The Pennsylvania Wilds is a 12 1/2-county region (Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga and Warren) that offers tremendous outdoor experiences - some of the best in the nation. The Pennsylvania Wilds hosts 29 state parks, 50 state game lands, abundant wildlife and hundreds of miles of land and water trails. The amount of public land in the region - more than 2 million acres - is comparable to Yellowstone. The region is home to the largest elk herd in the northeast, some of the darkest skies in the country, and boasts a rich oil and lumber history. More than 50 million people live within a day's drive of the Pennsylvania Wilds - making it an attractive place to come hunt, bike, hike, camp, fish, canoe, explore America's heritage and more.
Visitors spend an estimated $1.7 billion in our 12 ½-county region annually, according to the latest statistics, and the Pennsylvania Wilds has one of the fastest-growing rates of tourism spending in the Commonwealth. Tourism is helping create jobs, diversify local economies, improve quality of life and inspire stewardship of our region's tremendous natural and cultural assets.
Our region is fortunate to have a partnership dedicated to advancing nature and heritage tourism in the Pennsylvania Wilds. Four legs make up this partnership stool covering the areas of regional planning, regional marketing, small business development and strategic state investments. These key partners are:
The Pennsylvania Wilds Marketing Corporation was incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation in 2004, with the vision of promoting, marketing and branding 12 counties located in northern Pennsylvania as a premier nature tourism destination. The Pennsylvania Wilds Marketing Corp. is comprised of the official Destination Marketing Agencies that represent the 11 counties of Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Tioga and Warren counties. The PA Wilds Marketing Corporation's mission is to promote the growth of the tourism industry, thereby increasing the economic vitality and job opportunities within the region, while honoring the principles of geo-tourism.
The Pennsylvania Wilds Planning Team (PWPT) was created in 2006. This inter-governmental cooperative agreement includes the 12 county planners in the region, the Route 6 Heritage Corridor, the Lumber Heritage Region, and partners from across Pennsylvania. Since its start, the PWPT has developed strategic plans and a comprehensive planning study for the region looking at recreation, land development, infrastructure, and regional initiatives for community development, including the Pennsylvania Wilds Design Guide for Community Character Stewardship and the Pennsylvania Wilds Marcellus Shale Resource Guide.
The intention of the PWPT is to provide useful information and resources to local planners, municipal officials and others living and working within the 12 county footprint of the Pennsylvania Wilds.
Established in 2013, the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship is a non-profit that operates four main programs: PA Wilds Small Business Assistance; PA Wilds Artisan Trail; PA Wilds Trademark Licensing Program; and PA Wilds Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs Program. The Center works closely with state partners and the PA Wilds Planning Team and PA Wilds Tourism Marketing Corp., to grow nature and heritage tourism in the 12 1/2 counties of the PA Wilds region.
You can find more information on the Pennsylvania Wilds at http://www.pawilds.com/