Playgrounds really are a must-see.
wanna find out Join one of the tours hosted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission in October.
Nine tours are planned across the state, with the first taking place on Sunday, October 2nd. Additional tours are planned every Sunday through October 16th.
The tours provide a good example of the opportunities available at wildlife areas across the state while also showing how the habitat work being done on those areas benefits wildlife.
All tours are free, take place rain or shine, and are only accessible to vehicles licensed to travel on public roads.
The tour schedule follows:
Sunday October 2nd
- State Game Lands 42, Somerset and Westmoreland counties, 11:00am to 4:00pm – Tour departs from the Wilderness Areas parking lot off Route 271 on the Somerset/Westmoreland County line. Look for the sign. The tour ends at Furnace Lane in New Florence. Covering approximately 7.3 miles of wildlife areas, this self-guided one-way tour will highlight mountainous terrain and various habitat improvement projects. Points of interest along the tour include a Ruffed Grouse study area, road maintenance and access improvements, forestry projects, remains of an old iron furnace and more. Game Commission officials will be along the tour route to highlight projects and answer questions.
- State Game Lands 57, Lucerne and Wyoming counties, 9am-1pm – Wildlife Commission staff will be on hand to explain points of interest, including wildlife habitat improvement projects. Four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles are required for this 30-mile self-guided trip, which takes about three hours. The tour passes habitat improvement projects conducted by State Game Lands 57’s Wildlife Habitat Crew with help from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Whitetails Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited. Representatives of the wildlife commission and nature conservation organizations will be on site to explain the projects and answer questions. The route begins at the Wildlife Areas parking lot on Mountain Springs Road, just off Route 487. Each vehicle is provided with a map and brief explanation of the wildlife habitat management programs operating on this stunning piece of public hunting ground.
Sunday October 9th
- State game lands 12, Bradford County, 9:00am to 1:00pm – This tour will highlight improvements in habitat, infrastructure and hunting opportunities. The tour showcases the achievements of the Game Commission’s wildlife habitat crews and dedicated volunteers from several conservation organizations. The 28-mile self-guided tour of the wildlife areas takes approximately two hours. State Game Lands 12 consists of nearly 24,480 acres in Bradford County. The route begins at the Game Lands parking lot on Wheelerville Mountain off Route 154, just south of Canton. Vehicles with good ground clearance are recommended. The route heads east to Barclay Cemetery, then down the hill to Laquin before turning west onto the railway track to Wheelerville. The tour ends at the intersection with Route 154 in Wheelerville. From there, tour participants can travel north on Route 154 to Canton or south to Shunk in Sullivan County. The tour passes Sunfish Pond County Park, so a picnic lunch may be on the agenda! Those who take the tour will find the local history of the mountain and the Game Commission sanctuary system fascinating. At the start of the tour, each vehicle is given a pocket guide with historical information and photos.
- State game lands 26, Bedford County, 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – The public is invited to tour this 12,000 hectare site at Blue Knob. This drive begins off Route 869 near the Bedford/Cambria County border and is approximately 7 miles long. Attendees will find ample opportunity to enjoy the history of the wild areas and habitat improvement by the Game Commission’s Habitat Crews in partnership with collaborating organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation. The work of the Wildlife Commission’s forest staff is also shown as they inspect the vast timber production that is generated through timber sales and timber stock improvement. Questions can be directed to the Southcentral Region Office at 1-833-PGC-HUNT or 1-833-PGC-WILD.
Sunday October 16th
- State Game lands 67, Huntingdon County, 12pm – 3pm – This tour covers a 5,700 hectare area near Dudley. The tour begins on Route 913 between Coalmont and Dudley (look for the sign) and extends approximately 7 miles. Attendees will find ample opportunity to enjoy the historic sites, high quality habitat improvements being undertaken by habitat management crews in partnership with collaborating organizations such as the Huntingdon County Conservation District and the Shoup’s Run Watershed, mandated fire and high quality forest management areas. This tour will be a self-guided drive only as there will be no staff available to run the excursion like in previous years. Information is provided to each vehicle at the start of the tour to guide them on their way. Questions can be directed to the Southcentral Region Office at 1-833-PGC-HUNT or 1-833-PGC-WILD.
- State game lands 108, Cambria County, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm – This 7.5 mile self-guided one-way drive tour will highlight the mountainous terrain and early fall foliage of the Allegheny Front. Sights along the tour route include a rehabilitated opencast mining area that has been converted into a small game habitat where the Game Commission releases pheasants. The area also serves as a study area for grassland breeders, including the Henslow Sparrow, a grassland species of particular concern. Endangered northern harriers, goshawks and short-eared owls also inhabit the study area. There are also several wildlife habitat improvement projects along the tour route. Each tour participant will receive an information brochure about the tour route. The tour begins at the Gamelands access road, three-tenths of a mile north of Frugality, along State Route 53, in White Township. Look for the sign. The tour concludes on State Route 865 near Blandburg in Reade Township. Game Commission officials will be stationed along the tour route to highlight projects and answer questions.
- State game lands 311, Elk County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — This area encompasses nearly 3,800 acres of mountainous and forested terrain. The moose herd uses this wildland as their main territory. The tour is self-guided with information stops along the way. The tour begins near the intersection of Front Street and Walnut Street in Benezette. Questions can be directed to the Northcentral Region Office at 1-833-PGC-HUNT or 1-833-PGC-WILD.
- State game lands 110, Berks County, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. — This tour begins at the Mountain Road gate about 5 miles west of Hamburg Borough and ends at the Route 183 gate, 4 miles north of Strausstown. Game Commission staff will be stationed along the tour route to provide site-specific information and answer questions.
- State game lands 210, Dauphin County, 9:00am to 3:00pm – This 6 mile tour starts near the junction of Greenland Road and Berry Mountain Road, about 2 miles south of Williamstown Borough, and continues west through the wilderness areas, exiting at Powell’s Valley Road . Ongoing large-scale wildlife habitat improvement projects are highlighted. Game Commission staff will be stationed along the tour route to provide site-specific information and answer questions.
MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau-717-705-6541
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