The forest is calling: Hiking and mountain biking opportunities in ANF
Thinking about leaving the city behind and getting back to nature? In the Allegheny National Forest of Pennsylvania, you can do just that.
The Allegheny National Forest is home to 13 hiking trails, covering more than 200 miles. So which ones should you hike during your visit?
Tuna Valley Trail System
According to Linda Devlin, of the Visit ANF tourism bureau, the Tuna Valley Trail System at the Marilla Reservoir consists of a variety of different experiences for both the casual hiker and those looking for a more challenging hike.
“This system includes Marilla Bridges Trail a 1-mile loop around the Marilla Reservoir with scenic views and a wooden covered bridge,” Devlin said. “Marilla Springs Trail, a 3.6-mile, point-to-point trail with more aggressive trail experiences for the hiker or mountain biker connects to Bullis Hollow Trail which connects to a system of trails creating a 3-day backpacking experience in remote forests.”
The backpacking voyage begins with a 8.3-mile trail from the top of Marilla Springs, which connects to the North Country Trail at the upper trailhead close to Tracy Ridge in the Allegheny National Forest, then loops through the Allegany State Park in New York state, along Black Snake Trail and then Indian Pipe Trail.
Other trails to consider, the White Pine Trail is a 3-mile loop past towering old growth forest. Marilla Rocks Trail a 2.0-mile loop off a logging road accessible from Route 346.
“Marked with blue diamonds, this trail leads through massive rock formations and then loops back to the old logging road,” Devlin said.
Cornelius Connection at Gilbert Reservoir is a 2.4-mile linear trail which spans from Marilla Reservoir to Gilbert Reservoir. Devlin said that it is a dirt path trail, through mixed hardwood forest and is perfect for hiking and experienced mountain bikers.
More information about the Tuna Valley Trail System is available at tunavalleytrail.com.
Kinzua Valley Trail and Kinzua Creek Trail
The Kinzua Valley Trail at Westline connects Westline to Red Bridge Campground in the Allegheny National Forest. For bikers, there are opportunities at Morrison Trail, a 10.8-mile trail loop in the within the ANF.
Kinzua Creek Trail traverses down the side of the Kinzua Gorge to the bottom, where hikers can view the fallen towers from the tornado of 2003, which Devlin said was the reason for the reinvention of the historic towers of the Kinzua Viaduct into the Kinzua Sky Walk.
Knox & Kane Rail Trail
“The Knox & Kane Rail Trail is the newest trail connecting the Kinzua Bridge State Park to the village of Mt. Jewett,” Devlin said. “Free trailhead parking is available in Mt. Jewett, behind the borough office or at the Kinzua Bridge State Park.”
Even more trails can be found within the Allegheny National Forest. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your boots, grab your pack or grab your bike — we’ll see you in the forest.