The Allegheny National Forest, part of the Pennsylvania Wilds, covers more than 513,000 acres and includes hundreds of miles of multi-use trails, scenic drives and overlooks, and the Allegheny Reservoir. Here you can enjoy sleeping peacefully under a starlit sky - stay in a comfy bed & breakfast, rent a cabin or vacation home, or pitch a tent and camp in the great outdoors. The summer season brings a variety of fairs and festivals throughout the region including Art in the Wilds, a multitude of fishing tournaments, the Firefly Festival in Tionesta, and a brand new aviation event - Fly over Bradford. Here you have the choice to take the road less traveled.
Rimrock Overlookis a stunning overlook with a 1.3-mile pedestrian trail connecting to the shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir. Highlights of the overlook include the massive rock formations and scenic vistas of the shoreline. Steps are carved into the ancient rock formations, and a short 1.3-mile trail connects you to the shoreline of the Kinzua Beach Recreation Area. Shaded picnic tables are within an easy walking distance from the parking lot. From Bradford, Pennsylvania, travel west on Rt. 59 to a left-hand turn onto Forest Road 454 and drive 2.7 miles to access Rimrock Parking and Picnic Area. The trail difficulty level is rated easy to moderate, but the trail hike involves rugged terrain with sharp inclines and topographic changes in elevation.
SPLISH, SPLASH - SUMMER IS THE TIME TO ENJOY THE WATER
A variety of boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities are available in the Allegheny National Forest region. Canoeing and kayaking excursions can be booked with B’s Canoe Service in Bradford by calling 814-598-7347, or Froggy Bottom Allegheny River Outfitters in Port Allegany at 814-642-9200. Boat and kayak rentals are available at Willow Bay, phone 814-368-4158.
The Allegheny (Kinzua) Reservoir, a 12,000-acre impoundment on the Allegheny River, is the largest reservoir in the Allegheny National Forest. Species include bass, Muskie, walleye, crappie, catfish and panfish. Covering 12,000 acres, the reservoir offers unlimited motorized and non-motorized boating. Boat access is available at numerous locations. Boats are limited to slow, no wake speed in the following areas: Chapel Bay, Morris Run Bay (from Kiasutha to the headwaters above Red Bridge), Willow Bay and Sugar Bay. A Coast Guard approved personal flotation device needs to be worn at all times when on board boats less than 16-feet in length or any canoe or kayak.
Kinzua Beach is a free access swimming area located along the eastern banks of the Allegheny Reservoir in the Allegheny National Forest. The Kinzua Beach Recreational Area entrance is along Route 59, south of Bradford via Rt. 219 to Rt.770, and then Rt. 59 west. There is a large parking area, a beach house with washrooms, change rooms, water fountains and a seasonal concession stand.
Shaded picnic tables, grills and a beach volleyball court are also located here. There are paved pathways leading from the parking area down to the beach, or you can stroll along the grassy hillsides to reach the water. The beach is formed of concrete with fine pea gravel used in place of sand, and it is approximately 450 feet in length and extends into the water to a depth of at least 8 feet. The water is fairly slow moving, with little risk from water currents. The waves will generally be small. A trail leading up to Rimrock Overlook can be accessed from the end of the parking lot. The beach is open daylight hours, May through September.
The Kinzua Wolf Run Marina located along Rt. 59, approximately 28 miles from the City of Bradford, is a full service marina offering a boat launch with docking, kayak, canoe, pontoon, and fishing boat rentals and gasoline. Docksider’s Café, a seasonal restaurant with scenic views of the water offers outside seating in season. This restaurant is a convenient stop for dining when fishing the reservoir, or to enjoy the beauty of a sunset along the reservoir.
Willow Bay Recreation Area,located along the south shore of Willow Bay in the northeastern section of the Forest, is only a 15-minute drive from the City of Bradford. Cabins at Willow Bay provide access to both stream and reservoir fishing. In addition to the cabins, campsites, tent only sites, boat-to only sites and a courtesy dock is available along with a picnic pavilion that can be reserved for groups. Reservations for Willow Bay Recreation Area and information on boat and cabin rentals can be made by calling 814-368-4158 or online at www.alleghenysite.com.
Elijah Run islocated on the west bank of the Red Bridge Campground towards the southeastern tip of the Allegheny Reservoir, within the Allegheny National Forest. A fishing pier, courtesy dock, restrooms and a shoreline trail make this a favorite for shoreline fishing and non-motorized boating. The southern tip of the Reservoir around the Red Bridge area is also excellent for kayaking and canoeing.
Kiasutha Recreation Area, just north of the village of Kane, PA, is located on the southwestern bank of the Allegheny Reservoir. Along with easy access for fishing, camping is available.
NEARBY LAKES AND RESERVOIRS
Hamlin Lake, in the Victorian Village of Smethport, is a stocked trout location. Covering 17 acres, the lake offers non-motorized boat access. An easy accessible bank with a soft slope makes it perfect for the angler looking to practice their fly-fishing casting skills. A variety of overnight accommodations are available including the Mansion District Inn, which received the #1 Bed & Breakfast TripAdvisor Travelers Award in 2015 and the extended stay Pennsylvania Wilds Vacation Suites. Show your fishing license and receive a 10% discount on your overnight stay! Reservations: 814-598-7403 or www.mansiondistrictinn.com.
Marilla Reservoir, five miles west of the City of Bradford along Rte. 346,offers the best of both worlds - water access and hiking trails. Here you have an opportunity to fish for stocked trout and water species such as bass and catfish. Boating is electric only with only non-motorized craft permitted. Boat access is car top access as there are no formal boating docks. Covering 25 acres, anglers can easily access the shoreline from the convenient Marilla Bridges Trail.
TAKE A HIKE!
Marilla Bridges Trailis a 1-mile looped trail that circles the reservoir, offering forest and water vistas. Highlights include the Erik Benjamin Covered Bridge, three rustic wooden trestle bridges and a delightful gazebo located at the southwest corner of the trail. This is an easy trail suitable for hiking with children or for those seeking an easy scenic hike in the forest. Other nearby trails accessed from the Marilla Reservoir include Marilla Spring Trail, Marilla Rocks Trail, White Pine Trail, and the Bullis Hollow Trail.
Marilla Rocks Trailis a 2.0-mile loop off a logging trail that is accessible from Rt. 346. Blue diamonds mark the trail that leads to the rock formations; continue following the diamonds for a loop back to the logging road. Trailhead parking is near the gate on Rt. 346, approximately two miles from the Marilla Reservoir, on the left-hand side of the road if traveling west. This trail is rated moderate to difficult.
Marilla Springs Trail is a 3.6-mile point to point trail for a slightly more aggressive trail experience for the avid hiker and mountain biker. The lower trailhead begins at the southwest corner of the Marilla Bridges Trail. At the upper trailhead, the trail connects to Forest Road (FR) 173H; turn right to cross into the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) and FR 173, a major forest road between Rt. 346 (Willow Creek) and Rt. 321 at Sugar Run. The limestone surface has progressive changes in elevation and bisects an old growth forest. The difficulty level is moderate to difficult.
Bullis Hollow Trailis an 8.3-mile trail connecting to the Marilla Springs Trail at the upper trailhead. From there the trail heads west along a narrow gauge railroad grade, crossing FS 137 and climbing to reach the Tracy Ridge Trail Network with connections to the North Country Trail. This is a trail suitable for backpacking and dispersed camping can be done along the trail. Tracy Ridge Campground also provides campsites with a link to the North Country Trail System into New York and the Allegany State Park.
Maps and hiking information for the Marilla Trail System can be found at www.tunavalleytrail.com.
FISHING TOURNAMENTS DURING JUNE & JULY IN THE ALLEGHENY NATIONAL FOREST
A series of fishing tournaments are held throughout the summer in the Allegheny National Forest Region. On June 7, a Walleye Tournament at Willow Bay will be sponsored by St. Jude’s Foundation. On June 14, a Walleye Tournament at Willow Bay will be sponsored by Kinzua Outdoors.
On June 19-20, Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit will hold a Walleye Tournament at Willow Bay. On June 15, a Walleye/Bass Tournament, sponsored by Paul’s Trading Post, will be held at Elijah Run. On June 28, a Walleye Tournament, sponsored by the Disabled American Veterans, will be held at the Wolf Run Marina along Route 59 in the Forest. On July 5, a Bass Tournament, sponsored by Bassmasters of Crawford County will be held at Elijah Run, and then on July 11, a Bass Tournament, sponsored by Philipsburg Bassmasters, will be held at Elijah Run.
Pennsylvania Fishing Licenses for Tourists: Pennsylvania tourist fishing licenses are available for 1, 3 or 7 days. Resident, and senior resident licenses are also available. Licenses are available at over 1,300 licensing agents throughout the state and can be purchased at www.fishinpa.com. Please call 717-705-7930 for additional information.
NATIONAL GET OUTDOORS DAY IS JUNE 13, 2015
Plan to hike a trail or play outdoors on National Get Outdoors Day. On June 12-14, 2015, the A-100 (Allegheny 100), an endurance hiking event on the North Country Scenic Trail, will be held. Participants can register to hike 100 miles, 75 miles, 50 miles or 25 miles within a 50-hour period. The event is sponsored by the North Country Trail Association and is held every year to promote use of the trail system. Shuttle service is provided to registered hikers. Questions and information can be found by e-mailing: email@example.com.
PA FIREFLY FESTIVAL
The Pennsylvania (PA) Firefly Festival is Mother Nature’s evening showcase of beautiful color against an inky nighttime sky. The nocturnal firefly naturally produces bioluminescent flashing lights, and as a guest at the Firefly Festival you will be able to witness this amazing spectacle. During the day (between noon and sunset) there will be exhibits, arts/crafts, music, food and fun for kids. The firefly spectacle will normally be able to be viewed after 10pm.
Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring extra gear for the evening and inclement weather. A camp chair is a must to give you seating for the music and later in the forest to provide you comfort while viewing the fireflies. You may want to bring a picnic or beverages.
Trained volunteers and naturalists will be available throughout the festival to provide information about the fireflies, the area and "Firefly Viewing Etiquette". We encourage you to find a volunteer to help you optimize your experience and learn how to protect the habitat of this unique natural phenomenon.
For overnight reservations at Black Caddis Ranch B&B, 13558 Route 666, Tionesta, PA 16353, please call 814-463-7606. Campers will be welcomed on the grounds of Black Caddis Ranch starting Friday night through Sunday. Campsites are strictly primitive (no electric). Port-a-Johns and access to water are provided. You should expect to bring your own food and beverages for Friday and Saturday morning. A $10 donation to PAFF for each site (max. 2 tents or 1 pop-up) is requested. No large RVs please.
WINGS OVER BRADFORD
If you have a passion for flight, plan on attending this new day-long event held at the Bradford Regional Airport in Lewis Run, Pennsylvania, focused on aviation. For those who want a memorable flying experience, book an airplane tour with Vintage Bi-Plane. You will fly in the open cockpit of a fully restored 1943 Boeing Stearman as you soar over the Kinzua Sky Walk and the beautiful Allegheny National Forest. Bi-Plane Rides need to be reserved by calling 814-642-9486 or 814-558-5376.
Airplane displays, including military airplanes and a National Guard presence will be included in the event. There will be an antique car show, food vendors and radio controlled airplanes to watch.
If you are lucky enough to have access to a plane, plan on starting your day with a “fly-in” breakfast to meet with fellow aviators at the Bradford Regional Airport Restaurant.
All events are centered at the Bradford Regional Airport, 212 Airport Drive, Lewis Run, PA 16738, located approximately 30 minutes south of Bradford. Take Rt. 219 south to Rt. 59 east - watch for the signs! For more information please call 814-642-9486 or visit www.bradfordairport.net.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
These are just a few of the many fishing and outdoor recreation possibilities awaiting you in the region. To order a free Allegheny National Forest Region Visitors Guide & Map, which includes places to stay, attractions, restaurants, and a map of McKean County waterways, call 800-473-9370 or click on www. visitANF.com.