Travel into the forestlands of northcentral Pennsylvania, to discover the Allegheny National Forest and the Kinzua Sky Walk. The Allegheny National Forest (ANF) covers over 513,000 acres in northcentral Pennsylvania, and it is the only National Forest in Pennsylvania. It is the place to visit during the months of fall.
Fall is when Mother Nature puts on the show of the year. The ANF is home to over 80 species of trees and they cover over 60 percent of the ANF. Fall really is bigger here!
Sunshine yellow, bright scarlet, rich gold, and vibrant orange foliage cover the hillsides like a patchwork quilt. The brightest colors are usually in October but can start as early as the last two weeks of September depending on the weather. Two designated scenic byways offer exciting opportunities for fall leaf-peeping.
The Longhouse National Scenic Byway circles the Allegheny Reservoir in the ANF, offering stunning overlooks at Rimrock, Kinzua Point, and Jakes Rocks. The Kinzua Byway, leading to the Kinzua Sky Walk located within the Kinzua Bridge State Park is a forest shaded, two-lane byway, with a maple syrup farm and craft shops on the way to the biggest single attraction in the region-the Kinzua Sky Walk.
Awesome! Wow! Are Two Words to Describe the Kinzua Sky Walk.
The Kinzua Sky Walk is a historic viaduct reinvented as a skywalk following a tornado in 2003 which twisted and tossed 11 of the original 1900 steel towers into the Kinzua Gorge. Recognized as “One of the top 10 most scenic skywalks in the world,” by the Culture Trip, U.K., the amazing skywalk invites visitors to walk 624 feet into the Kinzua Gorge, at a height of 225 feet, to peer through the partial glass floor to the valley below, offering a stunning 360-degree view of the Kinzua Gorge. The Kinzua Bridge Visitors Center, located at the park, showcases the amazing history of this structure, which when first built of iron in 1882, and then rebuilt of iron in 1900, was the highest and longest railroad viaduct in the world. A true engineering masterpiece.
For those seeking adventure, hike down the side of the gorge to peer at the fallen towers of the viaduct, or hike and bike along the Knox & Kane Rail Trail which can be easily accessed from the park. The park and the skywalk are open seven days a week with free admission. When traveling use the GPS address of 296 Viaduct Road, Mt. Jewett, Pa.
The ANF offers 1200 campsites and both rustic and deluxe cabin rentals. With over 600-miles of multi-use trails, this area offers one of the best trail systems in the United States, which is why you will hear the term Trail Central™. Mountain biking trails in the Forest feature massive rock formations with an ever-changing elevation. ATV trails and ATV rentals take you deep into the colorful fall Forest. There are 10 interpretive trails. Timberdoodle Flats, an interpretive birding trail is popular with families. For the backpacker, the 96.6-miles of North Country Trail offers a challenge. Nearby in the quaint small towns which surround the Forest, you will find rich layers of natural and man-made history.
Plan Your Trip
A free Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau Travel Guide & Map, featuring lodging from a plush 4-star resort to primitive camping, trail maps, and outdoor recreation information is available by calling 800-473-9370 or online at www.VisitANF.com
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The Smethport Mansion District Walking Tour takes you on a self-guided walking tour through the mansions built by the early Lumber Barons. In Bradford, visit the Zippo/Case Museum to learn about two American icons, the Zippo lighter, and the Case knife. The electric architecture of Main Street was built during the oil boom days of the 1800 & the 1900s. For the history of the Pennsylvania, independent oil fields visit the Penn Brad Oil Museum. In Kane, the story of the conservation efforts which saved the Great Plains Buffalo Wolf from extinction is told at the McCleery Discovery Center.