Keystone Elk Country AllianceKeystone Elk Country AllianceAbout the Keystone Elk Country AllianceJoinElk Country Visitors CenterEvents and volunteer opportunitiesMountain Homestead LodgeFrequently Asked QuestionsContact UsLinks Elk viewing in the PA Wilds

Elk Country Visitor Center 

The Keystone Elk Country Alliance is a non-profit 501(c)(3) wildlife conservation organization that focuses their resources on Pennsylvania’s elk herd and the Elk Country Visitor Center located in Benezette. The Alliance was formed in December 2009 to work closely with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to complete the Elk Country Visitor Center Project. Learn more about KECA

Visitor Center Hours:
January - March: Saturday & Sunday Only | 9am - 5pm
April - May: Thursday - Monday | 9am - 5pm (closed Tues & Wed)
June - August: 7 days a week 8am - 8pm

September - October: 7 Days a Week | 8am - 8pm
Grounds open Dawn til 8pm
November - December: Thursday - Monday | 9am - 5pm Closed Tuesday and
Wednesday.


Weekend Programs at ECVC (all programs are at 1:00 p.m.)

Saturday May 4th:“Birding for Beginners”: An Interpretive Walk”. Birding for beginners is popular program here at the Elk Country Visitor Center. Come savor the outdoors with an interactive trail walk and learn some common bird species and the tools that birders use to watch and identify them. Come and test out our new binoculars and field guides! We will be meeting in the Discovery Room at 10 a.m.
*Limited supply on binoculars and field guides*

Saturday May 11th:“Golden Eagle Research” Guest speaker, Toby Neal (Penn State Student) will be presenting a program on Golden Eagle ecology, behavior, and a research project conducted by Penn State University in cooperation with West Virginia University tracking golden eagles via trail cameras. This program will be held at 1:00 P.M. in the discovery room.

Saturday May 18th :“All About Elk”: Come learn about the elk of Pennsylvania! Discover some of the seasonal happenings here in elk country and learn about the history of the elk in the state. This program will be held in the discovery room at 1:00 P.M.

Saturday May 25th: “Family Fun with Science Experiments”: Bring your family out for a fun-filled afternoon of science experiments. We will be doing several different hands on science experiments demonstrating many wonders of the Earth, such as how rainbows are made, what causes lightning, and why does it get wet and foggy at night. This program will start at 1:00 P.M. and run throughout the afternoon.



***All programs are held at 1:00 p.m. in the Elk Center’s Discovery Room.***

Also, enjoy our on-going animal and nature slideshows in The Discovery Room. These entertaining programs showcase many of Pennsylvania’s wild birds and mammals and run throughout the day on weekends.

The Elk Country Visitor Center is operated by The Keystone Elk Country Alliance, a non-profit 501c(3). We are located at 134 Homestead Drive, Benezette, PA. Please use 950 Winslow Hill Road in your navigation system. For more information call 814-787-5167 or visit us at www.ExperienceElkCountry.com.

For those of you using a navigation system, please use the address 950 Winslow Hill Road, our road is too new and it usually is not found.  You can also go to our Contact Us page for Map quest directions to our facility.

**Please no Pets on the trails or on the Center grounds.  Please leave them at home for their safety and the safety of our wildlife.**

The Story Theater shows on the hour and half hour and last approximately 22 minutes.  There is a $3.00 fee for the theater.

Horse Drawn Wagon rides with the Keystone Elk Country Alliance will take place at the center on Saturdays and Sundays weather permitting when we are able, call first for updates..  Price is $10pp, kids under 10 are $5pp.  Please call for a current schedule.  814-787-5167 (we currently allow our guests to call the day prior to reserve a seat on the next days wagon, subject to change without notice.)  Please note our Guest Relations Coordinators do their best to accommodate everyone, please keep that in mind if our wagons are full.  Thank you!

The Elk Country Visitor Center opened September 9, 2010.  What a fantastic opening day it was for all of us in Elk Country!  Thanks to so many old friends for stopping by and to all the new friends we made today.  It has truly been an amazing journey.  We look forward to seeing you at the Center!

Elk once lived throughout Pennsylvania, but by the mid 1800s, their range had been greatly reduced, with the last elk killed in 1867. Between 1913 and 1926, the Pennsylvania Game Commission attempted to restore an elk herd by releasing 177 western elk. This herd grew slowly, but a 2000 count recorded close to 600 animals which called parts of the Pennsylvania Wilds home.

Elk in the wild are an unforgettable sight, and viewing elk has grown in popularity in the past several years. These majestic creatures outsize their deer cousins, with a mature bull weighing in between 700 and 1000 pounds. Observing elk is best done at dawn and dusk, particularly in September and October, during the mating season, or rut. Because elk are wild creatures, their behavior may be unpredictable, so never approach an elk, always view from a safe distance.

To honor the rich elk heritage in Pennsylvania, the Keystone Elk Country Alliance recently forged an agreement with the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to manage the Elk Country Visitor Center near Benezette, Pa.

The vision for this visitor center  was to create a premier elk watching and conservation education facility on the eastern seaboard through a unique public-private partnership.

The new center, opened in  September, 2010, sits on a 245-acre site on Winslow Hill in Benezette Township in Elk County, adjacent to Elk State Forest and state game lands.

The 8,400-square foot eco-friendly building has a stone fireplace to greet visitors, a “Great Room” with ceilings supported by large wooden trusses and a panorama of windows looking out on elk viewing areas and food plots. It also features a “Story Theater:" Presenting a multimedia experience and other techniques.  This photo is a view from the theater and shows the elk just outside for you to view.  Interpretive exhibits will immerse the visitor in the sights, sounds and smells of a mixed hardwood forest, the natural world of the elk and native wildlife and the heritage of the region. The site also includes a gift shop that will sell only "Made in the USA" products, public restrooms and a series of wildlife watching trails, observation areas and viewing blinds.

The visitor center project was initially launched in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. In September, RMEF conveyed its share of the largest elk watching and conservation education facility in the Eastern United States to PA DCNR.

The idea for the center has been made a reality through broad-based support from the Richard King Mellon Foundation; Dominion; Thorenson Foundation; as well as Safari Club International; the Eastern Chapter Foundation for North American Wild Sheep; and the dedication of members, volunteers, and many individual donors.

Volunteers, like those shown completing the landscaping in this photo, are an essential part of the success of this project.  If you’d like to join these forces or help with conservation efforts in Elk Country, please visit our ‘Join’ page for more information.

Individuals can also become a permanent part of the new elk center by purchasing an inscribed brick paver for you, a friend or to memorialize a family member. New pavers will be placed in the entrance walkway leading to the visitor center.

For more information, download and complete the form here.  

Here is a photo of work being completed on the Diorama in the Great Room.  This photo shows as they do work on the trees that are  part of the Diorama.  Do you know what our state tree and flower are?  You'll see them here within this display.

  Thank you for your support, we look forward to seeing you in "Elk Country".
 Elk Country Visitor Center, 134 Homestead Drive, Benezette, PA  15821

For directions on a navigation system, please use the address:  950 Winslow Hill Road, Benezette, PA  15821 (our address is new and not yet found.)