HARRISBURG, PA - Pennsylvania’s state game lands really are something to see.
Want to find out? Take one of the tours the Pennsylvania Game Commission is holding in October.
Nine tours are scheduled throughout the state, the first of which will be held Sunday, Oct. 2. More tours are planned each Sunday through Oct. 16.
The tours provide a good example of the opportunities available on game lands statewide, while showcasing how habitat work being done on these tracts benefit wildlife.
All tours are free, held rain or shine and open only to vehicles licensed for travel on public roads.
The tour schedule follows:
Sunday, Oct. 2
- State Game Lands 42, Somerset and Westmoreland counties, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — The tour begins at the game lands parking lot located off Route 271 on the Somerset/Westmoreland County line. Look for the sign. The tour will conclude at Furnace Lane in New Florence. This self-guided, one-way tour spanning across an approximate 7.3-mile stretch of game lands will highlight mountainous terrain and various habitat enhancement projects. Items of interest along the tour include a study area for ruffed grouse, road maintenance and access improvements, forestry projects, remnants of an old iron furnace and more. Game Commission staff will be along the tour route to highlight projects and answer questions.
- State Game Lands 57, Luzerne and Wyoming counties, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Game Commission personnel will be on hand to explain points of interest, including wildlife habitat-improvement projects. Four-wheel-drive vehicles with high clearance are required for this 30-mile, self-guided driving tour, which will take about three hours to complete. The tour will pass habitat-improvement projects completed by the State Game Lands 57 wildlife habitat crew with help from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Whitetails Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited. Representatives from the Game Commission and conservation organizations will be on hand to explain the projects and answer questions. The route will start at the game lands parking area on Mountain Springs Road just off Route 487. Each vehicle will be provided a map and brief explanation of wildlife habitat management programs being carried out on this impressive tract of public hunting land.
Sunday, Oct. 9
- State Game Lands 12, Bradford County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — This tour will highlight habitat enhancements, infrastructure improvements and hunting opportunities. The tour will showcase the accomplishments of Game Commission wildlife habitat crews and dedicated volunteers from several conservation organizations. The 28-mile, self-guided, circular driving tour through the game lands will take about two hours to complete. State Game Lands 12 consists of nearly 24,480 acres in Bradford County. The route will start at the game lands parking lot on top of Wheelerville Mountain on Route 154, just south of Canton. Vehicles with good ground clearance are recommended. The route travels east to the Barclay Cemetery, then down the hill to Laquin before turning west onto the railroad grade to Wheelerville. The tour ends at the intersection with Route 154 in Wheelerville. From there, those on the tour can travel north on Route 154 to Canton, or south to Shunk in Sullivan County. The tour goes by Sunfish Pond County Park, so a picnic lunch may be the order of the day! Those taking the tour will find the local history of the mountain and the Game Commission’s refuge system intriguing. A pocket guide with historical information and photographs will be provided to each vehicle at the start of the tour.
- State Game Lands 26, Bedford County, noon to 3 p.m. — The public is invited to tour this 12,000-acre tract situated in Blue Knob. This driving tour begins off Route 869 near the Bedford/Cambria County line and covers about 7 miles. Participants will find ample opportunity to enjoy the game lands’ history and quality habitat improvements by Game Commission habitat crews in partnership with cooperating organizations, such as the National Wild Turkey Federation. Work by the Game Commission’s forestry staff also will be showcased in the viewing of vast timber production brought forth through timber sales and timber stand improvements. Questions can be directed to the Southcentral Region Office at 1-833-PGC-HUNT or 1-833-PGC-WILD.
Sunday, Oct. 16
- State Game Lands 67, Huntingdon County, noon to 3 p.m. — This tour showcases a 5,700-acre tract near Dudley. The tour begins off Route 913 between Coalmont and Dudley (look for the sign) and covers about 7 miles. Participants will find ample opportunity to enjoy the historical sites, quality habitat improvements conducted by habitat management crews in partnership with cooperating organizations, such as the Huntingdon County Conservation District and the Shoup’s Run Watershed, as well as prescribed fire and quality forest management areas. This tour will be a self-guided driving tour only, as there will be no staff available to lead the excursion as in past years. Information will be provided to each vehicle at the start of the tour to help guide them on their way. Questions can be directed to the Southcentral Region Office at 1-833-PGC-HUNT or 1-833-PGC-WILD.
- State Game Lands 108, Cambria County, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — This 7.5-mile, self-guided, one-way, driving tour will highlight mountainous terrain and early fall foliage on the Allegheny Front. Items of interest along the tour route include a rehabilitated strip-mined area that has been converted to small-game habitat, where the Game Commission releases pheasants. The area also serves as a study area for grassland nesting birds, including the Henslow’s sparrow, a grassland species of special concern. Endangered northern harriers, hawks and short-eared owls also inhabit the study area. There also are several projects to improve habitat for wildlife along the tour route. Each tour participant will be provided an informational pamphlet about the tour route. The tour begins at the game lands access road three-tenths of a mile north of Frugality, along state Route 53, in White Township. Look for the sign. The tour will conclude on state Route 865, near Blandburg in Reade Township. Game Commission staff will be located along the tour route to highlight projects and to answer questions.
- State Game Lands 311, Elk County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — This tract contains nearly 3,800 acres of mountainous and wooded terrain. The elk herd uses this game lands as its primary range. The tour is self-guided with informational stops along the way. The tour will start near the intersection of Front and Walnut streets in Benezette. Questions can be directed to the Northcentral Region Office at 1-833-PGC-HUNT or 1-833-PGC-WILD.
- State Game Lands 110, Berks County, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — This tour begins at the Mountain Road gate about 5 miles west of Hamburg Borough and ends at the Route 183 gate, 4 miles north of Strausstown. Game Commission personnel will be stationed along the tour route to provide site-specific information and answer questions.
- State Game Lands 210, Dauphin County, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — This 6-mile tour begins near the intersection of Greenland Road and Berry Mountain Road, about 2 miles south of Williamstown Borough, and proceeding west through the game lands exiting on Powell’s Valley Road. Ongoing extensive wildlife habitat improvement projects will be highlighted. Game Commission personnel will be stationed along the tour route to provide site-specific information and answer questions.
MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541
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