Sunday, June 3, 2012

Elk Country Visitor Center Review

Once again, I must diverge from my usual zoo theme to share another wonderful opportunity to visit animals in their natural habitat. Did you know there are elk in Pennsylvania? After conquering Skyrush at HersehyPark, we traveled to one of the best places to few the elk herd is the Elk Country Visitor Center located in the northern region of the state known as the Pennsylvania Wilds. The Benezette elk viewing center is one of the best places to observe (and possibly even get up close to) the elk all year round – and not just from the safety of a vehicle.

Built in 2010, I found the Elk County Visitor Centerto be very high tech and state-of-the-art. In fact, I would argue that it is not only one of the best PA visitor centers, but that it is also one of the best visitor centers I have ever been to anywhere. There are a ton of cool displays including multiple giant touch screens featuring a variety of useful elk information. I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area. The drive from I-80 is about thirty to forty minutes but is quite scenic and beautiful.

There are a few short trails around the visitor center leading to three elk viewing blinds looking out over different fields and meadows. Sadly, it was too hot and late in the day for us to catch a glimpse of any hoofed creatures. We did however see their tracks in the mud so we knew they were there and nearby. I recommend waking up early as the best time to view wildlife is at dawn or at dusk. The animals will be more active in the cooler weather during the fall season as well.

Just a few miles up the road from the Elk County Visitor Center is Winslow Hill, another great area to view the elk. And if the elk are all hiding like on my recent trip you can still snap a few pictures of the panoramic view.