Above photo: Blue Rock Swinging Bridge on Clarion Little Toby Trail)
Being home to world’s most famous weather forecaster Punxsutawney Phil gives Jefferson County bragging rights. Punxsutawney is party central for the nation’s Groundhog Day celebration every February 2nd at Gobbler’s Knob. You also enjoy the fun of the Groundhog Festival each July. Make sure to visit Phil’s Burrow where Phil lives with his wife Phyllis and the Groundhog Club Headquarters. The Weather Discovery Center is perfect for school age children with intriguing and interactive exhibits. No trip to the weather capital of the world would be complete without posting some great selfies of you with one of the 32 Phantastic Phils sculptures throughout town.
(Blackbird Distillery – Brookville)
In the center of the county along I-80, you’ll find Brookville rising in the midst of some of the loveliest laurel fields in the state. The town has a charming, restored Victorian Main Street with quaint shops, restaurants, striking architecture, a beautiful historical district featuring a walking tour and new park beside the historic courthouse. The northern trailhead for Redbank Valley Trail, named Pennsylvania’s first ever Trail of the Year, is conveniently located near downtown. Twyford, the first four wheel drive ever made, were built in Brookville. The Jefferson County History Center has one on display along with many interesting and educational exhibits including an impressive model railroad. The new Scripture Rocks Heritage Park features over 70 engraved boulders carved by Douglas Stahlman in the early 1900’s. Blackbird Distillery offers visitors a chance to sample some of their many flavors of moonshine. Brookville celebrates the Western Pennsylvania Laurel Festival each June and hosts a Victorian Christmas Celebration each December.
In of Brockway you will find the Taylor Memorial Museum that is notable for its vast display of glass from local industry. The Clarion-Little Toby Trail is accessible here year-round for hiking and biking. A canoe launch in Brockway and the new Little Vineyard launch offer paddlers easy access to Little Toby Creek and the Wild & Scenic Clarion River. Make sure to check out Brockway’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July picnic and fireworks celebration at Taylor Memorial Park. While in route from Brookville to Brockway, you can go bargain hunting at the big Hazen Flea Market the first weekend of each month from May to October.
Reynoldsville is a good place to spend the day experiencing small town America with unique shops and restaurants. The nearby DuBois/Jefferson County airport offers travelers easy access to the Great Outdoors region with multiple daily flights to and from Pittsburgh (PIT) and Baltimore/Washington (BWI) through Southern Airways Express. BWP Bats offers tours of the baseball bat manufacturing process using local hardwoods. The Reynoldsville Historical Society maintains an archive tracing the town’s history and its coal and lumber heritage. The annual Red, White, & Blueberry festival features an always hysterical blueberry pie eating contest.
(Beartown Rocks at Clear Creek State Park)
Clear Creek State Park is a beautiful and one-of-a-kind place nestled deep in a valley cut by a clear cold mountain stream with a campground on the banks of the Clarion River. Nearby attractions include stunning views at Beartown Rocks, feeding the fish at the Heath Township Sportsman’s Club trout hatchery, and driving through the Western Pennsylvania Laurel Fields during the June bloom.
Find more information about planning your trip to the PA Great Outdoors region online at VisitPAGO.com or call (814) 849-5197.