Summer brings sunny, carefree days perfect for relaxing in the more than great outdoors of the Allegheny National Forest Region in northwestern Pennsylvania. Local events in July include the Kids & Cancer Benefit Run, the 39th Allegheny Mountain Engine & Implement Demonstration, and the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Zippo/Case Museum. Plan your summer getaway to include some time on the water, along with indulging in a delicious ice cream treat - July is National Ice Cream month so no excuses needed.
SUMMERTIME FUN ON THE WATER
The forest is green and lush, but there’s plenty of blue water in this neck of the woods for canoeing and kayaking, swimming, water skiing, or boating.
The Allegheny Reservoir, located within the Allegheny National Forest, offers over 100 miles of forest-shaded shoreline with a wide choice of water activities. At Willow Bay, located at the northeastern shoreline of the Reservoir, you can put in your motorized boat from the paved boat launch. Enjoy a day on the water relaxing and taking in the scenery, or try your hand at walleye fishing or water skiing. Many small coves along the shoreline provide private areas to enjoy swimming from the boat. Conveniently located near the boat launch at Willow Bay are large parking facilities for your vehicle and boat trailer.
Kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards can be rented from Allegheny Site Management. If you would like to turn your day trip into an overnight, Willow Bay offers a choice of cabins, tent and RV sites. The new wooden cabins at Red Bridge feature a delightful porch swing and room for a family of four. At Willow Bay, some of their cabins are located along the shoreline; some are located along a mountain stream. Both are ideal for spending your day on the water or hiking a nearby trail, with the evenings spent roasting marshmallows around a campfire. For information on cabin rentals, boat rentals, RV camping and outfitting needs call Allegheny Site Management at 814-368-4158 or go to alleghenysite.com.
KINZUA WOLF RUN MARINA
Located along Rt. 59 between Bradford and Warren, this full service marina along the shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir offers ready access to the water. The Marina offers boat rentals, boat docking, gasoline, seasonal slips, weekend and week slips, and access to primitive “boat access only” camping. Docksiders Café at the Marina offers stunning vistas of the Allegheny Reservoir; dine outside on the deck and enjoy the beauty of the spectacular sunsets.
Located along the Allegheny Reservoir, Kinzua Beach offers free swimming in the Allegheny Reservoir. This day-use, public access beach features forest-shaded picnic areas and free parking. Restrooms are available. The swimming area is reached by walking along a sloping grass covered area to a cement area with a sandy, stone covered shoreline.
At the far end of the parking area, you will find the trailhead for Rimrock Overlook Trail. This short 1.3-mile trail connects the beach area to Rimrock Overlook, one of the most photogenic overlooks in the Forest. To reach Kinzua Beach, drive south on Rt. 219, turning onto Rt. 770 west which turns into Rt. 59. Travel west along Rt. 59 to the Allegheny Reservoir; before crossing Morrison Bridge, you will see the entrance to Kinzua Wolf Run Marina on the right, and on the left, via Forest Road 617, is Kinzua Beach.
For those seeking a summer swimming spot while visiting the area, Callahan Park & Pool is a park with public access to the swimming pool. From Monday through Saturday, hours are 1-4pm in the afternoon, and then 6:30-8:30pm in the evening. On Sundays, the pool is open from 1-4pm, including the 4th of July. Admission is only $3.00 for children up to age 18, $4.00 for adults, and $2.50 for those over the age of 65. The pool is located at 49 Poplin Avenue in Bradford, PA. For additional information please call 814-368-8190.
KINZUA SKY WALK
“ONE OF THE TOP 10 MOST SCENIC SKYWALKS IN THE WORLD”
The Kinzua Sky Walk is a must-see attraction for families and those seeking a thrill - but not for those afraid of heights! Part of a former viaduct constructed in 1882 to transport coal, oil and lumber across Pennsylvania’s Kinzua Gorge, the Kinzua Sky Walk (measuring 624 feet long and 225 feet high) is located within the Kinzua Bridge State Park on the edges of the Allegheny National Forest - it is an old-world marvel reinvented for the modern era. Walk the tracks across the sky to the end of the skywalk then peer down through a glass floor to the historic structure’s supporting towers. In the summer, the Kinzua Gorge is a vista of leafy green forest, and in the fall the spectrum of fall colors are breathtaking.
For those seeking a challenging hike, the Kinzua Creek Trail winds down the side of the Kinzua Gorge to the bottom of the gorge where you can view the fallen towers of the original viaduct, which have been left where the winds of the July 2003 tornado placed them.
KINZUA BRIDGE VISITORS CENTER
The Kinzua Bridge Visitors Center welcomes visitors from around the world to learn about the history of the original Kinzua Viaduct, which when constructed in 1882, was the highest and longest railroad viaduct in the world. Located within the Kinzua Bridge State Park, the park offers forest-shaded picnic areas, biking areas, two hiking trails, and a park pavilion which may be rented.
Admission to the park, the skywalk, and the visitor’s center exhibits are all free. The park is open from 8am to sunset; the visitor’s center is open 8am-6pm daily. For park information or to reserve the pavilion call 814-778-5467. For driving directions use the address: 296 Viaduct Road, Mt. Jewett, PA. For additional information click on visitanf.com/Kinzua-sky-walk-Kinzua-bridge-state-park.
JULY IS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH
Pennsylvania has a rich history involving ice cream. The delicious, cherry topped, banana based-triple flavor ice cream sundae - the banana split - was invented by Dr. David Strickler in 1904 while he was working as an apprentice pharmacist at Strickler’s Drug Store in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
The Mt. Jewett Family Tastee Freeze, just minutes from the famous Kinzua Sky Walk, is known far and wide for their extra-large ice cream cones. Order a small cone and you will get a good size serving, order a large and you will receive a humongous serving of ice cream. This casual, family-owned restaurant offers lots of ice cream flavors and delicious, thick, creamy milkshakes.
They have over 25 flavors of Perry’s Ice Cream. A local favorite is Panda Paws - vanilla ice cream with mini peanut butter cups and swirls of thick, rich fudge. Soft serve flavors include banana, black cherry, blueberry, chocolate, mint, lemon, orange, peach, peanut butter, Pina colada, strawberry and fat free frozen yogurt. Light, fat free, and no sugar added ice creams are also available.
Mt. Jewett Family Tastee Freeze is open Sunday through Thursday, 11am-9pm and Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm. They are located at 38 East Main Street, Mt. Jewett, PA, phone 814-778-6090.
In Kane, you will find the newly opened creamery at The Sweet Shoppe. Trained at the Penn State Creamery, Beth Pavlock is ready to delight you with her custom creations of delicious homemade ice cream. Or you can indulge in a variety of homemade chocolates, candy treats, and baked goods. One delicacy not to miss is their signature store creation - the Mountain Marshmallow. This treat is crafted of homemade caramel and homemade marshmallow, walnut and milk chocolate all melded together to fashion this scrumptious treat.
Other treats found at The Sweet Shoppe include a variety of home-baked pies and cookies, cupcakes, cream horns, and Death By Brownie. The shop is open Monday through Friday, 11am-5:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm. It is located at 17 Field Street, Kane, PA, phone 814-837-9597. Check out Beth’s newest creations by visiting her Facebook site.
ZIPPO/CASE MUSEUM - 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Enjoy a fun-filled, family friendly day at the Zippo/Case Museum during their 20th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, July 15, 2017. Zippo and Case historians will be on-site to conduct guided tours of the museum. On-site Case knife polishing and sharpening will be available.
Special event collectibles issued for this one-day celebration include: 100 event exclusive-20th anniversary armor lighters, 100 event exclusive-20th anniversary lighter & knife box sets, along with additional commemorative lighters, knives, pins and souvenirs. Event exclusives will go on sale to Museum visitors and VIPs at 9am on July 15, and will be sold on a first come/first serve basis. You must be present in-store to purchase.
Case education and wooden knife assembly will be an educational program kids of all ages will enjoy, along with photo-ops, games, contests, and prizes. Food will include pulled BBQ pork sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, Italian sausage, nachos, and ice cream. The Zippo/Case Museum is located at 1932 Zippo Drive, Bradford, Pennsylvania. Visit zippocasemuseum.com for more info.
KIDS & CANCER MOTORCYCLE BENEFIT RUN
Cruise through the beautiful mountains of scenic northwestern Pennsylvania and the majestic Allegheny National Forest on this 20th anniversary motorcycle benefit run on Saturday, July 22, 2017. Registration is at the Zippo/Case Museum from 9-11:45am. The blessing of the bikes will take place at noon, followed by a parade of bikes through the City of Bradford. The mapped route is approximately 120 miles.
Proceeds benefit individuals and Kids & Cancer Programs supporting medical facilities in Bradford, Erie and Pittsburgh, PA, and Buffalo, NY. Event pins will be given to the first 500 participants, with awards and door prizes at the end of the run. Registration fee is $25 per person. Kids & Cancer Run t-shirts and Zippo lighters will be available, along with an opportunity to take a chance on a 2017 HD Dyna Low Rider. Full details at kidsandcancerbenefitrun.com.
39TH ANNUAL ALLEGHENY MOUNTAIN ENGINE & IMPLEMENT DEMONSTRATION
If you love everything with gears and a motor, you will enjoy the three days of demonstrations of oil field apparatuses, agriculture implements, lumber industry equipment, road building equipment, sewing and old washing machines which will take place July 28-30, 2017.
This one-of-a-kind event is showcased at the A.M.E.I.A grounds along PA Route 155, 1 mile south of Route 6 in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. Along with the amazing assortment of equipment, there will be a flea market, vendors, a pie making contest, raffles, crafts and contests. For more information call 716-353-2736 or visit www.ameia.net.
CONCERT ON THE SQUARE
If you love music and the great outdoors, plan a Thursday evening in July or August to travel to Port Allegany, Pennsylvania to enjoy a free “Concert on the Square.” Live musical performances begin at 6pm at the town’s gazebo, located in Port Allegany’s lovely town square. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket to spread on the grass, then spend the evening relaxing as you enjoy a summer evening full of delightful music. Admission is free. The schedule of performers can be found online at townsquareconcerts.com.
The 2017 Fair & Festival Map on page 21 features a variety of upcoming events and local attractions. For the full list of events, restaurants, lodging and attractions click on visitANF.com.