Thursday, June 13, 2013

Allegheny National Forest

I stayed in two different National Forest Campgrounds in NW Pennsylvania, and used the car to tour. 

Near Willow Bay Campground we found a nice hiking trail: Marilla Bridges Trail. This particular bridge and reservoir were originally constructed in 1896 to provide water for the nearby town of Bradford. Marilla is a Celtic term meaning "shining sea."
The trail circumnavigates the reservoir. 
There are other trails that lead off from this one, but we did not hike those. 
We crossed two more smaller bridges on our walk. 
Some pretty fungi. 

The lake is stocked with trout,
Making it a popular place for local fishermen...young and old. 
Natural stone benches have been placed strategically around the lakeshore. 
It is a popular place for birders too.
 A gazebo has been built where birders can sit and listen to and watch the birdlife.
I could hear the notes of many songbirds here.
Mother Mallard and her ducklings were resting on a grassy island.
This Common Merganser was sheltering her young under her wings.
Later we saw them swimming.
Swallows were dipping in and out of the covered bridge.
If the weather had cooperated I'd have come back to put in my kayak here.
On the only really nice day weather-wise, I drove the Longhouse Scenic Loop Road.
Found another good kayaking lake.
Osprey nest

The next stop is an historic site. An Oil Well pumphouse.  
 Oil was first discovered here in 1859.
This building was built in 1939, and houses the central power for oil production. One engine could operate pumps for several wells. The engines spins a flywheel whose belts push and pull the rod lines leading to the well pump.
There's a short trail following one of the rod lines to an oil well. 
The rods provide the pumping action for the well. 
As we continued on our route, we saw many more rusting relics of oil wells and the oil pipeline. 
Here we came across two tombstones beside the road. 
One is the grave of a Civil War soldier.
This location was a CCC camp during the depression, and a POW camp for German prisoners during World War II. Another Forest campground is located here today. 
We come to the Allegheny Reservoir. 
There is a boat ramp here, picnic area, and this paved trail beside the water that leads to a swimming hole. 
Pretty butterflies were active along the trail.

A spur road takes us to viewpoints above the reservoir. This is a view of the dam on the Allegheny River which created the reservoir. 
Another view of the reservoir. 
At the top of the mountain is the Rim Rock Trail. The sign lets you know you are not allowed to rappel or climb on the cliffs here. There are other places you can do that if you want.
Kids were loving all the boulders to climb on. 
Some views from the top of the cliffs...
The cliffs 
Looking the other way. 
If you want to go down to the base of the cliffs you can go down these steps and squeeze between the boulders...
The steps come out down there.
There are trails that go along the bottom of the cliffs, but Thistle didn't want to do that. He's such a wimp.
As you pass into New York State, the Allegheny National Forest becomes Allegheny State Park.
This is a lovely park with scenic roads, hiking trails, and some beautiful campgrounds. This is the Ranger Station and Visitor Center at the Red House Area and campground.
So now I'm in New York at the Good Sam Rally in Syracuse, spending my money and waiting for the sun to come back out.


  1. Liz -- check out your Mallard & ducklings picture again -- the stump to the right looks like one of our gators after a meal of young'uns. Love you, Roy

    1. Haha, you are right! No gators here though.