Experience the natural beauty of more than a half-million acres of the Allegheny National Forest only minutes away from downtown St. Marys! The St. Marys area offers opportunities to canoe the beautiful Clarion River, hike, mountain bike, or cross-country ski along the many trails. There’s also tons of fishing, boating, water-skiing, and swimming options in our pristine waters. You can also hunt for whitetail deer, bear, turkey, ruffled grouse and more!
East Branch Dam
The East Branch Dam is a 1,370 acre, 5.7 mile lake that offers two camping sites, two boat launches, picnic areas, and some of the state’s best fishing for brown trout, lake trout, small mouth bass, tiger muskies, walleye, perch, and brook trout.
Municipal and State Parks
St Marys’ Benzinger, Memorial, Kaulmont, and Luhr Municipal Parks offer playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, ramp park, ballfields and a community pool with water slide. Area State Parks include Twin Lakes, Sizerville, Parker Dam, Bendigo, Stevenson Dam and offer facilities for swimming, picnicking, fishing, biking, canoeing, and hiking.
The Elk HErd
One of the most popular attractions in Elk County is the elk herd. These massive creatures stand about five feet high and can weigh from 500 to 1,000 pounds. They can most often be seen near the St. Marys Airport or in the town of Benezette, approximately 20 miles south of St. Marys, where The Elk Visitor Center is located.
Austin Dam, Austin
Built in 1909 to supply water to a nearby paper mill, the dam was the largest concrete dam in Pennsylvania holding 800 million gallons of water. The dam catastrophically failed in 1911, killing at least 90 people and causing $14 million in damages. See the remains of the structure dramatically shifted by the floodwaters. Failure of this dam led to present-day federal and state regulations.
One of the smallest in the U.S., this church is located on Route 255 just south of St. Marys and was built in 1856 by Michael Decker in honor of his miraculous recovery from a back injury he suffered when he fell from an apple tree while working in his orchard. It was dedicated and welcomed into the National Register of Historic Places on May 15, 1999. Visitors are welcome at any time.
Near Coudersport on Route 6 east of town are Fisherman’s Paradise, private lake and hatchery grounds stocked with trout. Fishing is available for a fee and a catch is just about a sure thing.
The St. Marys Area has plenty to offer golfers! In St Marys, Bavarian Hills and The Leaning Pines golf courses; in Ridgway, the Laurel Mill Golf Course; in Brockway, Scottish Heights and Owens- Brockway Glass Golf Course; in Emporium, the Emporium Country Club; in DuBois, the DuBois Country Club and Treasure Lake; and in Kane, the Kane Country Club.
About an hour north of St. Marys on Route 6 near Mt. Jewitt, visit what is left of the Kinzua Bridge. Until July 2003 when damaging storms came through the area, the Kinzua Bridge was one of the highest operating railroad trestles in the country at 301 feet high. Rides were given on a steam excursion train from Kane to Marienville across the trestle. Now the rides stop at the bridge.
Continue your travel to the scenic drive between Kane and Warren along Route 321 and through the Red Bridge area to view the huge Allegheny Reservoir, which stretches into New York. Much of the area is within the Allegheny National Forest, supplying black cherry and other hardwoods to wood processors in the United States, Europe and Japan. Kinzua Beach offers lake swimming. Short hiking trails are available at Jakes Rocks and spectacular views of the lake can be seen at Big Bend Lookout.
National Forest and State Game Lands
Experience the natural beauty of more than a half-million acres of the Allegheny National Forest … canoe the wild, beautiful Clarion River … hike, mountain bike, or cross-country ski along the many trails … fish, boat, water-ski, or swim in our pristine waters …. hunt for whitetail deer, bear, turkey, ruffled grouse … all this and more. And only minutes away.
Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Just 10 minutes east of Coudersport on Route 6 is the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. The museum tells the story of the logging industry in Pennsylvania with artifacts, display and a reconstructed logging camp with a steam-powered sawmill. While in the area, stop by the many interesting shops near the Denton Hill Ski Resort.
Another Army Corp of Engineers flood control project, the George B. Stevenson Dam is about 45 minutes east on Route 872, offering regular tours in season along with fishing and other lake amenities. This project provides flood control on the Sinnemahoning River, which eventually flows into the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay.
Tours are Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.; Thursday and Friday at 10:30 a.m.; and 12:30 p.m. Saturday tours are by appointment only. To register for one of our tours, please give us a call or register via our website.
Just north of Austin on Route 872 is the Potter County Fishermen’s Association Trout Hatchery operated in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Fish and Game Commission.