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You’re on the Trail to Something Big

The Allegheny National Forest Region is Ripe in History and Outdoor Recreation
Zippo car out in front of the zippo/case building
Photo courtesy ANF Visitors Bureau

In the Allegheny National Forest Region, the trees are taller, the people are friendlier, and the charm of small towns and authentic America is found everywhere. This is an area ripe in history, outdoor recreation and spectacular one-of-a-kind attractions.

To enter the Allegheny National Forest Region, located just 30 minutes south of Ellicottville, NY, travel south on Route 219 to Bradford, Pa.

The Zippo/Case Museum, located at 1932 Zippo Drive in Bradford, provides a one-stop location to see two American icons up close - the Zippo lighter and the Case knife. The only place in the world to find the full line of Case knife and Zippo specialty items, the gift shop is full of useful products for all ages, including a broad selection of clothing and Zippo leather products. Known internationally for their quality, Zippo lighters and Case knives are produced in Bradford. Plan to spend a few hours touring the museum which features film clips from movies, interactive displays, and the Zippo repair clinic, where a cent is never spent to repair this product. Each lighter has a lifetime guarantee. The museum is open seven days a week; admission is free.

The Bradford National Historic District features an eclectic assortment of architecture, including the Art Deco Hooker Fulton Building, the neo-classical Revival Bradford Era Building and the Congress Street Diner, which is now open as a charming tea & gift shop - Grandma’s House. An audio walking tour of the architecture of the district is available at the Main Street Mercantile located at 96-98 Main Street.

Gift shops, a movie-theater, and a selection of restaurants to choose from will round out your day. Open seven days a week, the John William European Pastry Shop, a delightful café located at 20 Mechanic Street, serves breakfast and lunch along with homemade cream & butter fudge and European pastries. Kelly’s Restaurant, found at 27 Main Street, features American cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. Beefeaters Restaurant, located in a beautifully restored historic building that once housed the Carnegie library, offers fine dining with a fabulous “beef-bar” and a variety of cocktail specialties in the lounge.

For those seeking adventure, the Marilla Trail System, located just five miles west of the City of Bradford, offers a diverse system of trails. The Marilla Bridges Trail is a one-mile loop with forest and water vistas. Highlights include the Erik Benjamin Covered Bridge which spans the spillway of the Marilla Reservoir. The White Pine Trail is a three-mile loop past towering, old growth white pines with its entrance at the confluence of Marilla Brook and Lean-to-Run from the Marilla Bridges Trail. Other trails within the area include Marilla Springs Trail, Hidden Valley Passage, and Indian Pipe Trail. Trail maps are available online at tunavalleytrail.com.

The Kinzua Sky Walk, located at the Kinzua Bridge State Park, 1712 Lindholm Road in Mount Jewett, Pa. provides a unique way to take in history and nature. The Kinzua Sky Walk allows visitors to walk out 600 feet into the Kinzua Gorge and view the sites of the hillsides, Kinzua Creek, and the valley below through a partial glass floor at a height of over 225 feet. It is a lesson in the power of nature versus the power of man.

The original Kinzua Viaduct, when built in 1882, was the world’s highest and longest viaduct. In 2003, parts of the viaduct were destroyed by a tornado, and it is the six historic towers of the original viaduct that support the new Sky Walk. The towers toppled by the winds of the 2003 tornado remain strewn throughout the valley as a testament to mother nature’s ability to change what man constructs.

The Kinzua Bridge State Park offers a family picnic area and hiking trails. The Gen. Kane Trail is a one-mile loop hiking trail that leads people through forested areas that were ravished by the 2003 tornado as well as those areas that remained unharmed.

The Kinzua Bridge State Park is a day use park open dusk to dawn. Travel Route 219 to the intersection with Route 6 (Lantz Corners), turn left and travel east to Mount Jewett. Turn left onto Lindholm Road, travel four miles to the park sign and turn left to enter the park. Admission to the park and the Kinzua Sky Walk are free.

On the way, be sure to stop for your espresso at the Kaffee Sol in Mount Jewett and pose for a photo in front of the four-story-tall Mount Jewett Heritage Mural along Main Street.

The one and only Westline Inn is the perfect destination for “foodies” looking to experience fine dining in a unique location. Located deep within the woods of the Allegheny National Forest, Westline Inn is gourmet dining in a casual atmosphere. Specialties include Escargot Bourguignon, Steak Au Poivre, Bouillabaisse, lamb, chicken, seafood … and of course thick, juicy steaks. This is your destination location for fine French and American cuisine in the middle of the woods. For groups, reservations are suggested; call 814-778-5103. To check out their seasonal events visit westlineinn.com. Driving directions: Route 219 south to Westline (this is south of Bradford), turn right at the Westline sign and drive until you reach the Inn.

Flickerwood Wine Cellars, located at 309 Flickerwood Road in Kane, Pa., is the perfect destination to spend an afternoon or evening soaking up the local taste and culture of the Allegheny National Forest Region. One of themost wonderful things about Flickerwood Wine Cellars is that it is an entirely family built and operated business, with all members of Ron and Sue Zampogna's immediate family playing major roles. Sip on one of their award-winning white, red, blush or fruit wines; labels include Flickerberry Dew, Moon Glow, Cayuga Kiss, Rose Bud Red, Leon Millot, or Whitetail Country White. Check out flickerwood.com to view the current wine lounge entertainment schedule.

If you would like to do a wine tour of the region, other nearby local wineries are Allegheny Cellars Winery, 477 Route 6, Sheffield, Pa., www.alleghenycellars.com and the Winery at Wilcox, 1867 Mefferts Run Road, Wilcox, Pa., wineryatwilcox.net. Allegheny Cellars was awarded the best of category-sweet red wine for their Bigfoot Shadows (and yes, there are stories of Big Foot roaming the Allegheny National Forest) at the Atlantic Seaboard Competition. The Winery at Wilcox, with more 15 years of experience, offers a variety of quality Pennsylvania Wilds, including Elk County Red and Elk County White.

For more information on tourism and local events or to request a FREE Visitor Guide and Map, contact the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau at 800-473-9370 or e-mail info@visitANF.com.