Greater Punxsutawney: Gobbler’s Knob and Much More

January 22nd, 2024

Punxsutawney is located 84 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, and 50 miles northwest of Altoona, and was incorporated under a rich history of the coal and timber industries. Situated along the banks of the Mahoning Creek, the borough is the largest one in Jefferson County.

Jacob Hoover was the first settler in the Punxsutawney area, building the first log cabin and probably the first grist mill in 1814. The Rev. David Barclay came to the area in 1816 and is considered the founder of the town. In 1850, Punxsutawney was officially incorporated as a borough.

As stated on, “the borough operates under a 7-member Council form of government that governs a population of 5,962 residents, (2010 census), in a 3.4 sq. mi. area. As with several municipalities of its size, the borough has a mayor who acts as tiebreaker and oversees the Police Department. There are 3 voting wards in the borough along with 3 volunteer fire companies under the Punxsutawney Fire Department.”

Punxsutawney Phil’s annual Groundhog Day prediction takes place at Gobbler's Knob, which is now a designated historic site, and one of the most popular landmarks in Punxsutawney is Gobbler’s Knob. It is the site of the annual Groundhog Day celebration and where Punxsutawney Phil makes his prediction every February 2nd. Thousands of visitors come to Gobbler’s Knob on Groundhog Day as well as throughout the rest of the year. The trail is one-half mile in length with informational and educational signage as well as metal art displays.

Groundhog Day derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow, it will retreat to its den and winter will go on for six more weeks; if it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive early.

The Mahoning Shadow Trail is a 15-mile reclaimed railroad-bed located in southern Jefferson County, and open 7 days a week. The beautiful, wooded trail “shadows” the Mahoning Creek, and is open to pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles with maps available at the Punxsy Chamber of Commerce & Souvenir Shop.

There are lots of events throughout the year ( For a FREE map & guide to the area, call 1-800-752-PHIL.