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ANF in the Green

The Allegheny National Forest Region Sparkles in All Four Seasons

No matter the season, the Allegheny National Forest region offers majestic scenery and attractions – rain or shine – as well as a variety of recreational opportunities throughout northwestern Pennsylvania.

As Pennsylvania’s only National Forest, the Allegheny National Forest is home to four seasons of recreational activities including hiking, camping, mountain biking, scenic drives, fishing, water sports and birding. This amazing forest of 513,000 acres features over 600 miles of multi-use trails – known as Trail Central with hundreds of miles of scenic trails to explore.

Take an easy stroll to view local wildlife along the Interpretive Birding Trail, Timberdoodle Flats, where a wide variety of feathered friends build habitats within the breathtaking nature surrounding the trail. Explore the Marilla Trail System passing through the Erik Benjamin wooden-covered bridge at the Marilla Reservoir, or extend the hike to include views of old growth pine trees on White Pine Trail – or try backpacking on the North Country Scenic Trail, the longest trail in the United States.

Walk out 624 feet into the Kinzua Gorge in Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania as you test your resolve by peering 225 feet to the gorge below through the partial glass floor of the Kinzua Sky Walk, “One of the Top 10 Most Scenic Skywalks and Viewpoints in the World.” The Kinzua Sky Walk of the Kinzua Bridge State Park is an engineering marvel which facilitates 360-degree breathtaking views of the Kinzua Gorge. Stay into the evening to view a crystal-clear view of the stars twinkling against the ink-colored evening sky.

For visitors wishing to experience scenic beauty from the comfort of their vehicle, try a cruise along the Longhouse National Scenic Byway, named one of the top six fall foliage drives in the United States and the most scenic byway in Pennsylvania by USA Today. From Kane, follow Route 321 north to the Longhouse National Scenic Byway and see amazing views at the developed overlooks of Rimrock, Kinzua Point and Jakes Rocks before looping back to Kane.

During the summer, escape under canopies of deep green and admire the beauty of the white and pink Mountain Laurel as their tendrils sway in the summer’s breeze. Absorb the lush green landscape, sprinkled with the vibrant purples, crimsons, blues, yellows and oranges of Pennsylvania wildflowers in the forest. Flowers are not the only thing in bloom within the Allegheny National Forest region as the City of Bradford’s National Historic District is also alive with color; from artistic murals to turn-of-the-century architecture. View the superb hand-carved woodworking and massive wooden beams of the historic Victorian architecture while strolling through the Smethport Mansion District. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour through either of these vibrant towns any time of the year.

While in Bradford, visit the Penn Brad Oil Museum which showcases the rich history of the world’s first billion-dollar oil field or visit the Zippo/Case Museum to learn about the iconic history of the Zippo Lighter and Case Knives. If music is your passion, stop down to the Marilyn Horne Museum to experience the history of world famous opera star Marilyn Horne.

Whether searching for a location to hunt, fish, hike, backpack, camp or kayak – the Allegheny National Forest region can accommodate almost every outdoor recreation need while also providing ample opportunity for relaxation, rejuvenation and revitalization in the charming small towns of Pennsylvania.

Bring family and friends or come alone and absorb the serenity of nature that the Allegheny National Forest region has to offer. For more information about recreation opportunities in the Allegheny National Forest, call 800-473-9370 or VisitANF.com.