Allegheny Wild and Scenic River

Area Status: Open

In 1992 (Public Law 102-271) added 87 miles of the Allegheny River to the National Wild & Scenic River System classified as Recreational. The goal is to protect the existing outstanding and remarkable values and preserve a free-flowing condition for present and future generations. This designation applies to the following three sections:

  • 7 miles from below Kinzua Dam to Route 6 bridge in Warren
  • 48 miles from Buckaloons Campground to Alcorn Island (by Oil City), and
  • 32 miles from south of Franklin to Emlenton.

The corridor boundary runs along the plateau ridge on both sides and has extensive areas of privately owned lands with many homes and seasonal recreational residences along the shoreline. Public access is good generally from both sides and few hazards make this an ideal river for novice and family canoeing. Oak forests predominate along steep side slopes and there is wooded-riverine habitat in some of the floodplains.  It contains the seven Allegheny Wilderness Islands often used by boaters for dispersed camping and fishing.

The Allegheny Islands Wilderness contains seven islands stretched between Buckaloons and Tionesta along the Allegheny Wild and Scenic River. The islands are popular for dispersed camping, exploration, and viewing scenery and wildlife. They are mostly vegetated with fine riverine forests of sycamore, silver maple, shagbark hickory, and green ash. Dense grasses and other thick vegetation make access limited. There are no developed trails or other facilities on the islands.


The Allegheny River is one of the primary tributaries to the Ohio River.  It joins with the Monongahela River to form the Ohio River at the "Point" in Pittsburgh, PA.  The Allegheny starts in Pennsylvania, near Cobb Hill, meanders into New York into Cattaraugus County, near Salamanca, before heading back into Pennsylvania northeast of Warren.

The course of the river forms much of the northwestern boundary of the Allegheny National Forest before reaching Franklin where the river turns southeast.  Within the borders of the Allegheny National Forest the river is fed by Kinzua Creek, Conewango Creek, Brokenstraw Creek, Tionesta Creek, Oil Creek and French Creek.  The Clarion River joins the Allegheny near Kittanning.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Reservations: Reservations are recommended at the following sites/areas:
  • Buckaloons Recreation Area
To make a reservation visit or call 1-877-444-6777  
Rentals & Guides:
  • Riverside Recreation
  • Allegheny Wilderness Outfitters
  • Allegheny Outfitters
Fees: Fees are charged at the following sites:
  • Buckaloons Recreation Area
Restrictions: 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:
  • Occupancy Limits
  • Developed Camping
  • Boating Regulations
Closest Towns: Warren, Youngsville, Tidioute, West Hickory, Tionesta
Information Center: Marienville Ranger District Address: 131 Smokey Lane Marienville, PA 16239
Phone: 1-814-927-6628 Bradford Ranger District Address: 29 Forest Service Dr., Bradford, PA 16701
Phone: 814-362-4613 Email:  

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Camping at Buckaloons Recreation Area, located on the confluence of the Allegheny River, Brokenstraw Creek and Irvine Run.

This recreation area offers:

  • Family campsites (some with electrical hookups and tent only)
  • Double sites (with electric hookups) and
  • A group tent site

Areas for Campground Camping at Allegheny Wild and Scenic River

RV Camping

Areas for RV Camping at Allegheny Wild and Scenic River

Group Camping

Areas for Group Camping at Allegheny Wild and Scenic River

River and Stream Fishing

For information on fishing regulations and season visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website.

Areas for River and Stream Fishing at Allegheny Wild and Scenic River

Viewing Wildlife

The forest is rich with wildlife, from birds to mammals to fish and other amphibious life.

For information on species common to Pennsylvania, and the Allegheny National Forest visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website for game and nongame species information.

When you see wildlife, please remember:

  • never feed wildlife
  • don't interfere with mating, predation or other natural behaviors.
  • keep a respectful distance
  • preserve habitat by following "leave no trace" principles.
  • leave young wildlife where you find them.

If you think you've found a sick or injured animal please call the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Viewing Scenery

Areas for Viewing Scenery at Allegheny Wild and Scenic River


Areas for Picnicking at Allegheny Wild and Scenic River

Group Picnicking

As you travel down the river you can stop at one of the boat launches for lunch, or take a break on one of the many islands along the river to stop and stretch your legs.

Boating - Motorized

To find out water depth and temperature visit the USGS water data website.

Size Restrictions  Not suitable for large craft

Areas for Boating - Motorized at Allegheny Wild and Scenic River

Boating - Non-Motorized

To find out water depth and temperature visit the USGS water data website.

Areas for Boating - Non-Motorized at Allegheny Wild and Scenic River


To find out water depth and temperature visit the USGS water data website.


To find out water depth and temperature visit the USGS water data website.