Bilger’s Rocks is Pennsylvania’s largest rock outcropping and arguably, the most fun to climb and explore, with enormous rock walls, arches, caves, narrow passageways, and crawl-throughs.
Located in Clearfield County, near the town of Grampian, this massive 300 million-year-old sandstone “rock city” is full of cool things to see—from top to bottom and in between.
Parking for Bilger’s Rocks is a short walk from the entrance, and you’ll need to walk along a trafficked roadway so use caution. This is where you go to explore the bottom of the rocks first.
You can pick up a trail map at the Education Center and follow it to the ten marked locations, but I think the trail posts are a little hard to follow after the first couple, so I’d suggest you take off on your own and wander anywhere you’d like. (It might seem like you’ll get lost, but if you keep walking, you’ll eventually come out.)
Exploring Bilger’s Rocks from the Bottom
One of the first things you’ll see is a giant 1921 carving etched into the rock face with the words “The World is Looking to Us.”
As you explore, you’ll be climbing, ducking, squeezing, and even crawling (if you’re adventurous).
Some of the nooks and crannies lead to hidden chambers with names like “Devil’s Dining Room,” “Devil’s Kitchen,” and “Devil’s Dungeon.”
There’s also an ice cave where the cool temperatures allow for ice formations long after winter has passed. It’s a narrow passageway underground that requires some crawling, and it’s totally dark inside—perfect for the most adventurous.
Anyone can crawl or climb anywhere they’d like. Nothing’s off-limits if you’re up for it.
Trees grow out of the rocks everywhere and anywhere. Many roots twist themselves around and through the boulders and make fun photo ops.
Exploring Bilger’s Rocks from the Top
Once you’ve climbed to your heart’s content in and among the boulders, start climbing up, and you’ll find yourself looking down into many of the passageways and rooms you explored below.
It’s a lot of fun to see it all from a different perspective. The numerous cracks and fissures are picturesque. But, be sure to watch your footing; there are steep drop-offs and holes everywhere.
I hopped over several of the cracks to keep exploring, but some of them are for daredevils only (or no one).
Visit the Roland Welker Rock House Replica
If you’ve ever seen the survivor series, Alone, you’ve probably heard of Roland Welker. He survived 100 days alone in a remote area of Canada’s Northwest Territories and won $1 million on the show.
Roland grew up in Clearfield County, so Bilger’s Rocks created a trail and constructed a replica of his famous rock house at the park in his honor. It’s a short walk from the parking area and fun to see.
Tips for Visiting Bilger’s Rocks
- Wear layers. It can be chillier in the rocks, but you may warm up from moving around.
- The rocks can be very slippery from dew, rain, or moss, so wear a comfortable pair of hiking boots or other closed-toe shoes with good traction.
- Bring your phone. The photo possibilities are endless!
- Always watch where you’re walking. The boulders are uneven, and there are roots, holes, and crevices all over the place.
- To find your way back after exploring the boulders, climb higher. Eventually, you’ll make your way back to the top and the parking lot.
- The ruins of an 1851 sawmill can be found along the banks of Bilger Run.
- There are 10 miles of hiking trails in the park as well.
- It’s a dog-friendly park, so bring the whole family.
- Pick up a self-guided tour pamphlet or you prefer; two-hour guided tours can be arranged in advance. Check the website for details.
1921 Bilgers Rocks Rd, Grampian, PA 16838
Hours: Daily from dawn to dusk