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Americans spend more than $600 billion a year on outdoor gear and trips to get outdoors. Communities in the PA Wilds are in great position to grow this industry given the region’s natural landscape and manufacturing background. Dozens of partners are working together to create jobs, diversify local economies, improve quality of life and inspire stewardship in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

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    The Pennsylvania Wilds has more public land than Yellowstone and boasts two National Wild & Scenic Rivers, the largest elk herd in the Northeast and some of the darkest skies in the world. Stewardship is critical to seeing the region’s outdoor recreation economy thrive for future generations. 


    Dozens of small businesses – lodges, restaurants, wineries, outfitters, artisans, manufacturers of outdoor products – have started or expanded in the region in recent years. We help local businesses tie into the PA Wilds brand, connect to resources and plug into regional networks to help them thrive. 


    Visitors spent $1.7 billion in the PA Wilds in 2011 – an 11.5 percent rate of growth that was one of the highest among the state’s 11 tourism regions. Investing in nature tourism helps establish the PA Wilds as a premier outdoor destination while creating opportunities for locals. 


The PA Wilds has provided a common focus that has brought a wide range of federal, state and local agencies together to work on mutual issues we all face. … It has fostered pride in our local communities among the residents, not just visitors.

Eric Patton, Millstone Township Supervisor, Elk County

The PA Wilds has really strengthened the bonds between the communities up here. … We knew we had to put aside our parochial interests about our individual communities and try to do something as a group.

Joe DeMott, McKean County Commissioner

“No initiative exists in the country on this scale and level of strategic thinking.”

Society of American Travel Writers, who gave the Pennsylvania Wilds a prestigious Phoenix Award in 2007.

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