Quehanna Wild Area

This wild area has been on my bucket list for over a year now. I had the itch to getaway when work gave me a 4 day weekend. I figured I couldn’t waste that kind of time! While I would have preferred to visit when the leaves were changing, I thought at the very least I could check things out and plan a return trip.

The Quehanna Wild Area (QWA) is located in northern Pennsylvania. It’s partly in Moshannon State Forest and partly in Elk State Forest. Don’t quote me, but I believe it’s mostly in Elk County (maybe Cameron, too?). At any rate, if the name didn’t clue you in, I will. It’s wild and remote. No such thing as cell phone service. The Quehanna Highway is a two lane roadway that is paved. Most of the roads running off of it, however, are dirt or gravel.

Before beginning any hiking or exploration, stop by the forest service office and pick up a map. Oh, and don’t go by the sign in the picture—there’s only the remains of a public telephone. Sorry to disappoint!!

Like I mentioned, I didn’t want to waste my time off. I knew the weather was questionable…a chance of thunderstorms everyday of my trip. My time in the QWA was a bit rushed. With no cell service (and after a very close call with a deer), I became almost hyper-aware of my surroundings. As angry clouds thickened overhead, I knew a storm wasn’t far off. Not long after, a loud crack of thunder sent me scrambling for the safety of my car.

I did manage to stop by the Marion Brooks Natural Area and the Beaver Run Viewing Area. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see some of the waterfalls I had wanted to visit.

Stayed tuned for more details on these two areas! I did manage to get some good pics with my Fujifilm X-T2. I will be sure to include some in my upcoming posts!

For more information, check out this site (PA DCNR) or the PA Wilds one.

I don’t want to deter you from visiting, but make sure you consider just how remote the area is and what that means. Our society has become very used to relying on cell phones and enjoying the security they bring. Most of the little towns in this area didn’t have cell service let alone the QWA. Be prepared. Have more gear than you think you will need, especially if you plan to hike or backpack. Don’t overestimate your abilities and pay careful attention to the weather—and not by pulling up the radar on the weather app on your phone. And I haven’t even mentioned the wildlife yet—yes, a thriving elk herd, black bears, coyotes, etc. Ok, enough with the PSA. It’s a beautiful area and Pennsylvania is lucky to have it!

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