Summer is coming, the sun is shining, and it is time to get outside and play! Enjoy hiking, camping, fishing or kayaking in the mighty forests and scenic and wild rivers of the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania.
For those seeking some fun outdoor activities in May, the “We Gotta Regatta” puts you on the water, the Kinzua Fly-Fishing School puts you on-stream, and the annual ANF Photo Trek takes you into the forest to learn new photography skills with a professional photographer.
SPLISH-SPLASH – “WE GOTTA REGATTA”
On Saturday, May 21, you will want to join in the fun by paddling your kayak, canoe, or floatation device of your own creation in the Tuna Valley Trail Association’s “We Gotta Regatta.” This family friendly event offers a day of water recreation on Tunugwant Creek, locally known as the “Tuna.” Boaters are encouraged to be safe, and to enter the attended Campus Drive portage for easy access.
The regatta runs from 2:00pm-6:00pm, with participants pulling out at Crook Farm, 476 Seaward Avenue in Bradford, PA, a distance of approximately 4.1 miles. Those boating or those wishing to just attend the Regatta party at Crook Farm can enjoy the music of No Name Trio and a pig roast with all the fixings, hot dogs, sliders, and draft beer with ID.
The cost is $20 adult, $5 for 12 years of age and under. The regatta is a fundraiser for the Tuna Valley Trail Association (TVTA), with registration fees from the event being utilized to help maintain local trails. To purchase “We Gotta Regatta” tickets or for additional event information please go to tunavalleytrail.com/regatta
CLICK ON FUN – ANF PHOTO TREK
The ANF Photo Trek May 14-15 is a fun, educational, two-day photography workshop for photographers of all skill levels. Participants will travel with Ed Bernik, an award-winning professional photographer, to a variety of sites in the Forest. You’ll learn “the art of seeing,” how to choose a lens, along with details of exposure and composition for both color and black/white photography. Plan to bring comfortable walking shoes and rain gear as the course takes place rain or shine.
The fee for the course is $239, which includes photography instruction, two breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner. Participants can stay on campus at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford or at a local hotel. For information and registration, please phone 814-362-5078 or email email@example.com.
CAST AWAY – AT THE KINZUA FLY-FISHING SCHOOL
Fly fishing puts you on-stream in beautiful natural settings. The Kinzua Fly Fishing School is designed for both beginners and intermediate students, male and female, ages 12 to adult. Experienced instructors will teach you fly casting and the how-to of fly-fishing. Students will have ample opportunity to reinforce skills learned and to practice those skills in a classroom, field, and stream setting.
Two versions of the fly-fishing school are offered. Class size is limited to 30 to insure a small pupil-to-instructor ratio. The three-day school will run May 13-15 and includes famed fly-fishing guru Joe Humphreys joining as an instructor. Fees for the three-day fly-fishing school, including the instruction and overnight accommodations, are $405 per person.
The two-day fly-fishing school will be held May 21-22, with fees, including overnight accommodations, $305 per person. Classes are held at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, 300 Campus Drive, Bradford, PA, and on nearby streams. For additional information and to register, go to visitanf.com/kinzua-fly-fishing-schoolor e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fun for kids of all ages! You probably rode a go-kart as a child, or you at least dreamed about it. Now you and your kids, and maybe even your grandchildren, can all enjoy riding at the newly opened A-ME-GO Karting in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. This family friendly adventure course offers thrilling 20-minute go-cart riding on an outside groomed dirt track.
Not to be confused with bumper cars, this outdoor course is full of winding tracks, hills, banks and flat tops. Their ten super sporty karts can carry one or two riders. There is no minimum age but there is a height requirement. Riders need to be able to reach the pedals (36 inches from the back of the seat to the pedals.) Parents/grandparents can be the driver with a child as a passenger.
Safety is a top priority at A-ME-GO Karting. Eye protection and new full-face helmets are included with kart rentals. Each rider will receive safety and riding instructions. A full helmet is required for customers under 16 years of age.Riders are welcome to bring their own full-face helmets and gear. Driving gloves and go pro videos are available to record your ride for lasting memories.
Greg Schena, the owner, wanted to bring some fun into rural Pennsylvania when he opened up the course late last fall. “I am so excited to see folks of all ages really enjoying themselves,” he explained. “It was an added bonus when I saw grandparents riding with their grandkids.”
Opening for the season in May, the course operates dependent on the weather. You will want to call ahead to check track conditions. Kart rental rates are for 20 minutes per kart. One driver $20, two minors (under 16 years) $25, one adult and one minor $25, two adults $30. Private track rental with all ten karts is available; just call for rates.
Located only 3 miles south of Port Allegany, PA along Route 155 at Fogel Road, this adventure can put “zoom-zoom” back in your playtime. For reservations please call 814-642-5046. More information can be found at amegokarting.com.
MACHINE GUN ADVENTURES
For those who enjoy a louder adventure, the newly opened Acme Ammo, 10 Derrick Road in Bradford, offers an opportunity for the pulse pounding thrill of full-auto shooting at a private outdoor gun range.
Experience firing the world’s most advanced military and anti-terrorist weapons. Select the Urban Assault Package, Super Spy, The Gamer, the Battle of the Bulge, or create your own custom package. When you choose the D-Day package you will handle a Colt 1911 with 4 seven-round mags, an M-1 Garand with 4 eight-round clips, and a Thompson 1927 with 2 twenty-five round mags. Semi-automatic handguns and rifle shooting start at $10, small packages at $50.
Participants receive safety training and have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the weapons of their choice before heading out to a private shooting range for an afternoon of fun. Participants must present a valid photo ID to shoot. This seasonal business runs from April through October, and packages must be reserved in advance. For additional information or to reserve your package please call 814-362-4149 or go to acmeammollc.com.
TAKE A RIDE ON THE WILD SIDE – ATV TOURS AT MAJESTIC TRAILS
Miles and miles of legal ATV and dirt bike trails are open year round at Majestic Kamp & Lost Trails in Rew, Pennsylvania. This privately-owned and operated ATV trail system offers guided ATV riding tours. Day rates or yearly use fees are available for those who bring their own ATVs.
Majestic’s ATV trails are well groomed and traverse acres of woodlands with great elevation changes. Majestic currently offers two loops of trail riding with over 41 miles of wooded technical trails, along with an additional 10 miles of single track dirt bike trails. In addition, a motocross play area, a Pee Wee motocross track, and wilderness camping provide additional recreational opportunities.
Majestic Kamp & Lost Trails is located along Route 46, just east of the City of Bradford. To reserve your guided ATV Tour or for additional information, please call 814-465-9979 or visit them online at majestictrails.com.
PADDLE AWAY ON POTATO CREEK WATER TRAIL
For those seeking pristine waterways with the added bonus of great fishing, Potato Creek, a local favorite for trout fishing, is located just south of Smethport, Pennsylvania.
Spring rains raise the water level, adding to the fun of exploring this mountain stream which flows into the headwaters of the Allegheny River. Three canoe and kayak launch areas make it easy for you to get on the water. Unload your canoe behind the ball field in Crosby on Route 46 (41.748614N-78.393417W) to float 6.4 miles on Potato Creek to East Smethport on Route 6.
From there, you can paddle 10.9 miles to Coryville off Champlin Hill Road towards Turtle Point (41.88187N-78.389500W). From Coryville you can float another 2.7 miles to reach the Larabee Y (41.9011384N-78.384720W); here is where you will have easy access to the Allegheny River. The difficulty level of this water trail is rated easy. Pennsylvania fishing licenses for tourists are available for one, three or seven days online. Licenses are also available at more than 1,300 licensing agents throughout the state. Go to www.fish.state.pa.us.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
To order a free travel guide and map for the Allegheny National Forest Region, please phone 800-473-9370. Downloadable trail and waterway maps, along with information on a wide variety of other things to see and do, lodging and restaurant information is available at visitANF.com.