The Pennsylvania Game Commission has released its schedule of driving tours through the interiors of nine state game lands for Sundays, October 2, 9 and 16.
The popular Stony Valley drive through State Game Lands 211 in Dauphin and Lebanon counties is not on the schedule for 2022.
Here’s the schedule.
— State Game Lands 42, Somerset and Westmoreland counties, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, October 2. The 7.3-mile, one-way tour will include a study area for ruffed grouse, road maintenance and access improvements, forestry projects and remnants of an old iron furnace and more. Commission staff will be along the tour route to highlight projects and answer questions. The tour begins at the state game lands parking lot off Route 271 on the Somerset/Westmoreland county line.
— State Game Lands 57, Luzerne and Wyoming counties, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, October 2. Four-wheel-drive vehicles with high clearance are required for the 30-mile, self-guided driving tour, which will pass habitat-improvement projects. Representatives from the commission and conservation organizations will be on hand to explain the projects and answer questions. The route will start at the state game lands parking area on Mountain Springs Road just off Route 487. Each vehicle will be provided a map and brief explanation of wildlife habitat management programs being conducted.
— State Game Lands 12, Bradford County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, October 9. Vehicles with good ground clearance are recommended. The 28-mile, self-guided, circular driving tour will start at the state game lands parking lot on top of Wheelerville Mountain on Route 154, just south of Canton. A pocket guide with historical information and photographs will be provided to each vehicle at the start of the tour.
— State Game Lands 26, Bedford County, noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, October 9. The 7-mile driving tour begins off Route 869 near the Bedford/Cambria county line. Habitat work by commission habitat crews and conservation organizations and commission forestry staff will be showcased in vast timber production through timber sales and timber stand improvements.
— State Game Lands 67, Huntingdon County, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, October 16. The 7-mile tour will highlight historical sites, habitat improvements conducted by habitat management crews in partnership with cooperating organizations, prescribed fire and quality forest management areas. The 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. The tour begins off Route 913 between Coalmont and Dudley.
— State Game Lands 108, Cambria County, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, October 16. The 7.5-mile, self-guided, one-way, driving tour will highlight a rehabilitated strip-mined area that has been converted to small-game habitat. The area also serves as a study area for grassland nesting birds, including the Henslow’s sparrow, a grassland species of special concern. Endangered northern harriers, hawks and short-eared owls also inhabit the study area. There also are several other projects to improve habitat for wildlife along the tour route. Each tour participant will be provided an informational pamphlet about the tour route. The tour begins at the state game lands access road off Route 53 three-tenths of a mile north of Frugality. Commission staff will be located along the tour route to highlight projects and answer questions.
— State Game Lands 311, Elk County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, October 16. The Pennsylvania elk herd uses this state game lands as its primary range. The tour is self-guided with informational stops along the way. It will start near the intersection of Front and Walnut streets in Benezette.
— State Game Lands 110, Berks County, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, October 16. The tour begins at the Mountain Road state game lands gate about 5 miles west of Hamburg and ends at the Route 183 gate, 4 miles north of Strausstown. Game Commission personnel will be stationed along the tour route to provide site-specific information and answer questions.
— State Game Lands 210, Dauphin County, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, October 16. The 6-mile tour begins near the intersection of Greenland Road and Berry Mountain Road, about 2 miles south of Williamstown, proceeds west through the state game lands and exits on Powell’s Valley Road. Ongoing wildlife habitat improvement projects will be highlighted. Game Commission personnel will be stationed along the tour route to provide site-specific information and answer questions.
All tours are free, held rain or shine and open only to vehicles licensed for travel on public roads.