Tionesta Scenic Area and Hiking Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

This small trailhead offers access to over 2,000 acres of old-growth (virgin) timber with significant stands of northern hemlock. This tract of land was purchased by the Allegheny National Forest in 1934, together with an addtionnal 2000+ acres, now the Tionesta Research Area located in the southeast, which was set aside for monitoring and research of a natural unmanaged old-growth forest.

This trailhead offers access to a short interpretive trail and a portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) passes through the Tionesta Scenic Area. NCNST can be accessed along the entrance road and is marked with blue diamonds. The Twin Lakes Trail, marked with off-white diamonds, traverses the southern part of the Scenic Area. Twin Lakes Trail connects the NCNST with Twin Lakes Recreation Area and is 15.8 miles long. The other trails that take off from the entrance road are not maintained and you are advised to take a topographic map and compass if you want to explore the area.

Both the Tionesta Scenic Area and Research Natural Area are notable for the tremendous effects of a F4 tornado that struck in May of 1985, causing widespread blowdown and windthrow. The tornado plowed through Pennsylvania for a total of 70 miles, uprooting over 90,000 trees in a path nearly two-thirds of a mile wide. It was one of 20 tornados that ripped through Pennsylvania on May 31, 1985. Now, over 30 years later, visitors to the area can see the regeneration of the forest from the mass destruction so many years ago.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open 24 Hours
Fees No fee
Permit Info: No permit required
Open Season: January - December
Usage: Light
Restrictions: The trail is for hiking, skiing and mountain biking.  As a visitor to the National Forest, you are asked to follow certain rules designed to protect the Forest, natural resources and to provide for public safety of visitors. These rules are available to you on-line or at any office of the Allegheny National Forest. Please take time to read and understand them. General Topic orders apply across the Forest. Applicable Orders for this Site:
  • Tionesta Natural and Scenic Areas
Closest Towns: Ludlow, PA
Water: None
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Bradford Ranger District Address: 29 Forest Service Dr., Bradford, PA 16701
Phone: 814-362-4613
Email: sm.fs.anf@usda.gov

General Information


From Kane

  • Travel south on PA-66
  • Turn left onto Route 66
  • Travel on Route 66 for approximately 2 miles
  • Turn right (West) onto JoJo Road/FR 133 and follow for several miles
  • Turn left/southwest onto 133E

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Nature Viewing

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