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Great Ideas for Nature-Based Summer Vacations

The Allegheny National Forest Region is a great destination for exploring nature, participating in hiking, biking and mountain biking adventures, learning local history along the collectible pin trail, or enjoying rest and relaxation in a cabin or campsite along the shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir.

Designated a National Forest on September 24, 1923, this year marks 100 years of preserving and managing this massive land mass, 414,029 acres, for conservation and public recreation. Special events planned to mark this important 100-year milestone are the Centennial Geo-Trail, the ANF’s 100-mile trail challenge, and a monthly list of events throughout the forest and its gateway communities. Be sure to check the online event schedule at VisitANF.com for more details. Lodging choices include cabins or campsites at Red Bridge Campground and Willow Bay Recreation Area.

The main celebratory event will be held at Twin Lakes in the ANF. This family-friendly event will be on September 24, 2023, from 11 am to 7 pm. For more information on ANF Centennial events and the history of the Forest, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/allegheny.

The Forest offers 14 campgrounds, with more than 1,000 sites for developed recreation, cabin rentals, and a marina. The Allegheny Reservoir offers fishing, kayaking, and canoeing along with motorized boating. The Kinzua Wolf Run Marina is a full-service marina, with a seasonal restaurant. Allegheny Site Management offers kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats for rent at Willow Bay Recreation Area. Fin & Fly Adventures offers fishing guide services. The 2nd Kinzua Cup Walleye Tournament, sponsored by the Willow Creek Sportsman’s Club, will be on May 20 & 21, 2023.

The trail systems in the ANF Region provide a wide variety of opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature. In all, there are over 600 miles of four-season trails in the region. History lovers will enjoy exploring the McKean County Historic Collectible Pin Trail which offers a different collectible pin at 10 historic sites within McKean County.

Two local trails offer picture-perfect wooden covered bridges. Marilla Bridges Trail, a 1-mile loop trail, features a covered wooden bridge across the spillway of Marilla Reservoir. A second wooden bridge is located on the Kinzua Valley Trail, a 10.5-mile trail from Red Bridge Campground, past the village of Westline, to Rt. 219. Mountain bikers will enjoy Morrison Trail, a 10.8-mile loop trail through open hardwoods and large rock formations. The Trails at Jakes Rocks offer mountain bikers a wide degree of challenges, from gentler loops to the one-way, epic Blacksnake gravity trail.

The 2023 Pennsylvania Trail of the Year, the Knox & Kane Rail Trail, is the 7.8-mile section of trail which runs from the Kinzua Bridge State Park to Mt. Jewett, PA. This trail connects to the #1 State Park of the Year, as voted on by TripAdvisor, the Kinzua Bridge State Park, home of the awesome Kinzua Sky Walk. Bike rentals for this trail are available at Lantz Corners Getaway.

To help plan your summer vacation, order a free Adventure Guide from the ANF Visitors Bureau, or go online at VisitANF.com. Summer fun awaits!

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