Buzzard Swamp Wildlife Viewing and Hiking Area

Area Status: Open

Buzzard Swamp is a special management area that emphasizes wildlife management and recreation. The site contains 11.2 miles of inter-connected trails, offering some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on the forest, as well as recreational opportunities including cross-country skiing, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, and fishing.

Explore the site’s 15 man-made ponds, constructed in the early 1960s in partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which provides great viewing of waterfowl. This area is an important link in the Atlantic flyway, a bird migration pattern that goes along the East Coast of North America.

Two trailheads provide access to the area: Buzzard Swamp 376 and Buzzard Swamp 157 trailheads. The Songbird Sojourn Interpretive Trail is a 1.5-mile self-guided nature trail that starts at the Buzzard Swamp 157 trailhead. Pamphlets are available at the trailhead and the Marienville Ranger Station.

View/Print Trail Brochure - pdf

At a Glance

Fees: No Fee
Permit Info: No permit needed.
Open Season: January - December
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:
  • Buzzard Swamp Recreation Area
PROPAGATION AREA – Entering the propagation area for any reason is strictly prohibited. TRAILS - Motorized vehicles, ATVs,  snowmobiles, saddle, pack, or draft animals on trails is prohibited. PONDS - No motorized boats.
Closest Towns: Marienville, Brookville
Information Center: Marienville Ranger District
Address: 131 Smokey Lane Marienville, PA 16239
Phone: 1-814-927-6628 Email:

General Information


From Marienville

  • Travel south on PA-66 for 1.6 miles
  • Turn left onto S. Forest Street
  • Travel on S. Forest Street for .7 miles
  • S. Forest St. becomes Loleta Road
  • Travel on Loleta Road for .6 miles
  • Turn left onto Buzzard Swamp Road
  • Travel 2.4 miles on Buzzard Swamp Road to trailhead

Latitude : 41.449443

Longitude : -79.081115


376 Trailhead

From Marienville

  • Travel south on PA-66 for 1.6 miles
  • Make a sharp left onto E. Spruce Street
  • Travel .8 miles on E. Spruce Street
  • E. Spruce Street becomes Lamonaville Road/T327
  • Travel 1.7 miles on Lamonaville Road/T327
  • Turn right onto Forest Road 376
  • Travel .2 miles on Forest Road 376 to the trailhead

Latitude : 41.469247

Longitude : -79.074528

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:

This trail is jointly used with hikers. 

Difficulty Level: Easy

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

Access to the 15 man-made ponds is hike-in. The nearest pond is 1 mile from the trailhead.

Fish Species largemouth bass, perch, catfish, crappie and bluegill
Fishing Platform None
Fishing Method Non-motorized boats are allowed, carry-in only. 

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Most of the trails are not marked with diamonds, so watch the informational signs for directions. The skill level of the trails is easy and the terrain is relatively flat. Some of the trails are located within meadows with little protection from the sun and wind. Be prepared. “You Are Here” signs are located at trail junctions and other key locations.

Difficulty Desc. Easy
Elevation desc FR 157 Trailhead Elevation - 1660’ FR 376 Trailhead Elevation - 1640’ Songbird Sojourn Elevation Range - 1660’ - 1780’ Buzzard Swamp Elevation Range - 1620’ - 1740’

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

During spring migration, 20-25 species of waterfowl can be seen around the swamp. An observant hiker could see bear, deer, beaver, coyote, snapping turtles, turkey, osprey and bald eagles. Don’t forget your binoculars or spotting scope for great views of the native fauna.

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 Plants

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Plants:

Many native plants can be found throughout the Allegheny National Forest. The most common is Mountain Laurel, the Pennsylvania state flower.

For more information about the types of plants and trees you may see on the Allegheny:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

Interpretive Areas

Recreation areas with activity Interpretive Areas:

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation areas with activity XC Skiing/Snowshoeing:
Warming Shelters No
Base Conditions Not groomed. Check trail conditions report for updated information.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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