Elk Viewing

The steep mountains and deep valleys of Elk and Cameron Counties make up “Elk Country,” where you can see Pennsylvania’s wild elk herd, now numbering nearly 1,000 majestic creatures. In spring, witness calves frolicking in wildflower-filled meadows. Elk spend summer days relaxing in the shade, giving visitors the best viewing opportunities at dawn and dusk. In autumn, you can experience bulls battling for breeding rights during “the rut.” When the snow flies, elk gather in impressive herds, which easily stand out against winter’s backdrop and make for spectacular photos and unforgettable memories.

Pennsylvania Elk Herd – Habitat & History

Elk once freely roamed all over Pennsylvania but the rapid settlement and exploitation by early immigrants threatened the herds. By 1867 there were no more elk in Pennsylvania. Unregulated hunting and habitat loss were the biggest factors of their demise.

In 1913 the Pennsylvania Game Commission began reintroducing elk in Pennsylvania. The elk herd we know today originated from 177 elk that were trapped and transferred to northern areas of Pennsylvania.

The reintroduction of elk took place from 1913 through 1926. The releases in north-central Pennsylvania were successful and the herd now numbers more than 800.

Visitors can easily see the majestic elk in areas of Elk and Cameron counties. Considered to be the heart of Pennsylvania elk country, the town of Benezette is located along State Route 555 in Elk County. To reach the public viewing area, start at the Benezette Hotel and travel north along Winslow Hill road 3.5 miles. Follow the signs to the viewing area. Elk can also be seen along the roadways in the free-roaming herd range located in Elk and Cameron counties. The Moore Hill area in Cameron County is a favored viewing spot of local elk enthusiasts.

** To request printe copies the above brochures or additional information call (814) 849-5197 or e-mail info@visitpago.com

Cow elk normally give birth to a single calf in late May or early June. The calves are speckled with spots to complete their natural camouflage. Twins are a rare occurrence and happen less than one percent of the time. Normal gestation period is approximately 8 ½ months. After a short amount of time the cows and their new calves rejoin their family units comprised of cows, their calves and immature yearlings. Most yearling bulls will only grow spike antlers.

The mature bull’s antlers are fully grown by August and they now spend much of their time thrashing trees and shrubs with their antlers. Normal antler growth is up to 6 tines per side. A “royal” bull is one with a total of 12 points. An “imperial” bull has 14 points. September and October mark the mating season for the elk. While the beginning of the rut may vary somewhat from year to year, the unmistakable invitation or bugle of a bull elk can be heard echoing throughout the range. Bugling can be heard primarily during the rut or mating season. It starts as a low bellow and continues as a squealing or whistle. This is followed by several grunts.

The elk form harems of 15 to 20 cows, which are controlled by a mature bull.  The bull has earned his status to lead his harem by fighting off lesser bulls for the opportunity to breed with these cows.  Lesser bulls often mate also, the large bull will contain the group and be the prime breeder.  These harems remain together for the duration of the breeding season.  Cow elk are receptive to breeding for only about an 18-hour period.  If they are not bred successfully, they will have two or three breeding cycles at 21-day intervals.

The elk remain in large groups throughout the winter months.  They must dig through the snow to find grass, twigs and buds.  They will eat the bark off trees and drink from the streams to sustain for the winter.  The bulls shed their antlers in the late winter to early spring.

Pennsylvania’s elk herd is through parts of Elk and Cameron counties.

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Convenient parking, magnificent views, four fields, and a large wooded area frequented by elk with food plots, benches, bathrooms, and handicap-accessible parking.

Premiere elk-viewing facility and conservation education with 4D theater, exhibits, gift shop and more. Operated by the Keystone Elk Country Alliance. Use 950 Winslow Hill Road, Benezette in your GPS.

Elk County's only working domestic elk farm. Spring newborn calves & bulls in velvet, hear bugling in fall. Elk Jerky and frozen elk meat available.

Elk viewing and parking areas are available along Winslow Hill and Route 555. Call (814) 849-5197 for an Elk Viewing Guide.

Wild elk roam the mountains and valleys of Cameron County. The scenery is stunning too. The Moore Hill area and Sinnemahoning State Park is a popular viewing spot.

Elk-viewing area with covered blind overlooking high-quality elk forage. Handicap accessible.

Handicap-accessible wildlife viewing blind overlooking food plots and openings, maintained by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, that draw elk and other wildlife from the nearby woods.

216-acre rugged plateau with boulders, streams, steep valleys, and some old-growth forest with trees up to four feet in diameter.

Panoramic view of the lower Bennett Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek Valley overlooking a wildlife food plot. Parking lot, picnic table, and educational panels.

Nearly 50,000 acres. Many winding turns along a beautiful mountain stream make Wykoff Run Road a favorite for motorcyclists. Beaver Run Dam's pond and wetlands and Hoover Farm's fields are wildlife viewing areas.

Events

december

2019fri13dec(dec 13)9:00 amsat14(dec 14)9:00 pmFeaturedChristmas in the Wilds9:00 am - 9:00 pm (14) EST Cameron County Chamber of Commerce & Artisan Center, 34 East Fourth Street, Emporium, PACounties:CameronCategory:Children’s Events,Crafts & Markets,Holiday

2019fri13dec7:00 pm8:00 pmFeaturedSeason of Light7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Holiday

2019fri13dec(dec 13)7:00 pmsat14(dec 14)10:00 pmFeaturedChristmas Madrigal Dinner Theatre7:00 pm - 10:00 pm (14) EST Wolf's Den Restaurant, 291 Timber Wolf Run, Knox, PACounties:ClarionCategory:Featured,Theater & Arts

2019sat14dec10:00 am3:00 pmFeaturedEvergreen Wreath Making10:00 am - 3:00 pm EST Quiet Creek Herb Farm, 93 Quiet Creek Lane, Brookville, PACounties:JeffersonCategory:Crafts & Markets,Holiday

2019sat14dec(dec 14)10:00 amsun15(dec 15)5:00 amFeaturedChristmas at the Mall Craft / Vendor show10:00 am - 5:00 am (15) EST Clarion Mall, Exit 62 of I-80Counties:ClarionCategory:Crafts & Markets,Holiday

2019sat14dec12:00 pm2:00 pmFeaturedHoliday Open House12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST Sinnemahoning State Park, 4843 Park Road Counties:CameronCategory:Holiday

2019sun15dec12:00 pm2:00 pmFeaturedElk Country Escape room12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST Elk Country Visitor Center, 950 Winslow Hill Rd, Benezette, PACounties:ElkCategory:Nature & Wildlife

2019sun15dec2:00 pm4:00 pmFeaturedWurtlizer Christmas Celebration – Dave Wickerham2:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST Lincoln Hall, 42 S. Palmer StreetCounties:ClarionCategory:Featured

2019sun15dec5:00 pm7:00 pmFeaturedZupe Holiday Show5:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST Deer Creek Winery, 3333 Soap Fat Road, Shippenville, PACounties:ClarionCategory:Featured,Food & Wine

2019tue17dec(dec 17)11:00 amwed18(dec 18)1:00 pmFeaturedMelissa & Doug Toys Pop-Up Event11:00 am - 1:00 pm (18) EST F.L. Crooks & Co., 539 Main StCounties:ClarionCategory:Crafts & Markets

2019sat21dec2:00 pm3:00 pmFeaturedChristmas Crafts2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST Elk Country Visitor Center, 950 Winslow Hill Rd, Benezette, PACounties:ElkCategory:Children’s Events,Nature & Wildlife

2019sat21dec6:00 pm9:00 pmFeaturedCaroling in the Wilds6:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST Hygrade Inn, 212 E 4th St, Emporium, PA 15834Counties:CameronCategory:Featured,Holiday,Music

2019sun22dec5:00 pm8:00 pmFeaturedHoliday Date Night5:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST Zack's, 301 Wood St, New Bethlehem, PACounties:ClarionCategory:Food & Wine,Holiday

2019sun22dec7:30 pm10:30 pmFeaturedLonestar and Phil Vassar Concert7:30 pm - 10:30 pm EST Punxsutawney Community Center, 220 North Jefferson StCounties:JeffersonCategory:Featured,Music

2019tue31dec2020wed01janFeaturedRoaring 20s New Year's Eve Party8:00 pm - (january 1) 1:00 am EST Clarion River Brewing Company, 600-604 Main Street, Clarion, PACounties:ClarionCategory:Holiday

2019tue31dec9:00 pm11:59 pmFeaturedMasquerade Ball9:00 pm - 11:59 pm EST Deer Creek Winery, 3333 Soap Fat Road, Shippenville, PACounties:ClarionCategory:Food & Wine,Holiday,Music

january

2019tue31dec2020wed01janFeaturedRoaring 20s New Year's Eve Party8:00 pm - (january 1) 1:00 am EST Clarion River Brewing Company, 600-604 Main Street, Clarion, PACounties:ClarionCategory:Holiday

2020wed01jan1:00 pm3:00 pmFeaturedFirst Day Hike1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Sinnemahoning State Park Wild Life Center, 4843 Park Road Counties:CameronCategory:Nature & Wildlife,State Parks: Events & Programs

2020sat11jan2:00 pm5:00 pmFeaturedMedix Polar Bear Plunge2:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST The Medix Hotel 23155 Quehanna Hwy., (Medix Run) WeedvilleCounties:ElkCategory:Other Events

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