Bucktail State Park Natural Area provides a beautiful 75-mile scenic drive along PA 120 from Emporium, through Renovo, to Lock Haven.
It stretches through a narrow valley known as the Bucktail Trail, named after the famous American Civil War regiment of Woodsmen, the Bucktails or Bucktail Rangers.
This also is the old Sinnemahoning Trail used by American Indians on their way to and from the eastern continental divide between the Susquehanna and Allegheny rivers.
Aside from the three towns named above, the valley is mostly forested land with an occasional small village or isolated farm.
This beautiful area has also been called the Bucktail Canyon because of the steep mountains that form beautiful forested walls along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and Sinnemahoning Creek.
The 75-mile scenic drive along PA 120 from Emporium, through Renovo, to Lock Haven runs through unspoiled forest lands, steep mountains, beautiful hills, and deep valleys along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and Sinnemahoning Creek.
During the fall, the colors are breath-taking and people drive many miles to attend the Flaming Foliage Festival at Renovo in October.
In the spring, mountain laurel and the fresh green foliage are worth the trip.
Kayaking and Canoeing at Bucktail State Park Natural Area
Sinnemahoning Creek and the West Branch Susquehanna River are shallow waterways and are popular for canoeing and kayaking.
Fishing at Bucktail State Park Natural Area
Fishing opportunities are plentiful within the legislative boundary of Bucktail State Park along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, Sinnemahoning Creek, and the many trout streams that flow into the park from the surrounding mountains.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply.
Wildlife Watching at Bucktail State Park Natural Area
River valleys, like the Bucktail State Park Natural Area, are important habitats in Pennsylvania. Warmer, wet river valleys usually support more wildlife that the colder, drier surrounding mountains.
River valleys are natural passageways for animals and plants. Seeds that fall into rivers are carried downstream to create new populations. Trees like river birch and sycamore naturally dwell in Bucktail State Park.
Many animals live in river valleys or follow them during migrations.
Notable river valley inhabitants that can be seen in Bucktail State Park Natural Area are:
Many duck species
An elk viewing platform is at Winslow Hill, near the town of Benezette, and in Sinnemahoning State Park. Elk are often seen along the northern portion of Bucktail State Park Natural Area.
The best time to view elk is at dawn and dusk in September and October during the mating season.
Please remember that elk are large, wild animals and can be dangerous. Observe elk from a safe distance.