BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING
ALLEGHENY NATIONAL FOREST 506,000 acres. Located on the Allegheny Plateau in northwest Pennsylvania, this attractive National Forest includes rolling hills and valleys, with many streams and some ponds, plus the Allegheny River and the Allegheny Reservoir. Some of the terrain is rocky and steep, with rock formations, ledges, and outcrops.
There are forests of oak, black cherry, maple, pine, and hemlock, including some old-growth trees, along with rhododendron, dogwood, and mountain laurel. Among the wildlife are whitetailed deer, black bear, fox, and wild turkey.
Within the National Forest are two designated wilderness areas: the 8,500-acre Hickory Creek Wilderness and the 400-acre Allegheny Islands Wilderness. Also in the region are three National Recreation Areas and two Scenic Areas.
Activities: There are some 170 miles of established trails for backpacking and hiking, including 95 miles of the new North Country Trail (see entry page 251). In addition, cross-country travel is feasible in some parts of the forest.
Canoeing is available on the Allegheny River and Reservoir, the Clarion River, and several streams. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are possible in winter when there’s adequate snow, generally the case during January and February. Fishing is also available. Hunting is permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are allowed throughout the National Forest, except where posted otherwise. Camping is restricted or prohibited in Scenic Areas and a few
other locations, and camping is not allowed within 1,500 feet of the Reservoir. No permits are necessary.
For Further Information: Allegheny National Forest, 222 Liberty Street, Box 847, Warren, PA 16365; (814)723-5150.
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