America's Best History Spotlight 

On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area.  And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find.  You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't.  It'll be fun.  Visit them.

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Pennsylvania State Forests
and nearby history

Weiser State Forest meets Appalachian Trail, Pennsylvania

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Past Spotlights

America On Wheels
Heinz Wildlife/Fort Mifflin
Reading Railroad Museum/Reading Phils Minor League Baseball
Rancho Los Cerritos, Long Beach, CA
Trexler Game Preserve/Horseshoe Trail
Battle of Kelly's Ford, Phelps WMA, VA
Museum of Indian Culture/Lil Le Hi Trout Nursery

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What is There Now

Pennsylvania State Forests

What's There

Woods for sightseeing, hunting at certain times of the year, and hiking.
Trails for hiking, horse back riding, and ATV's.
Free Primitive camping.  Some pad sites.  Some pit toilets.  Differs by section.
Picnic facilities at some locations.
Each district has a park headquarters, where you get additional information and get park permits, when needed.  Not every tract has a headquarters, however, and there can be many tracts within a forest district.  Park permits for camping, in general, are needed for pad sites and/or when staying more than one night in any location.  Backcountry one night stays generally do not need permits.

How Much to Visit


Hours Open

Year round.  Most sites are patrolled on a regular basis by Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Rangers.

Website:  Pennsylvania State Forests


Reenactors leading the public at the Iron Brigade Battle Walk, Gettysburg 150th Anniversary

History Nearby

With all of the major historic sites in Pennsylvania spread from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and in between, you're never real far from some interesting historic sites, some of national, others of more regional, importance.  

Micheaux - Gettysburg National Military Park/Eisenhower National Historic Park.
Buchanan -
Buchanan’s Birthplace State Park.
Tuscarora -
Little Buffalo State Park.
Forbes - Discover Fall Scenic Driving Tour provides driving routes through the Laurel Highlands.  Wharton Iron Furnace.  Flight 93 National Historic Site.  Fort Necessity National Historic Site.
Rothrock - Greenwood Furnace State Park.  Penn State University.
Gallitzin - Wolf Rocks.  Johnstown Flood National Historic Site.
Bald Eagle - R. B. Winter State Park.
Clear Creek - There is an Auto Tour of the forest with informative stops that show the history and ecology of the area, including Beartown Rocks.
Moshanin -
Hoover Farm wildlife and Beaver Run Viewing sites.
Sprout -
Bald Eagle State Park.
Lackawanna - Kitchen Creek gorge.  Steamtown National Historic Site.
Tiadauhton - Upper Pine Bottom State Park
Elk -
Elk Country Visitor Center.
Cornplanter - Allegheny National Forest.
Susquehannock - Kinzua Bridge State Park.
Tioga - Leonard Harrison State Park.
William Penn - Philadelphia, Valley Forge.  No recreational camping.
Weiser - Hawk Mountain.  Cabela's. Appalachian Trail (picture below).

Delaware - Delaware River National Recreation Area.
Loyalsock - High Knob Overlook.  Ricketts Glen State Park.

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About Them

Weiser State Forest, Pennsylvania

Across the breadth of Pennsylvania, a variety of state lands abound, and some, including State Parks, State Game Lands, and State Forests hold a historic place in the state's upbringing and are near even greater history at every turn.  The story of the Pennsylvania State Forest system is an interesting one on its own.

The history of Pennsylvania's State Forests began out of necessity when conservationists like Joseph Rothrock saw that lumber companies had cut the old-growth forest and was concerned about forest management in the future for those lands.  When he was appointed the first commissioner of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Water in 1895, he began buying up parcels of used lumber company land.  This began in 1897.

Perhaps a little known fact, even for Pennsylvania based folks like ourselves, is that State Forests are open to a variety of uses, including camping, and it's for free.  Now, don't expect a KOA.  These are primitive sites.  Some may have a fire ring, cement pad, and a picnic table (those should be reserved in advance and require a permit).  Others are just a place in the forest or in a parking lot.  Some of those locations have a pit toilet; some do not.  Some have community picnic pavilions; some do not.  This is primitive camping, but it is, in many parts of the state, close to historic sites like Gettysburg, about twenty minutes from Micheaux State Forest along Route 30 to the west.  In eastern Pennsylvania, the Conrad Weiser State Forest is close to Cabela's (only a couple miles), the Appalachian Trail (just a trail walk from the forest) and Hawk Mountain (again, only a few miles away.)

There are 20 forest districts in Pennsylvania.

Micheaux - South/Central Pennsylvania.
Buchanan -
South/Central Pennsylvania.
Tuscarora -
South/Central Pennsylvania.
Forbes - Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Rothrock - Central Pennsylvania
Gallitzin - Southwestern Pennsyvania.
Bald Eagle - Central Pennsylvania.
Clear Creek - Central/Western Pennsylvania.
Moshanin -
Central Pennsylvania.
Sprout -
Central Pennsylvania.
Lackawanna - Northeastern Pennsylania.
Tiadauhton - Central Pennsylvania.
Elk -
Central Pennsylvania.
Cornplanter - Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Susquehannock - North/Central Pennsylvania.
Tioga - North/Central Pennsylvania.
William Penn - Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Weiser - Central/Eastern Pennsylvania.

Delaware - Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Loyalsock - Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Picnic Facility, Michaux State Forest

Picnic facility at Michaux State Forest (above) at camping/parking location for RV and tent camping.  Michaux State Forest is 20 minutes from Gettysburg west on Route 30.  Appalachian Trial markings in central Pennsylvania (below) just outside Weiser State Forest.

Appalachian Trail


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Historic Sites
Acadia National Park
Alamo, San Antonio
Appalachian Trail
Ball's Bluff
Barbary Coast - San Francisco
Big Cypress National Preserve
Blue Ridge Parkway
Bryce Canyon
Cape Canaveral
Cape Cod National Seashore
Carlsbad Caverns
Chickamauga & Chattanooga
Colorado NM
Crater Lake
Ellis Island
The Everglades
Ferry Farm/Mount Vernon
First State National Monument
Fort McHenry
Fort Sumter
Fort Vancouver
Glacier National Park
The Grand Canyon
Grand Teton
Great Smoky Mountains
Harper's Ferry
Hawaii Volcanoes
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Joshua Tree National Park
Mammoth Cave
Manassas (Bull Run)
Mesa Verde
Morristown NHP
Mount Rainier
Muir Woods
Natchez Trace Parkway
New Orleans
Niagara Falls
Oklahoma Land Rush
Olympic National Park
Oregon Trail
Pearl Harbor
Petrified Forest
Philadelphia - Independence
Pinnacles National Park
Plymouth Rock
Redwood National Park
Rocky Mountain NP
The Roswell Incident
Saguaro National Park
San Antonio Missions NHS
San Juan NHS
San Juan Islands
St. Augustine
St. Louis Gateway West
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Statue of Liberty
Stones River
Sutter's Mill (Gold Rush)
Valley Forge
Theodore Roosevelt NP
War of 1812
Washington, D.C.
Washington's Crossing
White Sands
Wilderness, Battle of
Yellowstone National Park
Yosemite National Park
Zion National Park

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U.S. History Timeline
History Timeline Index

* 1770-1779 - The American Revolution
* 1780-1789 - The Nascent Democracy
* 1790-1799 - America Builds


1800-1809 - Exploration
* 1810-1819 - The War of 1812
* 1820-1829 - A Decade of Compromise & Doctrine
* 1830-1839 - Conquering the West
* 1840-1849 - The Mexican War
* 1850-1859 - Expansion & the Looming Divide
* 1860-1869 - The Civil War
* 1870-1879 - The Nation's Centennial Decade
* 1880-1889 - America Invents
* 1890-1899 - The Age of Immigration


1900-1909 - The World Begins to Fly
* 1910-1919 - World War I
* 1920-1929 - Properity and Its Demise
* 1930-1939 - The Great Depression
* 1940-1949 - World War II
* 1950-1959 - Two Cars in Every Garage
* 1960-1969 - Civil Rights and Turmoil
* 1970-1979 - The Nation in Flux
* 1980-1989 - The Reagan Revolution
* 1990-1999 - Prosperity as the World Turns


2000-2009 - The Fight against Terrorism
* 2010-Present - Economic Recovery

1490-1499 - Columbus/Cabot
1500-1599 - Exploration
1600-1699 - Settlement
1700-1769 - American Rights

National Park Timeline
Abraham Lincoln to Cuyahoga Valley
Dayton Aviation to Gulf Islands
Hagerman Fossil Beds to Muir Woods
Natchez to Russell Cave
Sagamore Hill to Zion NP

Other Important National Park Service Dates