Recreation

 

Public Health Precautions

Allegheny National Forest is open to recreation, but please be prepared and recreate responsibly. We also encourage you to follow public health guidelines regarding social distancing while you recreate in National Forests.

Law enforcement and/or search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19 issues. High-risk activities such as backcountry activities that increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.

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Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Beaver Meadows Hiking Trail & Day Use Area Open to Visitor
Bradford Ranger District    Customers needing information, permits. and maps are encouraged to call 1-814-728-6100 or email at r9_allegheny_NF@usda.gov during regular business hours for prompt, customer service.
Brush Hollow Cross Country Ski and Hiking Trail Open to Visitor
Buckaloons Recreation Area Open to Visitor Group Campsite: Closed for the season. Campground, double site and day use open on May 1.
Buzzard Swamp 157 Trailhead Open to Visitor
Buzzard Swamp 376 Trailhead Open to Visitor
Buzzard Swamp Wildlife Viewing and Hiking Area Open to Visitor
Clarion River Campsites Open to Visitor
Clarion Wild and Scenic River Open to Visitor
Dewdrop Recreation Area Open to Visitor This site opens on May 27
Elijah Run Boat Launch and Shoreline Trail Open to Visitor
Farnsworth Cabin Open to Visitor
Handsome Lake Boat Access Campground Open to Visitor This site opens May 1
Hearts Content Orienteering Trail Open to Visitor
Hearts Content Recreation Area Open to Visitor Group site is closed for the season, picnic pavilion is open year-round. Campground opens May 1
Hickory Creek Wilderness Open to Visitor
Hooks Brook Boat Access Campground Open to Visitor This site opens May 1
Hopewell Boat Access Campground Open to Visitor This site opens May 1
Irwin Run Canoe Launch Open to Visitor Restroom is closed.
Jakes Rocks Overlook and Mountain Bike Trail Open to Visitor
Kelly Pines Campground Open to Visitor
Kiasutha Recreation Area Open to Visitor Boat Launch opens May 1, campground and swim/picnic area open May 27.
Kinzua Beach Open to Visitor
Laurel Mill Cross-Country Ski and Hiking Trail Open to Visitor
Little Drummer Historical Pathway Open to Visitor
Loleta Recreation Area Open to Visitor Boat Launch, Campground and Picnic Pavilion open April 9. Group Site is closed. Swim and Picnic Area opens May 27
Marienville Ranger District    Customers needing information, permits. and maps are encouraged to call 1-814-728-6100 or email at r9_allegheny_NF@usda.gov during regular business hours for prompt, customer service.
Minister Creek Campground Open to Visitor
Minister Creek Hiking Trail Open to Visitor
Morrison Boat Access Campground Open to Visitor This site opens May 1
Morrison Hiking Trail Open to Visitor
North Country National Scenic Trail Open to Visitor This trail is not groomed.
Penoke Trail: Penoke Trailhead Open to Visitor
Penoke, Marienville and Timberline ATV/OHM Trails Open to Visitor
Pine Grove Boat Access Campground Open to Visitor This site opens May 1
Red Bridge Recreation Area Open to Visitor Boat Launch opens April 1, Cabins open April 9, Bank fishing opens May 8.
Rimrock Hiking Trail and Overlook Open to Visitor
Roper Hollow Boat Launch Open to Visitor
Spring Creek Horse Trail Open to Visitor
Tidioute Overlook Open to Visitor
Timberdoodle Flats Interpretive Trail Open to Visitor
Timberline Trail: Pigs Ear Trailhead Open to Visitor
Tionesta Scenic Area and Hiking Trail Open to Visitor
Tracy Ridge Hiking Trail Open to Visitor
Tracy Ridge Recreation Area Open to Visitor Water is turned off October 15
Twin Lakes Hiking Trail Open to Visitor
Twin Lakes Recreation Area and Black Cherry Trail Open to Visitor Campground opens April 1; Bathhouse pavilion and swim and picnic area open May 15
Webbs Ferry Boat Launch Open to Visitor
Westline Cross-Country Ski/Hiking Trail Open to Visitor
Willow Bay Recreation Area Open to Visitor
Willow Creek ATV Trail Open to Visitor

Spotlights

Allegheny Reservoir

Lush green forest surrounds the 7,647-acre reservoir that spans the border between Pennsylvania and New York. In Pennsylvania, the reservoir is completely surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest; and in New York State by Allegany State Park and the Allegany Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation.

At normal summer pool level the reservoir is 27 miles long, 14 miles in Pennsylvania and 13 miles in New York, with 91 miles of shoreline, and a maximum depth of 130 feet.

Despite how busy the reservoir can get in the summer, there are still places where you can experience the solitude and quiet of the forest. Facilities range from large campgrounds with everything from electric hook-ups, flush toilets and playgrounds to boat-in campgrounds with simple outhouses and hand-pumps for water.

The reservoir draws people from all over for the quantity and quality of the water activities it has available.

The walleye, trout, bass, pike and muskellunge are there and waiting for a fight. Several record breaking fish have been caught in the reservoir. In the winter you can head out onto the ice for a little ice fishing. If you want to look, but not fish, stop by the dam and peek over the edge. The fish like to gather in the eddies at the edges of the reservoir near the dam. Please do not feed the fish.

There are two major trails in the area, Jakes Rock Extreme Mountain Biking Trail, and the short, but intense, Rimrock Trail. After your ride or hike you can head over to the Kinzua Beach and cool off in the chill waters of the reservoir.

And no trip the the reservoir is complete without driving on Longhouse National Scenic Byway and up to the overlooks at Jakes Rocks and Rimrock to take in the endless view of the reservoir against the backdrop of the forest.

Scroll down to find out more about the activities available on the reservoir.

 

History of the Reservoir

The reservoir was created in the 1960s when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the Kinzua Dam on the upper Allegheny River. The reservoir water level and water surface is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Only a few private landowners exist on the New York shoreline. The Allegheny Reservoir is unique because very little private commercial development exists along its shoreline. The majority of the existing developed recreation sites on the PA portion of the Reservoir are operated and maintained by the Allegheny National Forest.

 

Clarion Wild and Scenic River

The Clarion River is a designated Wild and Scenic River for 51.7 miles, from the border of the ANF/State Game Lands Number 44 boundary to an unnamed tributary at the backwaters of Piney Dam.

The steeply forested hillsides of almost continuous mature deciduous and coniferous vegetation contribute to a feeling of remoteness in many places along the river.

Paddlers on the river will find that the water changes from smooth to riffling as the river flows over and around large boulders.  In the section of river between Arroyo Bridge and Irwin Run paddlers will find several of the riffles.

The Clarion is a tributary to the Allegheny Wild and Scenic River, joining it in Clarion County, just south of the town of Emlenton.  In the early 1800's the Clarion was used to transport timber to the Allegheny River.

Allegheny Wild and Scenic River

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.



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/allegheny/recreation