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Nothing is quite as good as a picnic on a summer day, and there are many good picnic spots for you to choose from when hiking in the woods or staying at a campground. The Allegheny National Forest is a great place for picnicking with family and friends.  

Pull up to the Allegheny Reservoir and relax by the water, or make the climb to Jake's Rock Overlook and take in the spectacular views! Paddling down the Allegheny or Clarion rivers? Many opportunities exist for picnicking along either, just make sure you aren't in someones backyard. Want a little adventure with your lunch? Take a walk out to Logan Falls or up to Hickory Creek Wilderness Area.

On the Allegheny many picnic grounds are incorporated into a "day use area" in a campground. Facilities at picnic areas are usually vault type outhouses without sinks, so you may want to pack hand sanitizer with your lunch.  Packing water is a good idea as well, some picnic areas outside of campgrounds may not have drinking water available.

Follow Leave No Trace Principles by respecting wildlife and not feeding squirrels, chipmunks, and other creatures.  Make sure to use bear resistant garbage containers when available.  On some types, it may be necessary to relock the lid after use.  At other sites, there may be no garbage containers available so you will need to pack out any garbage you create.  Never dispose of garbage in vault toilets.

Keeping food safe from wildlife, especially bears 

Even when picnicking, never leave food unattended, even for a short hike or a swim. You can store your food in:

  • A hard-sider camper or motor home, vehicle trunk or cab, or enclosed horse trailer. However, bears have been known to break windows and mangled vehicles just to get to food they smell.
  • Suspended 10 feet up and 4 feet out from a vertical support, such as a tree. This is sometimes difficult to do depending on the amount of food.
  • Store your food, even snacks, in an approved bear-resistant container. Most coolers and plastic storage boxes are easy for bears to break into. Some campgrounds offer large storage boxes. Call to see if they are available and how much they will store.
  • Learn more about bears by checking our bear page