JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (EYT) – Jefferson County is best known as the home of Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous weather prognosticator, but there is a lot more going on all year long to attract outdoor adventurers, history buffs, and travelers of all types.
For more than 136 years, Punxsutawney has attracted people from around the globe who are weary of the long winter and seeking a reprieve, and each year on February 2, thousands make the trek to Gobbler’s Knob to watch Punxsutawney Phil make his Groundhog’s Day prognostication. However, Phil’s fans can see him any time of the year at his burrow at the library. Make sure to pick up something to remind you of your visit to the new Groundhog Visitor Center at Gobblers Knob.
The Weather Discovery Center’s interactive exhibits offer a fun meteorological education for kids of all ages in the Weather Capital of the World. Make sure to snap a few selfies with one of the many Phantastic Phil sculptures that adorn the streets of the Weather Capital of the World.
Just north of Punxsutawney, the Coolspring Power Museum houses an impressive collection of more than 500 historically significant internal combustion engines tracing the evolution of the internal combustion engine and its effect on 21st century industrial America.
In the center of the county along I-80, you’ll find the town of Brookville with a charming, restored Victorian Main Street and a beautiful historical district featuring a walking tour, and relaxing park beside the historic courthouse. The northern trailhead for the Redbank Valley Trail, Pennsylvania’s first-ever Trail of the Year, is conveniently located near downtown.
Twyford vehicles, the first four-wheel drive vehicles ever made, were built in Brookville, and the Jefferson County History Center has a replica on display. Scripture Rocks Heritage Park features many engraved boulders carved by eccentric area resident Douglas Stahlman in the early 1900s. The town also celebrates the Brookville Laurel Festival each June and hosts a Victorian Christmas Celebration each December.
Check out the Clarion-Little Toby Trail for year-round hiking and biking or paddle the Little Toby Creek to the Clarion River from two convenient canoe launches. The town also hosts an Old-Fashioned Fourth of July celebration, Sunday music in the park series at Taylor Memorial Park, and the Frank Varischetti All-Star Football game each year.
Reynoldsville, with its unique shops and restaurants, gives visitors a great taste of small-town America. BWP Bats offers a showroom explaining the baseball bat manufacturing process, and the annual Red, White, and Blueberry Festival features an always hysterical blueberry pie-eating contest you won’t want to miss. Every Saturday night during summer visitors can enjoy the high-speed thrills and spills of dirt track racing at Hummingbird Speedway.
Nearby, the DuBois/Jefferson County Airport offers travelers easy access to the Great Outdoors region with daily flights to and from Pittsburgh (PIT) and Baltimore/Washington (BWI) through Southern Airways Express. A mural now graces the downtown featuring various historical and local attractions.
The Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Brookville hosts many motorsports, concerts, and other events throughout the year.
For a natural respite, visit Clear Creek State Park in a beautiful deep-wooded valley carved by a shockingly cold mountain stream that features hiking trails, picnic areas, and a campground on the banks of the Clarion River.
The Jefferson Recreation Map features various outdoor recreational opportunities throughout the county including hiking trails, water trails, ATV trails, and other places of interest. Download or request a copy online at VisitPAGO.com/free-information.