After hiking the Bucktail Path, my tour of the PA Wilds continued on Ridge Road in the Elk State Forest. This road is locally well-known for its nine beautiful vistas, making it a miniature Blue Ridge Parkway, just on a dirt road and without the crowds.
It is surprising just how beautiful the PA Wilds are, whether it be the isolation, endless trails, numerous state parks, vast public lands, dark skies, and breathtaking vistas.
I’ve always driven north on Ridge Road, I don’t think it matters much which direction you take. From US 120, south of Emporium, take Grove Hill Road to the top of the mountain. This road becomes Ridge Road.
The vistas soon begin off of both sides of the ridge. My two favorite vistas are Squaretimber and Logue Run Vistas.
Being a north-south ridge, the vistas offer both sunrise and sunset panoramas.
There is even a picnic area along the road at the Whitehead Pavilion.
Many people head back down Whitehead Road, but there are three more vistas to the north, one being only a half mile north of the juncture of Ridge and Whitehead Roads. To see the remaining two vistas, continue north on Ridge Road for about fourteen miles. The road was under construction when we drove it, and it was a bit rough, but I assume it is otherwise in good shape.
Turn left onto Crooked Run Road for the final view. The two northern views are not as dramatic and expansive as the others, but they are very nice nonetheless. Drive Crooked Run Road down to scenic Sizerville State Park.