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The Great Outdoors: Events Galore in the PA Great Outdoors

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 @ 12:09 AM

Posted by Scott Shindledecker

shutterstock_240940312This weekend is loaded with great activities and events. The only difficult thing is deciding where to start.

The Cook Forest region has some special, must-see events which are led by the annual Chainsaw Carvers Roundup at the Sawmill Center for the Arts.

Admission is free for the weekend-long event, and it’s a great place to find those rare Christmas presents and appreciate the talents of those who create such wonderful and original works out of a piece of wood. There will also be vendors and artists of other mediums at the round-up.

It runs from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

At 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, there will be auctions where visitors can bid on and buy some of the amazing pieces.

While in the area, check out the ‘Owl Prowl’ on Friday night at Cook Forest State Park. It begins at 8:30 p.m. and ends around 10:30 p.m. Veteran Environmental Education Specialist Dale Luthringer knows the owl hot spots better than anyone in the park, and he will lead a car-pool tour that begins at the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Classroom.

Don’t forget to bring a flashlight in search of barred, great horned, screech and saw-whet owls.

Looking for elk or want to learn more about them? Then, it’s time to head to Elk County’s Winslow Hill.

All weekend long, there will be guided trail hikes at the Woodring Farm at 2792 Winslow Hill Road. They begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and 8:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Join the PA Game Commission on a hike through prime elk habitat, including a beautiful vista view. Participants will learn all about wildlife habitat and how the PGC manages it. This hike is very interactive with many props including antlers, skulls, and sounds.

The Elk Country Visitor Center has several programs and events planned, too.

During the weekends, there are horse-drawn wagon rides at the center. They are weather permitting. Call ahead at 814-787-5167 to reserve a seat.

At 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, visitors can learn many amazing facts about elk antlers and will be able to handle many sets of huge antlers as they participate in an informative follow-up question and answer session.

On Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. children can join the Pa. Game Commission Environmental Educator for a wildlife themed children’s story and kids’ craft.

At 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, visitors can learn more about Pennsylvania’s snakes. There will be a slide show and discussion on the variety of snake species in Pennsylvania. Don’t be surprised if there is a live snake “visitor” for people to actually touch if they wish.

Over at Sinnemahoning State Park, there will be elk watch events from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.  Try to spot the bull elk in the fields of Sinnemahoning while learning more about these amazing mammals.

Binoculars and scope available for use with help from park staff and volunteers.

For trip planning, including places to stay, places to dine, and other things to do in the region, go to


“The Great Outdoors,” sponsored by the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors, is a weekly blog by’s Scott Shindledecker. Plan you next outdoor adventure at or call (814) 849-5197 for more information.

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