Written by Beth Exley

The end of the year brings about thoughts of what to do to be a better person, to be healthier, and to try new things in the coming year. Kick off your 2020 with a First Day Hike at Sinnemahoning State Wildlife Center. January 1…..the first day of the year and the first day of trying new things. From 1pm – 3pm, take an easy 2.5-mile guided hike on a fairly level trail. Scout around for dens, nests, and other animal traces as you learn about additional outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the coming year. Dress for the weather and bring water. Meet at the Sinnemahoning State Wildlife Center. No pre-registration required.

Have you gone to Gobbler’s Knob on February 2 to see Punxsutawney Phil? This year they open a new visitors center. Now is the time to make plans to go see what Phil has to say!

Now that you have kicked off the year with a great walk in the wilderness, check out all the trails, events, places to visit, on the website for the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors at You can request information and start planning your 2020 adventures. Look into the events section and maybe go to a paint and sip. Run or walk your first 5K. Ride a bicycle on one or all the many beautiful trails in our 5 counties. Kayak, canoeing, and fishing are all easily done on the Clarion and Allegheny Rivers and all the tributaries. Go on a pontoon ride for a morning bird-watching excursion on George B. Stevenson Dam or check out the only Pennsylvania inland lighthouse in Tionesta with Sherman Memorial Lighthouse. You can even tour the Tionesta Fish Hatchery or BWP Bats.

Every county in our region has fairs, festivals, events, shows, and live performances for you to try something new or see something you have not seen before. History abounds in our area. Go to Coolspring Power Museum and learn something about engines that has been around for a hundred years. Explore the Clarion County’s industrial past at Helen or Buchannan Furnaces. Visit Decker’s Chapel in St. Marys which is one of the smallest churches in America. See a Twyford, the first four-wheel drive car ever made at the Jefferson County History Center. Explore a replica lumber camp at the Forest County History Center. Take a trip to the Little Museum in Emporium or Mount Zion Historical Park near Benezette.

Make your 2020 interesting in the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region by exploring all our area has that you have not seen or tried before. Plan your new adventure online at



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