PA Great Outdoors: Outdoor Adventure, Part 2

The pleasure and relaxation offered by a day spent boating or paddling on one of our many sparkling waterways is hard to beat.

The 87-mile stretch of the Allegheny River flowing through our region is a nationally designated Wild & Scenic river. French explorers called it “La Belle Rivière” or “The Beautiful River” and for good reason. It winds through narrow forested valleys and across broad rural landscapes. There are over 100 undeveloped islands, including seven Wilderness Islands near Tionesta with overnight camping. The Allegheny is floatable throughout the year except in extreme conditions. Pool 9 at East Brady is the northern most deep-water pool on the river and offers 9 miles of twists and turns for unlimited horsepower boating fun. Power boaters and water skiers will also find plenty of opportunities for fun and recreation on Tionesta Lake and at Piney Dam on the Clarion River.

The Clarion River, also a nationally designated Wild & Scenic river, is a major tributary of the Allegheny. It meanders for more than 100 miles past undisturbed forests and steep-sided hills, offering beautiful scenery and a sense of splendid isolation. The river is ideal for family canoeing, kayaking, fishing, or just floating lazily along in an inner-tube. Kayak and canoe liveries, in Cooksburg and Ridgway, make floating the river easy for visitors by providing rentals and shuttle services.

The George B. Stevenson Reservoir, adjacent to Sinnemahoning State Park has nearly three miles of shoreline with a beach. The boat mooring area is a good place to observe bald eagles and ospreys looking for fish. Interpretive pontoon boat rides are offered Memorial Day through Labor Day.

(Clarion River Brown Trout)

Great Fishing

Every angler will appreciate the variety and abundance of cold mountain streams, clear flowing rivers, and fish-filled lakes in our area.

The Allegheny River and Tionesta Lake are popular with fisherman for walleye, bass, muskellunge, northern pike, yellow perch and trout. East Brady holds many catfish tournaments on the Allegheny each year.

The Clarion River offers both cold and warm water fisheries. In Elk County the Clarion is best known for trophy brown trout. As the river makes its way through Cook Forest, smallmouth bass and trout are common. Piney Dam offers warm water species like bass, muskellunge, catfish, and crappie.

Both Cloe Lake in Jefferson County and Kahle Lake in Clarion County have thriving fish populations.

Our region is also blessed with clear and cold mountain streams that are home to beautiful native brook trout. Many of our waterways are stocked with brook, brown, and rainbow trout giving anglers abundant fishing spots. Each spring, many local sportsmen’s clubs also host popular youth fishing derbies.

Cook Forest has a special fishing pond at Tom’s Run stocked with trout just for use by children 12 and younger and people with disabilities. A level grass bank at the edge of the pond and fishing pier provide easy access.

Go to for more information on the fantastic fishing in the Great Outdoors Region.

Good Hunting

The region boasts strong populations of whitetail deer, wild turkey, black bear, and small game with plenty of public hunting opportunities.

Our five-county region covers an area twice the size of the entire state of Rhode Island, so there’s plenty of elbow room. The topography includes dense forests, open meadows, lakes, streams, and wetlands that provide ideal habitat for a rich diversity of game animals. Abundant food sources including nut trees, berry bushes, and wild grapes help support healthy game populations.

For licenses and complete information on hunting visit the PA Game Commission’s website at Elk hunting licenses are chosen by lottery drawing each August at the PA Great Outdoors Elk Expo in Benezette.

(Above photo of ATV riding in the Allegheny National Forest by Jeff Harmer)

ATV & Snowmobile Riding

Do you love kicking up dust or splashing through mud on an ATV? There are two areas of the Allegheny National Forest with more than 100 miles of trails open to ATV and motorbike riders. The Marienville and Timberline trails have miles and miles of interconnecting trails over scenic, forested hills. The Spring and Fall Tour de Forest ATV rides are very popular events as they offer riders the chance to explore roads and trails in the ANF that are normally closed to ATV traffic.

If you like snowmobiling, Marienville is the Snowmobiling Capital of Pennsylvania. There are 366 miles of scenic trails you can take through the Allegheny National Forest. Each January, Marienville hosts a winter festival with food and outdoor activities during the day followed by an inspiring Torch Light Snowmobile Parade after dark.

The Timberline Trail near Ridgway is fun for beginner and intermediate levels of snowmobiling. Sizerville State Park has 66 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and Sinnemahoning State Park provides easy access to a 25-mile trail system. Snowmobiles are also permitted on the new West Creek Trail that connects Emporium to St. Marys.

Get more details about ATVing and snowmobiling on our website as well as and or call (814) 849-5197.


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