Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Allegheny National Forest, PA

  • Published 2022/12/10

The Allegheny National Forest (ANF) is the only national forest in Pennsylvania and features nine mountains, with Coal Knob as the highest and most striking point.

It spans the counties of Warren, McKean, Forest, and Elk.

Established in 1923, this beautiful forest lies on the Allegheny Plateau and stretches up to 514,029 acres in the state’s northwestern corner.

You can do many activities in this national forest, including fishing, boating, horseback riding, mountain biking, and so much more!

The park offers 150 miles of biking trails, 53 miles of cross-country ski trails, and more than a hundred miles of ATV- and dirt bike-accessible trails.

You’ll also find fascinating wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, and various bird species, such as bald eagles, wild turkeys, and great horned owls.

The forest has many treasures that await discovery, along with its rolling hills and scenic valleys.

Check out the exciting things to do in Allegheny National Forest!

Cross the Kinzua Sky Walk

Front view of Kinzua Sky Walk

Jim Vallee /

Situated at the Kinzua Bridge State Park on Viaduct Road, Mt. Jewett, Kinzua Sky Walk is one of the world’s “Top 10 Most Beautiful Skywalks and Viewpoints,” according to the Culture Trip.

It was built on six of the historic Kinzua Viaduct steel towers that remained after a 2003 tornado, which used to be the tallest and longest railroad viaduct worldwide.

The impressive skywalk extends 624 feet into the Kinzua Gorge, offering spectacular views.

View of Kinzua Sky Walk

Banks2041 /

It features a walkway with several railroad tracks moving toward the end of the overlook with an apportioned glass floor.

Standing at 225 feet above the valley floor, the Kinzua Sky Walk is an excellent opportunity to “walk the tracks across the sky.”

View of Kinzua Bridge State Park

Kathy D. Reasor /

Take a Hike at the Marilla Bridges Trail

The Marilla Bridges Trail starts at the covered wooden bridge and curves around the reservoir.

This one-mile trail made of crushed limestone will lead you to sections of wooded areas and two long, impressive wooden bridges.

Also known as Tuna Valley Trails, it comprises six different trails interweaving into this trail, varying from easy to moderate in complexity.

These trails include White Pine Trail, Marilla Rocks Trail, Marilla Springs Trail, Marilla Ridge Road, Manila Overlook Trail, and Hidden Valley.

All these trails provide unique hiking experiences.

Have a great time fishing, kayaking, or canoeing with the family at the Marilla Reservoir.

You also have permission to hunt animals on the watershed, such as turkey, deer, and various small game.

Explore the Zippo / Case Museum & Flagship Store

The Zippo/Case Museum & Flagship Store is the first museum established in the area in late 1993.

It was appropriately named because it featured items for sale from the Zippo family of companies: Zippo, W.R. Case, Sons Cutlery Company, and Holgate Toys.

Located on Zippo Drive in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the place is not just a home to Zippo lighters and Case knives.

It also honors the company’s dedication to the craft and quality that embodies the slogan “Made in America.”

Explore the 15,000-square-foot splendor, including the world’s famous Zippo Repair Clinic and Zippo/Case flagship store.

Fourteen custom-made Zippo street lighters flank the drive paving the way to the building.

Admission to the Zippo/Case Museum & Flagship Store is free.

Challenge your Family or Friends at Pine Acres Country Club

You’ll find the Pine Acres Country Club lying on top of northwestern Pennsylvania mountains in the middle of the enchanting Allegheny National Forest.

The initial nine opened in 1962, while the second commenced its opening in 1965.

The course measures 6,511-yard par 72 and earned its 134 slope rating with its stretched tree-lined fairways and fast-sloping greens.

The lovely Pine Acres Country Club has a well-stocked golf shop for your presents or souvenir needs.

Also, try their signature drinks, beefy burgers, and much more at the bar and grill, where you can also buy food for take-outs.

Enjoy Various Activities at Cook Forest State Park

Stunning view from Cook Forest State Park

Kathy D. Reasor /

Cook Forest State Park is famous for its old-growth forest that covers 8,500 acres of land.

On the other hand, the Clarion River Lands stretch up to 3,136 acres in panoramic northwestern Pennsylvania.

You can go kayaking, tubing, or canoeing with the family or watch plays, musicals, and other performances at the Verna Leith Sawmill.

Challenge yourself to an 80-foot climb of the Historic Fire Tower #9 that reveals a captivating view of the entire area.

Remember not to feed the wildlife in Cook Forest State Park to prevent problems with the animals turning into uncontrollable pests.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Learn History at Eldred World War II Museum

The township of Eldred, Pennsylvania, has a World War II Museum because of the munitions plant that operated there during the war.

Located on Main Street, the Eldred WWII Museum made ammunition or armaments to help support the British Army.

Weapons assembled at the plant include British three-inch trench mortars, incendiary bombs, two-inch smoke projectiles, thermite hand grenades, and bomb fuses.

Visit the Robert A. Anderson Library, which has a collection of more than 8,500 volumes, including out-of-print books and rare ones.

Check out World War II memorabilia, which includes large model displays you can drive.

You can also see recreations of life-size submarines, life-size bunkers, flags, uniforms, patches, and other artifacts.

Aside from free admission, the Eldred World War II Museum also offers schools, organizations, individuals, and families a wide range of educational opportunities.

The museum is 30 minutes from the Allegheny National Forest.

Spend Family Day at the Hamlin Lake Park

Scenic view of Hamlin Lake Park

Nolichuckyjake /

The Hamlin Lake Park opened in 1822, providing water power for the town’s grist mill.

In the 19th century, the lake became a storage for logs for the giant sawmill in the same area.

Located on Park Lane, Smethport, Pennsylvania, the park got its name from the Hamlin family.

They donated the land to use as a park, developing it after Hurricane Agnes devastated the area in 1972.

The reconstructed Hamlin Lake Park offers many recreational activities for individuals, groups, or families, such as boating and fishing.

Wooden pedestrian bridge at Hamlin Lake Park

Nolichuckyjake /

Your kids will love to play in the playground close to the Smethport Recreation Center Swimming Pool.

The family-friendly park also offers baseball fields, a soccer field, a skate park, and a basketball court.

Relax as you stroll through the park or cross the wooden bridge leading to the island in the lake’s center.

This park is 15 minutes from the Allegheny National Forest.

Explore the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center

Street view of Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center

Nolichuckyjake /

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford houses the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center.

Located on Marilyn Horne, the museum and exhibit center showcases features from the personal accounts of the legendary opera singer Marilyn Horne.

It opened its doors to the public in 2017 inside a six-story, dated 1932 Art Deco building donated to the university in 2006.

Entrance of Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center

Nolichuckyjake /

The Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center is the core of the city’s revitalization efforts.

Learn the significance of the highlights from the legendary opera singer Marilyn Horne’s archive.

You can find this museum nine minutes from the Allegheny National Forest.

Sip the Finest Wine at the Allegheny Cellars Winery

Wine is good for health but needs moderate intake to avoid getting drunk.

Located on Route 6 Sheffield, the Allegheny Cellars Winery opened its doors in Sheffield, Pennsylvania, 18 minutes from the Allegheny National Forest.

Their tasting room and gift shop offer a relaxing “woodsy” ambiance, encouraging visitors to sample a vast collection of dry and sweet wines.

If you’re a wine lover, don’t forget to drop by the Allegheny Cellars Winery and taste their best-selling red, blush, white, and fruit wines.

You’ll be happy to know that there are no fees for tasting wines at any of their locations.

Cross the Luther’s Mills Covered Bridge

View of Luther's Mills Covered Bridge

Doug Kerr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also known as Knapp’s Covered Bridge, Luther’s Mills Covered Bridge is the tallest covered bridge in Pennsylvania.

This ancient covered bridge is also called Brown’s Creek Covered Bridge, and Burr Truss Bridge has a serene setting with no paved roads nearby.

Luther’s Mills Covered Bridge is an extraordinary bridge and the only covered bridge remaining in Bradford County.

Located on Covered Bridge Rd, Towanda, it measures 95 feet long and became listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The bridge went through a major restoration which started in 2020, and is a perfect place and art for photographers to take pictures.

The bridge is more than two hours from Allegheny National Forest.

Camp Out with Family at Chapman State Park

Picturesque view of Chapman State Park

Jmpenzone, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lying next to the Allegheny National Forest, Chapman State Park is a refuge of recreational facilities in the vast wilderness area.

It’s a family-friendly park that is a beautiful place to camp and has access to yurts, cottages, backpacking trails, and electric hookups.

Winter is fast approaching, allowing you to sled on a seven-acre slope during the wintery weather.

Some guests feature occasional guest speakers on different environmental topics.

Located in Clarendon, Pennsylvania, the 862-acre Chapman State Park encompasses the 68-acre Chapman Lake on the Tionesta Creek’s West Branch.

You can catch fish but can’t keep them because the lake is only catch-and-release.

This state park is 15 minutes from the Allegheny National Forest.

Learn about the Lobo Wolves at Kane Historic Depot and Museum

The Kane Historic Depot and Museum, located in Kane, Pennsylvania, features the engaging story of Dr. Edward H. McCleery and his Lobo Wolves.

This historic Pennsylvania Railroad Station became the Kane Depot, consisting of the Station Shops, the Holgate Toy Co Display, the McCleery Discovery Center, and the Historical Society’s Museum.

Preserved by the Kane Historic Preservation Society, the Kane Historic Depot and Museum depicts the Kane community’s railroad history.

The McCleery Wolf Center exhibits how Dr. McCleery, a physician in Kane, saved the animal from extinction.

The Lobo Wolf exhibit includes original letters dating back to the 1920s, wolf skulls, pelts, pictures, and videos, plus Tanya’s life-size Lobo wolf mount.

The museum is 21 minutes from the Allegheny National Forest.

Enjoy a Nice Picnic at Elk State Park

Located in Wilcox, Pennsylvania, Elk State Park is a beautiful 3,192-acre park in northern Pennsylvania’s rugged mountains.

The 1,160-acre East Branch Lake is huge enough for limitless horsepower boating and waterskiing.

You can fish on the lake and nearby streams stocked with warm water and coldwater fish.

However, Elk State Park prohibits swimming in the lake.

You and the family can enjoy a picnic, camping, or hunting for game, birds, and wildlife.

This state park is 23 minutes from the Allegheny National Forest.

Visit the Clear Creek State Park

Still water at Clear Creek State Park

Nicholas, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Clear Creek State Park spans 1,901 acres of Jefferson County and occupies a section of the Clear Creek Valley from PA 949 to the Clarion River.

This astonishing park offers camping, rustic cabins, and access to boating and fishing in the Clarion River.

You and your family can visit Clear Creek State Park whenever you want because it is open 365 days a year, from sunrise to sunset.

Huge trunk of a tree at Clear Creek State Park

Nicholas, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t feed the animals, though.

When wildlife loses their fear of humans, they may turn into pests, resulting in dangerous situations.

Check out the self-guiding Ox Shoe Trail, which takes just an hour to hike, revealing the area’s logging history.

Located in Sigel, Pennsylvania, the Clear Creek State Park is ADA-accessible and has a nature museum at the same time.

This place is 16 minutes from the Allegheny National Forest.

Natural waterfall and a wooden bridge at Clear Creek State Park

Nicholas, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the Alpacas at Kendall Creek Farms

Located on Looker Mountain Trail, Bradford, Kendall Creek Farms started in 1997.

For centuries, South America has referred to alpaca fleece as the “fiber of the Gods” for a great reason.

As one of the rarest and most luxurious fibers in the world, its integration of class and firmness remains unrivaled.

Alpaca fiber isn’t only lighter and rarer than cashmere and warmer and stronger than wool.

Additionally, it’s lanoline free, hypoallergenic, and doesn’t need chemical processing, unlike wool.

You can buy alpaca products at their seasonal gift shop and by appointment.

You can find Kendall Creek Farms 15 minutes from Allegheny National Forest.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re going out alone or with your family, always take precautions while enjoying the activities you love doing.

Follow the rules and regulations imposed by parks to prevent problems.

Pack your bags and discover the exciting things to do in Allegheny National Forest!

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