Dies"Moose Viewing Cheat Sheet"is your guide to 15 of the best moose watching spots in Pennsylvania!
Pennsylvania is home to thelargest free-roaming moose herd in the northeastern United States(currently estimated at a herd of around 1,400) and visitingPennsylvania ElchlandGetting a glimpse of these majestic creatures has become an annual tradition for many people.
But with this herd of 1,400 moose scattered all over the place6 counties(Elk, Potter, Clinton, Cameron, Clearfield and Center Counties), knowing full wellWOFinding moose is a bit of a challenge, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area.
What I've done here is to offer you somethingmaps and driving directionsto15 placesin which6 countieswhere I personally haveMet and photographed moosein the last half dozen years or so.
While there are certainly no guarantees when it comes to finding wildlife, in my experience these locations have proven to be fairly reliable meeting spots for portions of the Pennsylvania moose herd.
I'm starting with 6 locations inBenezetteand Elk County, the unofficial "Elk Capitol von Pennsylvania', and then move outward into neighboring counties.
I'll also point out some interesting roadside attractions along the way, because aside from the moose, it's also a beautifully wild part of the Keystone State.
Moose viewing tips and FAQs
Before I dive into the list of 15 travel destinations, I wanted to give you some general information that will increase your chances of encountering moose and that the encounter is safe for both you and the moose.
What is the best time to see moose?
During most of the yearThe best time to see moose is around dusk and dawn. Elk are also more active throughout the day during the rut (mating season) in September and October, making this the most popular time of year for visitors to PA Elk Country.
Where is the best place to see moose?
Moose are large animals that eat a lot of foodThe best place to see them is where food is plentiful.Many of the lookouts I've included in my list of 15 are adjacent to "feeding spots" that have been specially created for moose and other wildlife.
Is it safe to approach or feed the moose?
Short answer -no!Moose are wild animals, and while they appear tame, it is dangerous (and illegal) to feed or otherwise attempt to get too close to the moose. 100 meters is the recommended minimum distance between you and the moose.
The best spots for moose viewing in Elk County
The first6Moose viewing destinations that I will talk about are all located inElk County, where most first-timers to PA Elk Country start.
The first 5 are all in and aroundBenezette, the 6th is a bit further away (more on that in a moment).
A few words about Benezette
The concept of a city built around the moose tourism industry might seem quaint (or bizarre), but it worksBenezette, this is the unofficial "Elk Capitol out of PA“.
Looking to enjoy a great adult meal and drink at a moose themed hotel/restaurant?
Then theBenezette-Hotelis your place
How about a great cup of coffee or ice cream (or both!)?
ThatElk Life Storehas that covered.
Also the local gas station andgeneral storehas tons of moose related goods for sale.
How to get the Drift –Moose tourism is big business in Benezette, and I always enjoy patronizing the local businesses that keep this little town running.
1. Elk Country Visitor Center
The hotel is 1 mile from downtown BenezetteElk Country Visitor Centeris an immersive introduction to all things PA Elk!
The cabin-like visitor center has LOTS of educational exhibits and information about all facets of moose life and moose herd management in Pennsylvania.
Outside the Visitor Center,3 separate forage plotsand viewing areas provide visitors with an excellent opportunity to see real live moose doing real moose things!
You can read my in-depth article at the Elk Country Visitor CenterHEREto get a better understanding of the many things to see and do while visiting PA Elk Country.
2. Winslow Hill
1 to usFurther up Winslow Hill Road you will find the second most popular moose spotting destination in Benezette –Winslow Hill.
Several huge feeding stations dominate the landscape here, providing ample grazing space for the elk that typically fill these fields in the early morning and late afternoon.
Even when no moose are present, the view from Winslow Hill is superb.
3.Woodring Farm viewing area
Convenient0.45 mileseast of Winslow Hill,Woodring-Farmoffers the chance to see moose at two roadside feeding grounds, as well as a nature trail and scenic lookout.
The tall red pines along the Woodring Farm Nature Trail are a great place to be at sunrise!
At any time of the year you can see moose feeding in the field below the scenic lookout at Woodring Farm.
An interesting side note - I've encountered black squirrels several times while hiking the Woodring Farm Trail.
So keep an eye out for them too!
4. Dents Run viewing area
About0.8 mileseast of Woodring Farm you will findDents Run display areaalong Winslow Hill Road.
Dents Run Elk Viewing Area has a small picnic area, gazebo and a few benches all overlooking a large feeding area.
Typically, the elk you see here are further away than many other vantage points, so binoculars are a good idea when spending time at the Dents Run Elk Viewing Area.
5. Moshannon State Forest Lookout Area
Another reliable moose viewing area in Benezette is theMoshannon State Forest Lookout Area, just behind (but across the river) the Benezett store.
A large gravel parking lot is located next to the bridge over the Sinnemahoning Creek behind the Benezett Store.
A 5 minute walk down a path through the woods will bring you to the edge of this large foraging lot.
6. Beaver Run Dam Viewing Area
The hotel is located off the Quehanna Highway in Elk County, approximately 30 minutes from BenezetteBeaver Run Dam Wildlife Viewing Areafeatures a screen on the edge of an artificial dam.
The views from the blinds are excellent and not only do you have a chance to see moose in the area but it is also a great spot for bird watching.
Ospreys, ducks, woodpeckers - I saw and photographed many interesting bird species at the Beaver Run Dam Wildlife Viewing Area.
On the opposite side of the Quehanna Highway you will findtable falls.
Conditions have to be right (rain) for this waterfall to flow well, but if you catch it at its peak it's a gorgeous little waterfall!
For a more detailed map and directions to Table Falls click hereHERE.
The best moose spotting spots in Cameron County
The next 5 moose spotting spots I'm going to talk about are all inCameron County.
7. Hicks Run Wildlife Viewing Area
Hicks Run Wildlife Viewing AreaLocated on Route 555 near the Cameron/Elk county line
This is one of my favorite roadside moose watching spots in Cameron County.
I like to say that Hicks Run has one of the nicest parking lots in PA Elk Country!
A large viewing screen overlooks a huge feeding station which is almost always a good choice for spotting moose at dusk or dawn.
Even when the moose aren't out, the scenery around the Hicks Run Wildlife Viewing Area is outstanding!
8. Miller Run Wildlife Viewing Area
Miller Run Wildlife Viewing Areais another roadside lookout point along Route 555, southeast of the Hicks Run Viewing Area.
The view from near the parking lot is of a large field on the opposite side of Sinnemahoning Creek.
An unmarked path from the lower back edge of the parking lot leads downhill over an old railway bed to the creek bank.
Early morning and late afternoon, if you are lucky, you will see moose in the field opposite the viewing area.
An interesting roadside attraction between Miller Run Viewing Area and Driftwood is this oneTom-Mix-Plakette, dedicated to local-born, early 20th-century film star Tom Mix.
You'll see it at an exit along Route 555.
9. Bucktail View
Bucktail view, off Mason Hill Road, is sometimes referred to by locals as the Top of the World, and that's exactly how you'll feel when you stand there!
The large feeding fields that dominate the mountaintop here are often surrounded by dense valley fog that forms over the various branches of Sinnemahoning Creek in the mornings.
Another place you'll be glad you checked out, even if you don't run into a moose.
And speaking of views, you'll be glad you checked out the parking lotSaint James Churchin Driftwood offers another excellent view of the Sinnemahoning Creek valley from below rather than from above like at Bucktail Overlook.
10. Kantholz wildlife area
ThatKantholz wildlife areais an 8,461-acre undeveloped portion of the Elk State Forest and offers one of your best chances for a truly "wild" moose encounter.
You can access the Square Timber Wild Area from a few points, one of the easiestRidge Road.
And while there are various scenic views along the Ridge Road, if you want to explore the Wild Area for yourself, you'll want to hike off the trails and make your own way, which appeals to many people looking for a less "commercial" moose-watching experience.
11. Hoover Farm Wildlife Viewing Area
Wildlife Viewing Area Hoover Farmis located on the Quehanna Highway at its intersection with Wykoff Run Road in Cameron County, near the Clearfield County border.
A large screen provides a sheltered view of Hoover Farm's feeding station, where moose, deer and a variety of wild birds are regularly seen.
Moose viewing areas that span multiple counties
The last4Elk viewing areas that I will be talking about span several counties in PA Elk Country.
12. Sinnemahoning State Park
Sinnemahoning State Parkis a long, narrow, 1,910-acre state park that spansPotter and CameronCounties along the First Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek.
And while moose can be found anywhere in the park on any given day, I saw them most often near the spillwayStevenson Damat the southern tip of the park.
Here, the large grass areas below the dam act like a magnet for moose, especially in winter.
13. Sproul State Forest
Covering an area of 476 square miles, theSproul State Forestis the largest in the PA State Forest system.
And that means they existA LOTPlaces to find moose all year round.
In the western part of the Sproul State Forest, the area aroundRound Island Run fallsis fertile ground for encountering moose while hiking to a scenic 3-tiered waterfall.
Keating Mountain Roadis another place I've encountered moose slithering up (or down) the mountain between Keating and several roadside overlooks.
Keep an eye out for moose everywhere along this mountain forest road.
The adjacentRussel P. LettermanandBurns Run Wild Areasin Clinton County offer a truly "wild" moose viewing experience similar to the Square Timber Wild Area in Cameron County.
Although there are roadside views (along Route 144) in both wild areas, you are more likely to see moose if you make your own way through the forest.
In the Center County portion of the Sproul State Forest are both theYost Run casesandFields-Ridge-StraßeAreas offer good opportunities to see moose.
Yost Run casesis a great hiking destination in its own right.
WhileFields-Ridge-Straßewinds his way6 milesthrough the forest and ends at a magnificent vantage point.
Moose can be seen anywhere along the Fields Ridge Road, so stay alert!
14. Quehanna Wilderness Area
ThatQuehanna Wildernessis an area of 50,000 acres covering portions of Cameron, Clearfield and Elk counties.
Numerous feeding spots are scattered across Quehanna and the multitude of trails crisscrossing everything have the potential to result in moose sightings.
One of my favorite trails to look for moose is thisKunes Camp Trailin the eastern part of the Quehanna Wild Area.
ThatKunes Camp Trailis a simple, relatively flat,1 to usHike through open forest (allowing you to easily spot moose and other wildlife along the way) and end up at an abandoned hunting camp built between two massive boulders.
Another favorite hike of mine in this area is thisHike to the abandoned test bunkers for nuclear jet engines, the remains of a secret Cold War-era base that once operated here.
As well as being a fascinating part of the area's history, the clearings where the bunkers now stand idle are also a potential spot to catch a glimpse of the local moose population.
You can find the bunkers (there are 2 of them) just off the Quehanna Highway, and you can read a full description about themHERE.
15. State Playing Countries 100
State Game Lands 100includes21,054 Hectaresspread overCenterandclear fieldcounties.
Im Center County,German settlement roadis a common section of SGL100 where moose are present at dusk and dawn.
While in Clearfield County, the section of SGL100 is nearbyKeewaydinis another frequently productive moose viewing area.
So there you have it!
15 locations, scattered in between6 counties, all with the potential to catch a glimpse of Pennsylvania's moose herd!
That's not to say there aren't other great moose viewing areas in PA moose country, because there are LOTS!
But this list gives you a nice selection of different areas and different types, ranging from roadside privacy screens to off-trail wilderness areas.
Wherever you decide to venture into PA moose country, be sure to follow the rules and suggestions I discussed at the beginning of the article for you to have a safe and enjoyable PA moose viewing experience!
More moose photos?!
If you want to see more than50 of my favorite PA moose photos, be sure to check out my galleryHERE!
Pennsylvania Elchlandis home to some incredible views, and you'll find the bestROADSIDEthose in my write-up"The 20 Most Beautiful Viewpoints in PA Elk Country".
Looking for a closer midday distraction when the moose are usually at their least active?
Why not explore"Top 5 Roadside Attractions in the Quehanna Wild Area"?
75 square milesof uninhabited mountains, streams, forest trails and hiking trails - it's the perfect place to explore some unique natural wondersANDmaybe cross paths with a moose!
Kinzua Bridge State ParkinMcKean Countyhouses what was once the longest and highest railway bridge in the world!
Exploring the Ridge Road Vistas in the Elk State Forestwill introduce youPennsylvania's most beautiful State Forest Road, with 6 world classROADSIDEViews along a 3 mile trail.
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