Benezette, Pennsylvania, is a sleepy unincorporated community in Elk County known for its majestic wildlife habitat.
Fascinatingly, only 200 people reside in Benezette's 277.5 square kilometer area.
Despite its small population, many tourists love returning to this sleepy community for many reasons.
Benezette is renowned as the "Elk Capital of Pennsylvania" because of the herds of elk roaming freely.
You're likely coming across an elk on a regular day roaming the streets of Benezette, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.
Besides the majestic elks, you can enjoy many things in Benezette and its neighboring towns and cities.
It boasts breathtaking sceneries, pristine forests, adventurous trails, and plenty of outdoor activities for an unforgettable visit.
For those curious about what awaits them, here are the best things to do in Benezette, Pennsylvania.
Start Your Adventure at the Elk Country Visitor Center
Elk County Visitor Center is the best place to visit upon arriving in Benezette.
You can check out this visitor center along Winslow Hill Road.
It's a remarkable place to learn about Benezette's famous elks and other wildlife.
It has a 4D theatre where visitors can watch various informational films about Elk County, its geography, wildlife, culture, and the activities to enjoy.
In addition, you and your loved ones can enjoy plenty of interactive activities at this visitor center.
These activities include a short tour around the area, photography, and even games from the center's volunteers.
You can even start shopping for souvenirs at the Elk County Visitor Center, such as hoodies, shirts, maple syrup, and its famous elk jerky for snacks.
Check out this visitor center to get acquainted with the area's activities and sights.
Bring Home Souvenirs at the Elk View Company
The Elk View Company is the best place to shop for artsy and quirky souvenirs besides the Elk County Visitor Center.
You can visit this shop along Winslow Hills Road.
It's a unique place to shop since it specializes not just in your typical souvenir items.
It also serves delicious food and drinks like pizzas, wines, smoothies, and other delectable delicacies.
You can enjoy all these at its viewing deck, which has tables and chairs overlooking a vast field where elks and other wildlife roam freely.
You may want to shop for souvenirs.
It has custom-made hoodies, jackets, stuffed toys, furniture, wildlife decors, scented candles, and t-shirts.
At the same time, you can take a photo and pet Elk View Company's famous mascot, Cody, a golden retriever that greets guests.
Traverse the Elk Trailhead
Head to the Elk Trailhead for a hiking adventure.
You can visit this trail along Trout Run Road Extension or Dents Run Road.
This point-to-point trail spans over 16 miles and traverses the natural habitat of the elks in Elk County.
Many hikers love to traverse this trail for many reasons, and one of them is to spot the free-roaming herds of elk in the area.
Since this trail is in the middle of a wildlife habitat, you should spot not just elks but other mammals, birds, and other animals.
An excellent way to enjoy your hike through Elk Trailhead is to bring a camera and snap some photos for nature and wildlife photography.
At the same time, you can bring your binoculars for some birdwatching.
Appreciate the View from the Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area
Head to the Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area to see herds of elk on a great vantage point.
This viewing area is the most famous elk-viewing spot throughout Pennsylvania.
Thousands of visitors spend time at the viewing area equipped with their best binoculars to see elks up close and other animals.
It has two viewing areas offering different but equally breathtaking sceneries of Elk County.
From August to October, thousands of tourists flock to the viewing area to witness the bugling season of male elks.
At the same time, you can also hike through the fields where these majestic animals freely roam.
Besides elks, you can spot plenty of wildlife at the Winslow Hill Elk Viewing Area.
This includes foxes, wild turkeys, black bears, white-tailed deer, songbirds, and Eastern Towhees.
Catch Fish at the Bennett Branch Sinnemahoning Creek
Bennett Branch Sinnemahoning Creek is a network of streams and tributaries running through Elk County and Benezette.
You can visit a portion of its river on the southern boundary of Benezette.
Besides being a crucial water source for wildlife and nature in Elk County, this river is a popular fishing spot.
Many anglers love flyfishing at this river on a boat or its shores.
Try catching some wild brown trout, the most abundant fish in its waters.
Besides fly fishing, Bennett Branch Sinnemahoning Creek is also an excellent boating destination because of its calm waters.
Go on an Outdoor Adventure at the Quehanna Wild Area
Quehanna Wild Area is a vast wildlife area that covers three counties across Pennsylvania.
These 48,186 acres of wildlife area cover Elk County, including Benezette, making it a recommended place to have your outdoor adventure.
Nature photography is one of the best activities to enjoy in this area.
It's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring off-the-beaten-path natural areas such as waterfalls, overlooks, and forests.
Hiking is another excellent activity in this area.
It features over 75 hiking trails that loop through Elk State and Moshannon State forests.
You can also hunt for elk during the hunting season, given you have a permit from local authorities in this area.
Lastly, Quehanna Wild Area is also an ideal road trip destination for more convenient sightseeing and wildlife viewing in the comfort of your vehicle.
Hop on Benezette's Horse Drawn Wagon & Sleigh Rides
Despite its sleepy appeal, you can enjoy some activities in Benezette, such as its famous Horse Drawn Wagon & Sleigh Rides.
You can visit this attraction along Winslow Hill Road.
It's a wholesome activity, especially with your friends and family as you explore the streets of Benezette aboard a horse-drawn wagon.
Along the way, you'll pass through wooden cabins serving as the locals' homes.
At the same time, you'll also see elks and other wildlife roaming freely on the streets.
Remember to ride the Horse Drawn Wagon & Sleigh Rides in Benezette for a unique activity.
Sample Wine at the Benezette Wines
For a relaxing activity, head to the Benezette Wines.
This local winery is situated along 2nd Street.
Although Benezette isn't known as a wine destination in Pennsylvania, this winery stands out for various reasons.
One of them is its location which provides wine connoisseurs a fantastic viewing area for elk and other wildlife through its "Wine Deck."
There you can enjoy sipping your glass of wine while enjoying the breathtaking view of the area and the elks passing by.
Benezette Wines has become one of the finest places to grab a bottle of wine throughout Elk County since 1995.
Set Up Your Tent at the Big Elk Lick Campground
The Big Elk Lick Campground is the perfect spot in Benezette to set up your tent and get cozy amidst nature's beauty.
You can visit this campground along Elk Lick Lane.
This campground is one of the favorite places for Benezette's visitors to set up camp.
It treats campers with a peaceful atmosphere and unspoiled natural beauty.
At the same time, it's also a famous destination for equestrians because of its access to the Thunder Mountain Equestrian Trail.
Head to Big Elk Lick Campground for a one-of-a-kind lodging and experience Benezette's wilderness.
Learn about Elk at the Dents Run Elk Viewing Area
The Dents Run Elk Viewing Area is unlike any other viewing area in Benezette.
You can visit this place along Winslow Hill Road.
Besides its magnificent views of the vast fields serving as the grazing grounds for elks, this viewing area has plenty more to offer its visitors.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission hosts events like elk natural history presentations in its amphitheater.
It's an engaging activity that allows you to learn more about these majestic animals.
At the same time, this place has a walkway allowing everyone to see interpretive signs for further information about the elk herd thriving in the area.
Remember to visit the Dents Run Elk Viewing Area for some engaging activities.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Elk County has plenty of sights and activities to enjoy besides Benezette.
Explore Pennsylvania's "Elk Capital" after roaming and enjoying Benezette's famous attractions.
Below are some Elk County attractions you mustn't miss visiting before returning home.
Step inside Decker's Chapel
Decker's Chapel is one of the world's smallest chapels.
You can visit this unique religious attraction in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, 23 minutes northwest of Benezette.
This chapel was constructed by German Catholic immigrants in 1856.
These immigrants colonized this portion of wilderness in Pennsylvania until it was eventually incorporated as a city in the 19th century.
Despite its small size, this chapel is a bare witness to this portion of Pennsylvania's history.
Many tourists love to drop by the Decker's Chapel to take photos and become part of its unique history.
Celebrate the Elk County Fair
The Elk County Fair is like your typical American county fair, filled with fun and games.
However, what makes this county fair unique among others are the elk and other wildlife roaming the county fairgrounds.
To experience this one-of-a-kind event, you must visit Kersey, Pennsylvania, a community 26 minutes northwest of Benezette.
You should enjoy the rides, the games, the food, the agricultural exhibits, and the entertainment at this fair.
At the same time, it has a carnival featuring a Ferris wheel, a carousel, bumper cars, and a funhouse.
You can enjoy all these while spotting free-roaming elk outside the fairgrounds, a unique experience in Elk County.
Visit Elk County during August to catch the fun and colorful Elk County Fair.
Take Time to Reflect at the Cross on the Hill
Cross on the Hill is a famous tourist attraction because of its solemn atmosphere and gorgeous scenery.
You can visit this place in the neighboring community of Weedville, Pennsylvania, eight minutes west of Benezette.
The 13-foot cross on this hill was erected in 1990 as an interfaith memorial and a place for worship.
Today, it's one of the most visited places in Elk County for various reasons.
Many Catholics love to spend time and pray at this place, especially at the prayer walk area, which spans over 80 yards.
Also, outdoor enthusiasts love to spend some time appreciating its gorgeous overlook of the Spring Run Valley.
Spend some time at the Cross on the Hill for some solemn experience amidst nature's beauty.
Take a Dip at Table Falls
Table Falls is not just your typical off-the-beaten-path waterfall in Elk County.
This waterfall in Driftwood, Pennsylvania, 25 minutes southeast of Benezette, is one of the hidden gems in Elk County.
This seven-foot waterfall is part of the vast Quehanna Wild Area, which visitors can see by hiking a mile from Red Run Road.
The fall's name was derived from its unique features.
A level boulder similar to a table creates the water flowing off of it.
The effects provide visitors with a picturesque veil of water cascading off the boulder, a mesmerizing natural sight.
To complete your visit to Table Falls, dip your feet in its cold waters and enjoy the scenery.
Wander the Red Run Gorge Vista
Spend some time at the Red Run Gorge Vista in Quehanna Wild Area.
This area is renowned throughout Pennsylvania for its gorgeous overlooks such as this one.
It has some of the most incredible trail vistas that take you to stunning cliffs, meadows, and ledges.
Many hikers love to wander through this place and see its red, yellow, and orange hues that carpet the rolling hills during autumn and fall.
The entire area becomes a massive natural artwork that is a mesmerizing sight.
Check out the Red Run Gorge Vista and appreciate its breathtaking view before returning home.
Benezette, nestled in the middle of Pennsylvania's vast natural area, is unlike any other town or city.
Besides the herds of elk, natural beauty, and wildlife, there are plenty of things to discover in Benezette.
Start planning your adventure with this list of the best things to do in Benezette, Pennsylvania!