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.
New Camping Restrictions In The Works Near Moab
We also recently learned that the Moab Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management in Utah is looking to impose new camping restrictions in the popular dispersed camping areas around Moab. These proposals are in the initial stages of planning, and they havent yet opened the proposal for public feedback. We will let you know when they do. here are links to the two proposals:
The Dispersed Camping Access Alliance is a special Project of the BlueRibbon Coalition. In addition to keeping you informed about issues related to dispersed camping access, we engage with management agencies on the issues we share with you. Our organization has also been successfully defending recreation access to public land in the courts since 1987. We are able to fight because of the generous contributions from our members and supporters. We hope youll consider a donation to support our efforts.
Allegheny National Forest: The Complete Guide
Pennsylvanias Allegheny National Forest is located in the northwestern corner of the state, across several counties, including McKean, Elk, Warren, and Forest. Famous for its beautiful scenery and expansive natural surroundings, this area is set against the backdrop of the majestic Appalachian Mountains and often referred to as “Trail Central,” as there are more than 600 miles of pathways traversing over 500,000 acres. Youll love the many diverse and fun outdoor activities offered here, including hiking, mountain biking, ATV trails, canoeing, guided tours, kayaking, bird watchingand many more.
A Brief Introduction To Allegheny National Forest
Established in 1923, Allegheny National Forest is Pennsylvaniaâs only National Forest. Situated in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, the ANF is composed of plateau tops with elevations up to approximately 2,300 feet and valleys down to approximately 1,000 feet above sea level. The forest is approximately 517,000 acres and includes land in Elk, Forest, McKean and Warren counties in the northwestern corner of the state. The U.S. Forest Service brought new concepts in forest management to the Allegheny Plateau — multiple benefits and sustainability. The motto “Land of Many Uses” captures the National Forest goal of a healthy, vigorous forest that provides wood products, watershed protection, a variety of wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities — not only for us today, but in a sustainable way so future generations can enjoy these benefits, too.No matter the season the Allegheny has your destination! Paddle down the Allegheny or Clarion Rivers, hike the North Country National Scenic Trail or ride on the miles of OHV and motorcycle trail. Looking for less human interaction? Check out Buzzard Swamp or any of our smaller campgrounds.
Forest County is a county located in western Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,716, making it the third-least populous county in Pennsylvania. Its county seat is Tionesta. The county was created in 1848 and later organized in 1857.
Bald Eagle State Forest
Named after the famous Native American chief, Bald Eagle, Bald Eagle State Forest covers 193,424 acres of high, sharp ridges and tracts of old-growth forest with miles of refreshing mountain streams. Due to its location within the ridge and valley section of Pennsylvania, Bald Eagle State Forest has breath-taking sights you cant find anywhere else in the state.
From the Allegheny Mountains in the northwest to the limestone-rich Susquehanna Valley in the southeast, the Bald Eagle forest district spotlights a series of striking sandstone ridges. Some of Bald Eagle State Forests peaks reach heights of up to 2,300 feet above sea level.
Each year, visitors flock to Bald Eagle State Forest for its numerous trails and natural areas. From the Mid State Trail to the old-growth forests, vistas and countless other multiple areas, Bald Eagle State Forest has something to offer every nature enthusiast. The Poe Paddy area is a particularly popular spot among visitors because of its scenic canyons and rugged ridges.
And with 45 designated motorized camping sites, there is no shortage of space for overnight guests. These motorized campsites each come with off-road parking, a fire ring and a picnic table. Despite the many campsites available, it is still recommended that campers call ahead to reserve a spot and request a permit for no charge.
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More About Allegheny National Forest
The Forest Service brought new concepts in forest management to the Allegheny Plateau — multiple benefits and sustainability. The Organic Act of 1897 introduced the National Forest mission: to improve the forest, provide favorable conditions for water flows, and furnish a continuous supply of wood to meet people’s needs. On these lands, seedlings for tomorrow’s forest are the focus of forest management activities. Watersheds are managed to ensure clear water for fisheries like trout and clean drinking water for all.
Over time, various laws added other benefits like wilderness, heritage resources and grazing to the original ideas of watershed protection and continuous wood supply. The Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1960 recognized outdoor recreation and habitat for wildlife and fisheries.
The motto “Land of Many Uses” captures the National Forest goal of a healthy, vigorous forest that provides wood products, watershed protection, a variety of wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities — not only for us today, but in a sustainable way so future generations can enjoy these benefits, too.
Multiple Benefits Sustainability And The Future
Today, the Forest Service carries out a variety of management and research activities, providing multiple benefits with a strong scientific basis.
Defining the way a National Forest is to be managed can be controversial. The National Forest Management Act of 1976 required each National Forest to implement a Forest Plan with extensive public involvement, outlining a vision for how and where management activities will be emphasized. The ANF’s initial Forest Plan, which was approved in 1986, is currently undergoing revision. The revision process began in the fall of 2003, and was expected to be complete by early 2007. Additional parcels of the ANF are expected to be recommended to Congress for permanent protection as wilderness areas under the Wilderness Act of 1964 as a result of the Forest Plan revision process. ” rel=”nofollow”> The Wilderness Society, who grew up in the ANF town of Tionesta.)
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Highlights And Things To Do
There are many wonderful attractions and activities at the Allegheny National Forest. If you adore nature, you can easily spend several days in this charming and vast region, exploring the wilderness, significant and soaking in the expansive mountainous landscape. There is an abundance of outdoor experiences here such as hiking, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, and bird watching. There’s also plenty of wildlife spotting, as this area is home to bears, deer, turkeys, and other forest creatures. These are some of the highlights of this incredible national forest:
Allegheny National Forest
Pennsylvanias Only National Forest A Recreational Paradise
The majestic Allegheny National Forest , offers four seasons of outdoor recreation including camping, fishing, boating, hunting, hiking, cycling, birding, snowmobiling and ATV Trails. Located within northwestern Pennsylvania, it is a convenient drive for more than one-third of the nations population.
Open to free public access year round, the ANF is approximately 517,000 acres and includes land within McKean, Elk, Warren and Forest counties. Over 463,000 acres are forested, 42,000 acres are non-forest, and 11,000 acres are covered by water, primarily the Allegheny Reservoir formed by the Kinzua Dam, which impounds the Allegheny River. Highlights include the Longhouse National Scenic Byway, Rimrock and Jakes Rock Overlooks, Kinzua Beach, and over 600 miles of multi-use motorized and non-motorized trails. A diverse hardwood forest offers stunning fall foliage, with prime color the last two weeks of September and the first two-weeks of October.
Camping & Cabins
ANF Ranger Stations
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Hiking In The Allegheny National Forest
The Allegheny National Forest has over 200 miles of hiking trails so there are plenty of opportunities for either backpacking for a couple days or day hiking trips in the forest. Heres a list of trails you might want to consider when visiting:
Hiking trails in the Allegheny National Forest provide a diverse range of terrain for the novice and experienced hiker. You can wander through forests of hemlock, oak, hickory and other species, enjoy the sounds of babbling streams, pause to watch the wildlife and listen to the sounds of nature.
These hiking trails provide an opportunity to enjoy the splendor of the colors of fall, take in the Mountain Laurel blooming in late spring and the pristine landscape when snowshoeing during winter. If you enjoy hiking this is just one more reason to van camp at the Allegheny National Forest.
Van Camping Life Tip: Visit the forest in the fall when changing colors of the hardwood leaves provide stunning views from the many overlooks.
Ride The Atv/ohm Trails While Visiting The Allegheny National Forest
If you are intending to ride a motorized vehicle on trails in the Allegheny National Forest you are required to purchase an ATV Trail permit. The cost for a permit is $35 and it is good from January 1 to December 31. You can purchase permits at Forest offices, local vendors or by mail. For a trail permit application go here.
The Rocky Gap ATV Trail is 23.1 miles in length and is divided into two loops by State Road 3005. Both loops have steep side slopes, the southern loop is rated more difficult and the northern loop is rated most difficult. Trailhead parking can be found on FR 155, off of SR 3005 six miles south of Warren.
The southern loop is 10.8 miles long and the northern loop is 11.1 miles in length both trails are one way except where posted. The trails open the Friday before Memorial Day and close the last Sunday of September.
The Willow Creek ATV Trail is about 10 miles long, is rated more difficult and is one-way except where posted. Trailhead parking is located about 11 miles west of Bradford on FR 137 and about 2 miles south of SR 346.
The trail is open the Friday before Memorial Day until the last Sunday of September and may be open at times during the winter depending on ground conditions.
For those on ATVs it is a very demanding and challenging ride that will take at least 4 6 hours to finish.
The trail is open the Friday before Memorial Day until the last Sunday of September and is one-way except where posted.
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Cabins & Campgrounds To Escape To In The Allegheny National Forest
Ready to explore Mother Natures playground? The Allegheny National Forest offers rustic cabins and scenic campgrounds with full amenities and many nearby attractions for the entire family to enjoy. Pick your pleasure at any of these outdoor camping sites.
Know before you go: We recommend contacting your destination before your visit for their latest rules and regulations. Find up-to-date COVID-19 traveler resources on the visitPA website.
Whispering Winds Campground & Cabins
Gather up your family and friends and come enjoy the beautiful mountain views of the great outdoors at the Whispering Winds Campground. Listen to the babbling brook and the trees rustling in the wind during your peaceful hike or explore the many scenic attractions in the Allegheny National Forest with your family.
To find even more cabins and campgrounds in the Allegheny National Forest, visit the ANF website. For more inspiring camping experiences, check out the visitPA.com website. Follow us on , , and to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Dont forget to sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter so you never miss an update.
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Willow Creek Cabin Rentals
Be at peace with nature without the noise of technology at Willow Creek, an internet and cellphone service free zone. While staying at Willow Creek Cabins, you can enjoy year-round outdoor activities, such as world class fishing and hunting, hiking, sightseeing, or riding ATVs through the forest.
Hit The Trails On Your Mountain Bike In The Allegheny National Forest
If you want to travel around the wilderness on your own power, but want to cover more ground than while hiking you might want to explore the more than 150 miles of trails that are open to mountain biking.
The following trails are open to mountain biking but some will be shared with other types of trail users.
Van Camping Life Tip: While visiting the Allegheny National Forest go to the Tionesta Research Natural Area. There you will find the largest contiguous tract of old growth forest in Pennsylvania.
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Places To Camp For Free In Central Pennsylvania
For those looking for an isolated, inexpensive alternative to the noise and crowds of developed campgrounds, Pennsylvania offers hundreds of free campsites throughout the state. Because Central Pennsylvania has the Appalachian Mountains running right through the middle of it, the area is a prime destination for good hiking, gorgeous scenery and free camping.
Most of the sites that offer free camping in Central Pennsylvania are located on state forest lands and do not provide any amenities, though some may have a fire ring or a picnic table for guests. These types of primitive sites are typically intended for tent camping. If you want to bring a small trailer or camper van, be sure to contact the campsites district office to find out whether they are allowed or can be accommodated.
Although these campsites are free to visit, they do require registration, so remember to call ahead and reserve your spot. Most of the sites also require a camping permit for multiple-night stays. These permits are free and can be easily obtained by calling the district office.
Finally, read through both the CDC guidelines for visiting parks and recreational facilities and this brochure of camping guidelines and ethics to make sure you practice good camping etiquette. Knowing the right way to camp will help you preserve the beautiful forests of Central Pennsylvania, remain respectful of other fellow campers and stay safe in the wilderness.
Woodhaven Acres Campground & Cabins
Surround yourself in quiet, shaded lots at the campsites at Woodhaven Acres Campground & Cabins, conveniently located only five minutes from the shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir in the Allegheny National Forest. The campsite is also pet friendly, so bring your furry pals along for the trip, and then roast some tasty marshmallows around the fire ring to end your day of adventures.
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Boondocking In The Allegheny National Forest
For all of you van campers out there who love to boondock you will be happy to know that there are boondocking sites available in the forest. If you are not familiar with boondocking check out our post here.
Boondocking campsites extend from Irwin Run to Millstone Creek along the Clarion River and can be accessed by River Road and FR 132. If you want to boondock there are 17 sites situated along the Clarion River and 9 sites located on Millstone Creek.
There is hardened parking at each site and camping is permitted only at numbered sites. No fee or permit is required and some sites are big enough to accommodate an RV.
Vault toilets are located at Irwin Run, Robin Island, and Millstone Creek. These facilities should be used instead of catholes.
Trash receptacles are not available so all trash must be carried out.
Van Camping Life Tip: While visiting drive the Longhouse Scenic Byway it is a 36-mile loop that runs through the stunning scenery of the Allegheny National Forest.
Help Stop Campsite Closures In Allegheny National Forest
The picture above is near one of the campgrounds that the Forest Service is planning to close in a Recreation Site Analysis in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. It appears that the FS is using a new tool to take public comment on this proposal where you can go comment on each specific site on a map.
This tool lets you read the other comments. Here is a sampling of what some people are saying about the plan to close this campground:
Further proving how out of touch the ANF is. Basically anything anyone actually uses they decide to close!?!? Boat access camping is overpacked and needs expanded not closed! Have we thought about management change with someone who really wants people to use the land the tax payers pay for? Before we close a site especially a visitor center or even a bathroom facility it may be time to shorten ANF staff, office buildings or vehicles so the people can enjoy their own land.
They are also proposing to restrict what appears to be the only area open to primitive dispersed camping. Heres the FS proposal:
The Forest Service is proposing to remove the vault toilet. Restrict camping to the east side of the road, with designated campsites between the road and the creek. Install a kiosk with camping and fishing information. Prohibit camping on the east side of the road to discourage large groups from using the area, restrict access and restore vegetation and ground cover.
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