Allegheny National Forest
  • Home
  • Downloads
  • Privacy Policy
  • Return to Portal
  • About Allegheny National Forest

    Established in 1923, Allegheny National Forest (ANF) is Pennsylvania’s only National Forest. Situated in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, the ANF is composed of plateau tops with elevations up to approximately 2,300 feet and valleys down to approximately 1,000 feet above sea level. The forest is approximately 517,000 acres and includes land in Elk, Forest, McKean and Warren counties in the northwestern corner of the state. The U.S. Forest Service brought new concepts in forest management to the Allegheny Plateau -- multiple benefits and sustainability. The motto "Land of Many Uses" captures the National Forest goal of a healthy, vigorous forest that provides wood products, watershed protection, a variety of wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities -- not only for us today, but in a sustainable way so future generations can enjoy these benefits, too.

    Fire Lookouts/Cabins Overnight

    The following campgrounds recommend or require a reservation through recreation.gov for some or all available sites. View the recreation sites page for more detailed information.

    • Farnsworth Cabin
    • Willow Bay Recreation Area Cabins

    The following day use sites require a reservation through recreation.gov for some sites. View the recreation site page for more detailed information.

    • Willow Bay Recreation Area
      • Picnic Pavilion

    Swimming

    Auto Touring

    Biking

    Mountain Bike Trails on the ANF

    Trail Miles Other Trail Uses Brush Hollow Cross Country Ski and Hiking Trail 7.7 cross-country skiing, hiking Buzzard Swamp Wildlife Viewing and Hiking Area 11.2 cross-country skiing, hiking Jakes Rocks Trail 10 n/a Marienville ATV/Motorized Dirt Bike Trail 37 ATV, motorized dirt bikes Morrison Hiking Trail 11.4 hiking Rocky Gap ATV/Mountain Bike Trail 21.9 ATV's, trailbikes, snowmobiles, horses Timb

    Boating

    Allegheny and Tionesta Reservoirs

    Power boat use is especially heavy on these lakes on weekends; be careful when canoeing. We recommend early morning and late evening hours on weekends. PFD'S must be worn on all canoes and other boats less than 16 feet, by children less than 9 years of age, and by non-swimmers on all boats. Alcohol possession and consumption are prohibited on the water surface.

    Diving

    Camping

    Campgrounds have a varied levels of services provided ranging from fire rings only to electric and water hookups and dump stations.

    The following campgrounds recommend or require a reservation through recreation.gov for some or all available sites. View the recreation sites page for more detailed information.

    • Buckaloons Recreation Area
    • Dewdrop Campground
    • Farnsworth Cabin
    • Kiasutha Recreation Area
    • Loleta Recreation Area
    • Red Bridge Recreation Area
    • Tracy Ridge Campground
    • Twin Lakes Recreation Area
    • Willow Bay Recreation Area

    The following day use sites require a reservation through recreation.gov for some sites. View the recreation site page for more detailed information.

    • Buckaloons Recreation Area
      • picnic pavilion
    • Twin Lakes

    Fishing

    Hiking

    Day Hiking Trails on the ANF

    Trail Miles Other Trail Uses Beaver Meadows Hiking Trail and Day Use Area 7.1 n/a Brush Hollow Cross Country Ski and Hiking Trail 7.7 Cross-country skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing Buzzard Swamp Wildlife Viewing and Hiking Area 11.2 Cross-country skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing Hearts Content Trails 7.8 Cross country skiing, snowshoeing Hearts Content Interpretive Trail 1.1 n/a Hearts Content Orienteering Trail 5.9 n/a <

    Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is allowed in most places across the Allegheny National Forest as long as riders do not mark, build, maintain, or tread-in a trail.

    When riding cross-country, riders are expected to spread out and meander through the trees, so that no one rides behind anyone else. Riding single file cross-country will eventually create a trail if enough horses follow the same path.

    Horses are permitted on ATV or snowmobile trails, and in most cases may ride the Forest roads.

    Equestrian Trails on the ANF

    Trail Miles Other Trail Uses Spring Creek Horse Trail

    Hunting

    Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative

    In 2000, a group of forestland managers, hunters, biologists, and foresters, with support and guidance from The Sand County Foundation, formed the Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative (KQDC) . The goals of KQDC are to restore and maintain quality habitat and quality deer, improve hunter satisfaction, and reduce the need for fencing to protect seedlings, shrubs, and other understory vegetation, such as wildflowers, from excessive deer browsing.

    Private and public lands were pooled into a solid block of 74,000 acres and managed to achieve these goals. Hunting on the KQDC is free and open to the public.

    2017 - 2018 Hunting Licenses and DMAP Permits

    Hunting licenses and Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permits for the 2017-2018 hunting season go on sale Monday, June 19, 2017.

    How it Works:

    Please see the

    Off Highway Vehicle

    For a permit application and a list of vendors go to the Recreation Passes page .

    Pennsylvania State Regulations for the operation of ATV's/Dirt Bikes/etc. can be found on the Pennsylvania DCNR website .

    ATV/OHM/Dirt Bike Trails on the ANF

    Trail Miles Maximum Width Trail Uses Marienville ATV/OHM Trail 14 64 inches ATV, motorized dirt bikes, motorcycles Penoke ATV/OHM Trail 23.1 50 inches ATV, motorized dirt bikes, motorcycles

    Picnicking

    Dispersed picnicking is permitted throughout the Allegheny National Forest.

    Recreational Vehicles

    Campgrounds have a varied levels of services provided ranging from fire rings only to electric and water hookups and dump stations.

    The following campgrounds recommend or require a reservation through recreation.gov for some or all available sites. View the recreation sites page for more detailed information.

    • Buckaloons Recreation Area
    • Dewdrop Campground
    • Farnsworth Cabin
    • Kiasutha Recreation Area
    • Loleta Recreation Area
    • Red Bridge Recreation Area
    • Tracy Ridge Campground
    • Twin Lakes Recreation Area
    • Willow Bay Recreation Area

    The following day use sites require a reservation through recreation.gov for some sites. View the recreation site page for more detailed information.

    • Buckaloons Recreation Area
      • picnic pavilion
    • Twin Lakes

    Wildlife Viewing

    The forest is rich with wildlife, from birds to mammals to fish and other amphibeous life. Over 70 species of game and non-game fish live in the Allegheny National Forest. Over 300 species of mammals, including raccoon, gray squirrel, snowshoe hare, red and gray fox, beaver, mink, and muskrat as well as game species such as white-tailed deer, black bear and wild turkey.

    For information on species common to Pennsylvania, and the Allegheny National Forest visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website for game and nongame species information.

    When you see wildlife, please remember:

    • never feed wildlife
    • don't interfere with mating, predation or other natural behaviors.
    • keep a respectful distance
    • preserve habitat by following "leave no trace" principles.
    • leave young wildlife where you find them.

    If you t

    Horse Camping

    The only campground available for horses is Kelly Pines. There are seven campsites, during the riding season sites 3-7 are for equestrians only.

    Equine shelter: There is one 4-stall tie-down shed at each site, with 2 such sheds on the double site.

    Hitching Rails: 1 near toilet and information board.

    Corrals, pickets, and high-lines are not permitted. Horses must be tied in the stalls in the shed.

    Watering Tank: No watering tank, but hydrant exists with non-potable water suitable for livestock use.

    Kelly Pines Campground was built in 1928, and is the first recorded recreation site on the ANF.

    Overview

    Hearts Content Campground is a semi-primitive family campground bordering the Hickory Creek Wilderness Area and surrounded by native hardwoods and a patch of planted pine forest. There is a large open field containing a playground, volleyball net, and amphitheater that is suitable for other games near the campground entry, and another large field at the back of the campground that serves as both group camping sites and a helispot. Hearts COntent Campground is operated under a concession permit by Allegheny Site Management.

    Recreation

    Cross-country Ski Trail: This 6.4 mile (10.5 km) trail utilizes old railroad grades, roads and existing trails to form several loops for your skiing pleasure. The Wheeler Loop Trail goes through the campground and connects to the Tom's Run and Ironwood trails in the Hearts Content Scenic Area. These trails are marked with blue plastic diamonds on the trees. Hickory Creek Wilderness: The trailhead is located approximately 1/4 mile north of the campground entrance. This 8,663-acre area provides opportunities for solitude and a primitive and unconfined type of recreation as a refuge from our highly modified and technological world. No motorized equipment of any kind and no mechanical transports are permitted. A 13-mile loop hiking trail weaves its way through the rolling terrain, climbing in and out of the valleys. It is sparsely marked and maintained to promote a feeling of wildness and the unknown. It may not be suitable for novice hikers - please know your limitatons and do not add markings to help with way-finding. Orienteering Course: Enjoy this self-guided course that allows you or your group to follow, at your leisure. It is a permanently marked route as an introduction to the sport of orienteering. It starts in the Hearts Content Scenic Area.

    Facilities

    Each of the 26 family campsites contains a picnic table, fire ring and tent pad/RV spur. Two sites also have lean-to shelters. Vault toilets and pressurized water are available. A dump station is located at the exit. The kids will enjoy the small playground with its log cabin, sandbox and other attractions. There’s lots of open area, too. Campsites can be reserved or available on a first-come, first-served basis only.

    Natural Features

    North of the campground, Hearts Content National Scenic Area is located next to the picnic area across the road. Here stands the remnants of a 300 to 400 year old stand of white pine, hemlock, and beech. Time, insects, and disease are changing the look and nature of this stand. The Interpretive Old Growth Trail starts at the north end of the east side parking lot and winds about one mile through the timber stand before returning to the picnic area. All facilities in the day use area are universally accessible to people with disabilities. Facilities include a picnic area, pavilions, toilet and interpretive materials.

    South of the campground is Hickory Creek Wilderness, an 8,633 acre second-growth forest of dense trees and ferny undergrowth. This area is managed to let natural processes determine what it will be in the future. Wind, insects, disease, and drought are all shaping the species composition of the trees and understory, which will in turn determine what species of wildlife will inhabit this area. A roughly 13-mile trail traverses the plateau of the area, with the trailhead located approximately 1/4 of a mile north of the campground entrance. The trail is only occasionally marked and may not be suitable for novice hikers.