The green of spring is different in the forest - light and fresh with a touch of sunshine on the leaves. Wildflowers add to the color; the songbirds return to fill the air with music. Experience this season of rebirth and renewal in the beautiful Allegheny National Forest of northwestern Pennsylvania by planning just the trip your heart and soul desires.
TAKE A HIKE
One of the best ways to experience the rebirth and renewal of the Forest is along a woodland trail. For casual hikers, first-time birders, and families with young children, Timberdoodle Flats Interpretive Trail offers two loops totaling 1.5 miles. This interpretive birding trail is named for the timberdoodle, the nickname of the American woodcock. The timberdoodle is just one of the many birds you might get a glimpse of along the trail. The Woodcock Loop is marked with a yellow woodcock insignia and features 12 interpretive stops.
The shorter Bluebird Trail is suitable for wheelchairs or walking assistance equipment. This trail features six interpretive stops. Both trails are a great way to get outside to enjoy the beauty of spring.
Trailhead parking is located along PA Rt. 59. Travel PA Rt. 219 south, turn west onto Rt. 770, the road will merge with Rt. 59, continue west, watch for the large trailhead sign on the left. Parking is at the trailhead.
Crook Farm Trail is a 3-mile loop along the banks of Tunungwant Creek - commonly referred to by the locals as “the Tuna.” One might spy the occasional American Bald Eagle soaring overhead. The trail, with a crushed stone surface, circles the east and west banks of the creek and is rated easy. In the springtime wildflowers will emerge adding sweeps of color along the trail. This is a favorite trail for families with dogs, so please be respectful to other hikers and keep your dog on a leash.
Trailhead parking is easy to find. Travel Rt. 219 south, take the Foster Brook exit, turn left off of the exit, the trailhead parking will be on the left.
The Kinzua Valley Trail is a 7-mile linear trail for hiking and biking and is for those seeking a more challenging hike. Located along the banks of the scenic Kinzua Creek, the surface is crushed limestone. This hike will take you deep into the forest. Kinzua Creek is a favorite with the locals for fishing. Trailheads are located at the village of Westline, with the trail connecting to Red Bridge Campground, another favorite fishing spot in the Allegheny National Forest. A trail map is available at kinzuavalleytrail.org.
Both cabins and campsites are available for rent at Red Bridge Campground. This campground also offers boating and fishing access to the shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir. Reservations can be made online at recreation.gov.
To reach the trailhead for the Kinzua Valley Trail, travel PA Rt. 219 south to the intersection with Westline Road. Make a right-hand turn onto Westline Road, travel to the Westline Inn where you will find the trailhead. It is approximately 18 miles south of Bradford, PA. Westline Inn is a wonderful restaurant which also has overnight accommodations available. Learn more at westineinn.com.
HECTOR RUN WATERFALL
During the spring rains and the melting of the winter snow, Hector Run Waterfall will have water plummeting off of two different faces. A strange geologic formation surrounds this waterfall, with a height of approximately 22 feet; the waterfall is set amidst a collection of large boulders. This waterfall flows over a rectangular shaped rock face. When you hike in to view the falls you will experience a “lost world” type of feeling. When water levels are low the flow goes down to just a trickle.
Parking for the falls is located about two miles down a dirt road, which starts in the town of Ludlow along PA Rt. 6 in McKean County, Pennsylvania. This is a challenging hike for experienced hikers. The best way to find the falls is by using the GPS coordinates: 41.6853-78.975067.
CAST A LINE
Mark your calendars! Opening day for trout fishing in McKean County, Pennsylvania is April 15, 2017. A multitude of world-class fishing streams crisscross the Allegheny Plateau. With over 513,000 acres of public lands in the Allegheny National Forest, you can find just your perfect stream as you search for native brook trout.
Prime fishing areas include the Allegheny Reservoir - a 12,000 acre body of water with boat access for both motorized and non-motorized. Hamlin Lake in Smethport is non-motorized, and the Marilla Reservoir in Bradford, is electric boat access. Species include bass, Muskie, walleye, crappie, catfish and pan fish. Please see the waterway map on page 28.
Pennsylvania fishing licenses are available for 1, 3 or 7 days, along with resident and senior resident. Licenses are available at more than 1,300 licensing agents or online at fishandboat.com.
BRING THE COLORS OF SPRING INTO YOUR CABIN, LAKE HOUSE OR HOME
The colors of spring, light green, sky blue, pink and pale yellow can be brought into your home in a variety of ways. For just the perfect touch of spring color, bring home a treasure from the Olde Schoolhouse Village Shoppes in Eldred, Pennsylvania.
The Olde Schoolhouse Village Shoppes features seven storefronts, each with its own theme of merchandise: Shabby Chic, Primitive, Country Splendor, Northwest Cabin, Lake House, Western, and Farmhouse Kitchen. All seven shops are located within a remodeled schoolhouse of over 8,000 square feet. More than 100 vendors and artisans display their works at this shop, making it a true shopping destination.
Springtime accents include adorable hand-painted bunnies with floppy ears fashioned from a gourd, rustic bunny outdoor decorations, springtime signs, yellow chicks fashioned from fabric, a Peter Cottontail Candy wooden tabletop display, florals, rugs, candles, and an ever-changing selection of antique china, table settings, furniture, and tables of all sizes and shapes.
Handcrafted, quality reproductions are handmade in-house, with special orders welcome. A 6-ft farmhouse table can be made for a price of $545, if you want to host a group, a 9-10 ft. table can be yours for $625. The larger tables are perfect for a Lake House or seasonal condo where you are hosting large groups. There is still time to order a custom table for the Easter holiday.
New are the ladies fashions located on the first floor, at the end of the hallway. Fashion jewelry, scarves, and coordinated outfits are all available at discounted pricing.
Downstairs is the Toy Room full of American made, quality toys for children of all ages, and the Schoolhouse Health Foods & Coffee Shoppe which features natural vitamins and organically grown produce.
The Old Schoolhouse Village Shoppes is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am-5pm and is located at 109 Indian Creek Road, Eldred, PA. For more information phone 814-225-2255 or go to oldeschoolhousevillageshoppes.com.
ONE-OF-A-KIND OIL & GAS MEMORABILIA AUCTION
Are you decorating a man cave or do you have a desire to own a piece of the Pennsylvania and southern New York oil history? If so, plan to attend the Oil & Gas Memorabilia Auction on Saturday, March 25 at 2pm at the Masonic Lodge in Bradford, PA. Hosted by the Penn Brad Oil Museum, the auction will start promptly at 3pm.
The Oil & Gas Memorabilia Auction will feature oil industry collectibles, and gas and oil advertising memorabilia, along with local treasures found in basements and attics of this one time oil patch known as “the High Grade Oil Metropolis of the World.”
The Bradford Oil Field was the first billion dollar oil field in the world. The daily price of crude oil used to be written on a chalkboard in front of the Option House by a man dressed in a top hat!
If you have items you would like to donate, and/or items you would like to place on consignment for sale at the auction, please call the Penn Brad Oil Museum Manager at 814-366-3985. Any items to be donated must be delivered to the museum no later than March 18.
Admission is $5 per person in advance, $10 at the door. Hors d’oeuvres are included with admission. A cash bar with beer and wine will be available. Door prizes will add to the excitement of the auction.
The Oil & Gas Memorabilia Auction will be held at the Masonic Lodge, 625 South Avenue, Bradford, PA. For tickets or additional information please phone 814-366-3985. Auction items will be posted on pennbradmuseum.org as they are donated.
THERE IS A SONG IN THE AIR
Put some music in your step by attending the professional performance, Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra - The Concert that Never Was, presented at the Bromeley Family Theater, Saturday, March 11at 7:30pm.
It is unlikely the two powerhouse voices of the century would have ever shared the same stage … until now! Enjoy the music performances of two great artists paying tribute to their characters, singing the most memorable music and songs every written.
Barbara and Frank never really worked together, except when they taped a duet in separate recording sessions, but it is tantalizing to think what it would have been like to have Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra teamed up for a concert tour. Just imagine the possibilities.
The rapport of these two 20th century icons is immediately prevalent. What’s On Magazine states, “As good as the music is, the banter between the stars is equally memorable. A match made in Las Vegas!”
Bromeley Family Theater is located at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, 300 Campus Drive, Bradford, PA. All seats for the March 11 performance are $40. Tickets are available by calling 814-362-2522 or online at bcpac.com.
IT’S MORE FUN IF YOU STAY OVER!
For a full list of accommodations including B&B’s, hotels, cabins, and campgrounds, local restaurants, outdoor maps, shopping, theater and other upcoming events please go to visitANF.com. For a free 2017 Visitors Guide & Map please phone 800-473-9370.