Roll the windows down, enjoy the scenery and breathe in the fresh air.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s driving tours through state game lands are just up the road.
Eight tours are scheduled throughout the state in 2023, the first of which will be held Sunday, Oct. 1.
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. 1
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 what Game Commission wildlife habitat crews, as well as dedicated volunteers from several conservation organizations, have accomplished on public land. The 28-mile, self-guided, circular driving tour through State Game Lands 12 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 state 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 state Route 154 in Wheelerville. From there, those on the tour can travel north on state 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.
Sunday, Oct. 15
State Game Lands 67, Huntingdon County, Noon to 3 p.m. – This driving tour of a 5,700-acre tract begins off Route 913, between Coalmont and Dudley (look for the sign) and covers approximately 7 miles. Participants will find ample opportunity to enjoy the historical sites, quality habitat improvements conducted by Game Commission habitat crews in partnership with cooperating organizations such as the Huntingdon County Conservation District and the Shoup’s Run Watershed Association, as well as controlled-burn 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.
State Game Lands 252, Lycoming and Union counties, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – This tour primarily will focus on the varied habitats this game lands has to offer, including managed water impoundments, managed dove fields, woodcock management areas, warm-season grasses and old field management areas. Additionally, the game lands is home to the remnants of a World War II-era military instillation and a historical town.