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Enjoy a Snow Day in the ANF Region

New beginnings and new opportunities in the Year 2020

New Beginnings & New Opportunities for 2020

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2020 is the year of the Metal Rat, which represents the beginning of a new day. The year of the rat is forecasted to be a successful year full of new beginnings and new opportunities. So start out by enjoying a snow day, learning to snowshoe, plan a ski getaway or explore the beauty of the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) Region by snowmobile in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Enjoy a Snow Day in the Allegheny National Forest Region

McKean County, Pennsylvania, located just 35 minutes south of Ellicottville, NY and just 90 minutes from Buffalo or Erie, is the place to go when you want to find snow.  An outdoor paradise, year-round, the Allegheny National Forest region becomes a sparkling white, winter wonderland where every day is a snow day.

The sparkle of the crisp white snowflakes will mirror the sparkle in your eyes as you enjoy a variety of fun winter activities in the Allegheny National Forest region. From cross-country skiing on the Westline Trail, snowshoeing at Kinzua Bridge State Park and ice fishing on the Marilla Reservoir, to enjoying a rowdy game of hockey at the Callahan Ice Rink, the ANF region has many entertainment options to lure the entire family out of the house this winter season.

The Callahan Ice Rink at 64 Poplin Avenue in Bradford, PA is open seasonally from the first week in November to the first week in March. The ice rink is fully enclosed and offers a heated viewing area, skate rentals, four locker rooms and a concession stand. The Callahan Ice Rink party room is an exciting idea for a birthday party or family reunion. Children and novice skaters will appreciate and enjoy gliding easily along the ice with the ice skating training aids available.

Come enjoy a hockey game at the Callahan Ice Rink, which hosts both the Bradford Youth USA Sanctioned Hockey and the University of Pittsburgh Hockey Teams. For hockey team schedules, general skating rink information or to reserve the party room call 814-368-8190.

Rev that engine on the number one most exciting snowmobile trail system in Pennsylvania located within the Allegheny National Forest. Once the season opens in late December, weather permitting, come ride on over 360 miles of groomed interconnecting snowmobile trails in the ANF and enjoy amazing winter vistas until April 1st. The ANF snowmobile trail called “The Loop” takes you along a defined trail system which loops through the forest, with trail access in multiple locations, including Lantz Corners Getaway at the intersection of Route 219 and Pennsylvania Route 6. Rent a room, unpack your things and fill-up on a delicious meal from the Barrel House & Tavern, located just next door, before taking a ride right from your own room.

The ANF region offers a wide selection of snowmobile fun for both beginners and experienced trail riders. In the northern section of the ANF snowmobile loop, near Willow Bay, the trail connects to 90 miles of New York snowmobile trails through Allegany State Park. Helmets, state registration and insurance verification are required for both Pennsylvania and New York states if you decide to venture on both trail systems. Non-resident and resident registration for Pennsylvania can be found at www.pasnow.org.

To learn current weather and trail conditions in the northern section of the ANF Forest call the Bradford Ranger Station at 814-363-6000; and for the southern section of trail, phone the Marienville Ranger Station at 814-927-6628.  You can find a downloadable trail map online at visitANF.com/snowmobiling-in-pennsylvania.

Snowshoe at the Kinzua Bridge State Park

For a unique experience, visit, view and explore the amazing scenic vistas of the Kinzua Sky Walk at the Kinzua Bridge State Park, 296 Viaduct Road in Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania. During the winter season, take advantage of the free snowshoe rentals available at the Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitor Center. If you have never tried snowshoeing, let park staff know during the rental process and they will provide a brief “how-to” and history of the sport. In January and February, the Kinzua Center is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00am-4:00pm and closed on Sundays, except on the holiday weekends of Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidents Day. In March, the seasonal hours of the Kinzua Center come to an end and the center resumes normal business hours 7 days a week from 8:00am-6:00pm.

Once you have gleamed the stunning 360-degree panoramic vistas of the Kinzua Sky Walk (which is handicap accessible and extends 624 feet into the Kinzua Gorge), explore the historic towers of the Kinzua Viaduct from alternative angles while hiking upon multiple trails of various skill level. Examine wildlife in its natural habitat during all four seasons while hiking or taking a leisurely stroll on the trails of the Kinzua Bridge State Park, which include the Kinzua Creek, General Kane and the Knox & Kane Rail Trails.

The Kinzua Creek Trail winds down the steep side of the Kinzua Gorge. Access to this trail is off the main pathway between the skywalk and the wooden observation deck. Take care upon this trail and be sure to wear proper footwear as the complexity level is rated difficult due to steep terrain. Along this trail you will experience the aftermath of mother nature’s rage, viewing tattered and torn towers which have littered the gorge ever since the tornado of 2003 ripped them from their supports. While navigating the trail and fallen towers, be sure to look to the sky for a gorgeous alternative view of the skywalk.

For a fun afternoon, stop into the Grocery Stretcher at 32 Main Street in Bradford to purchase and pack delicious items such as delectable Amish cheeses and meats or their unique gluten free sandwich option - the pickle sub. Pack your purchases into a cooler and cruise down Route 219 south to the Kinzua Bridge State Park to enjoy a leisurely hike along the Knox & Kane Rail Trail. The trail is a 7.5-mile crushed limestone surface trail open for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and horseback riding. Bring your cooler along the hike and stop at the picnic area, located at mile marker 73 to enjoy lunch surrounded by beautiful vistas of the surrounding forestlands. The initial 4 miles of  the Knox & Kane Rail Trail are handicapped accessible, while the last 3.5 miles are not handicapped accessible, due to rougher terrain. Trailhead parking in Mt. Jewett is behind the Borough office building at the intersection of Center Street and Peterson Street, and at the Kinzua Bridge State Park, with horse trailer parking available in the overflow parking lot on Lindholm Road.

The General Kane Trail, named after decorated American Civil War Veteran Thomas Leiper Kane who was the visionary behind the Kinzua Bridge, is a 1.6-mile loop hiking trail. It leads people through forested areas of black cherry and maple trees that were ravished by the tornado, as well as those that remained unharmed. This trail makes for an easy hike or convenient scenic stroll.

Ski and Stay Packages in the Allegheny National Forest Region

If you enjoy the wind whipping through your hair as you speed through the snow, strapped to a single board or two skis, then plan a trip to Bradford, Pennsylvania and take advantage of the Skiers Discount rates available at the Best Western Plus Bradford Inn and the Bradford Flatiron Airbnb for Holiday Valley Ski Resort in Ellicottville, NY.

The area’s premier ski destination, Holiday Valley is located just over the New York border, only a 35-minute drive from Bradford. With 60 slopes and trails of various terrain and difficulty levels, 12 chairlifts, five terrain parks and three extremely comfortable base lodges, Holiday Valley is the perfect winter escape.

The Best Western Plus Bradford Inn is located at 100 South Davis Street. A perfect “home base,” the hotel is conveniently located within walking distance from the National Historic District of downtown Bradford and its many family-owned restaurants, bars and charming shops. Guests can call 800-344-4656 or walk in and ask for the Skiers Rate; the discounted rate will be $85 plus tax for one to two adults in the room. The Skiers Rate remains valid until March 20, 2020. For more information about the Best Western visit them online at www.bwbradford.com.

Stay in the Bradford Flatiron Airbnb, a one-of-a-kind historical home located in the heart of Bradford at 11 Boylston Street. This three-story brick structure built in 1906 sleeps up to five guests, is fully-furnished and includes a fully equipped kitchen and two-stall garage for parking. Also within walking distance of multiple family-owned restaurants and unique shops, the Bradford Flatiron Airbnb is currently offering a Skiers discounted rate of $99 with a minimum two-night stay. Valid through March 2020, request this discount when booking through Airbnb.com or contact the bed and breakfast directly by calling 814-598-8127 or visiting them on the web at www.airbnb.com/rooms/27783990.

Once the room is booked and dates set, make sure to purchase your lift tickets online at least 7 days in advance at holidayvalley.com and save big! Bring the entire family along on this venture and save; children 6 years of age or younger ski for free anytime. Simply pick up a free lift ticket at any ticket window upon arrival - children must be present.

Nervous and still learning or never tried these hilly snow sports? Starting January 2, through January 31, 2020, learn to ski or snowboard for half price with Holiday Valley’s Learn to Ski or Snowboard packages for ages 12 and up. Learn-to-ski or learn-to-snowboard packages include a beginner lesson, beginner area lift ticket and rental equipment. Holiday Valley is located on 6557 Holiday Valley Road in Ellicottville, NY.

Worried about the amount of snowfall (or lack of) interrupting your trip? No need to fear as Holiday Valley currently runs the largest HKD Automated Snowmaking system in the East, and averages 180 inches of snow per season. For a real-time snow report, to view live web cam of slope activity or to purchase lift tickets call 716-699-2345.

Dinner and a Show in Bradford, PA

The family-owned restaurants within the Allegheny National Forest region offer a wide-selection of delectable menu items. In the City of Bradford, enjoy a fun trip back in time with the family and a good pizza pie at A Slice of the 80’s, or bring your significant other out for a steak grilled to perfection or prime rib prepared from the cutting stations at Beefeaters Restaurant. Once you have appeased your appetite, step out on the town and catch a show.

The entire family is sure to enjoy Bradford Little Theatre’s performance of Disney’s Frozen Jr. January 10th-12th at the Bradford Area High School Auditorium at 81 Interstate Parkway. As the first musical of their 23rd Season, this spectacular, 60-minute musical is based on the 2013 Disney film and its 2018 Broadway adaptation. For more information visit www.bradfordlittletheatre.org or call 814-331-9903.

On January 11th beginning at 7:30pm catch a BCPAC sponsored show, Acoustically Speaking, at the Bromeley Family Theater at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on 300 Campus Drive. Join Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp for an intimate, unplugged show where they will deliver solo sets featuring both original tunes and songs that have influenced their lives, capped off by performing a few of the iconic hits from the musical RENT. For more information visit www.bcpac.com or call 814-362-2522.

Pianist Benjamin Laude will perform on January 30th at the Bromeley Family Theater at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford beginning at 7:30pm. Laude will be performing a selection of works by the famed composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, in honor of his 250th birthday. An active soloist and sought-after chamber musician, Laude is a pianist of international standing. For more information call 814-362-5113 or visit UPB.Pitt.edu/TheArts.

With so many wonderful performances set to kick of 2020, get your tickets early and enjoy each show    

Plan Your Trip

To receive a useful, free travel guide full of maps, attractions, restaurants and other things to see and do in the Allegheny National Forest Region, please call 800-473-9370 or go to visitANF.com.