This is not so much a “hike”, as an exploration. A ridge, several hundred yards long, made of giant glacial rocks, with numerous cracks, crevices, and caves. Perfect for careful exploration. This rock formation is located on Forestry Road 179, near Sheffield. Watch the video for a preview of this area. The last few minutes of the video is a walk through a natural tunnel in the rocks.
DANGER: There are steep cliffs!!! A fall from one of these rocks would cause severe injuries and possibly death! The caves/ crevices could be home to wild animals, from opossums to raccoons to foxes to bears. Most wild animals are dangerous when cornered.
The Allegheny National Forest chapter of the North Country Trail will hold it’s monthly meeting on Nov. 15 at the Lion’s Den in Sheffield at 6:30. We will discuss, amongst other items, the construction of the Beaver Run bridge, north of Kelletville, and the large highway signs to be placed at major road crossings. There will also be a report on the re-route being done by Minard Run Drilling along the trail north of Rt 59.
The ANF chapter maintains a 100 mile section of a 4600 mile national scenic foot path. This is almost all within the boundaries of the Allegheny National Forest. The maintenance is constant to keep the trail open and an enjoyable walk for all who venture outdoors. Beside hikers and their families, many hunters and fisherman use this trail to get to their “hot spots.” This meeting is open to all who want to contribute to this to this trail. Whether it’s a good idea or a pair of hands, come over to the meeting, all are welcome. For more information, contact, Keith Klos at 814-484-7420
Bent Run is a small stream that descends between Forest Road 160 and Route 59, above the Kinzua Dam. Over the mile it descends, the water drops about 700 feet in a series of small cascades, ending in small pools. The largest waterfall is about 30 feet, when the stream is at capacity. A series of falls can be seen from the parking area. There is a rocky worn trail leading alongside the falls, up the hill. It is possible to travel from the base of the run all the way to the top, but climbing becomes difficult. Best viewing time is after a good rain or during the Spring thaw, when the stream is in its full glory. During drier times of the year, the flow is reduced to a trickle.
Note: Steep and rocky terrain – rocks become very slippery when wet. Trail becomes less distinct as you gain altitude.
Public restrooms at nearby Kinzua Dam
To reach the trailhead from Warren, Pennsylvania:
Take Route 59 past the Kinzua Dam – Bent Run parking area is on the right, just a short distance past the Kinzua Dam
This 11.1 mile trail is located approximately one half mile north of Hearts Content Recreation Area along SR2002 (the Hearts Content Road), 15 miles southwest of Warren, PA. the and forms a loop through the Hickory Creek Wilderness.
SPECIAL NOTICE TO HICKORY CREEK WILDERNESS TRAIL HIKERS
This trail is marked infrequently with faded yellow blazes. In keeping with Wilderness values, they will be allowed to fade further over time and will not be replaced. This may make the trail difficult to follow, especially when fallen leaves or snow make the established tread more difficult to see.
All trail maintenance is done to protect the Wilderness character of the area, not for the convenience of the visitors to this place. This means that obstructions on the trail will not be removed unless not doing so would cause irreversible environmental damage. This may make the trail even more difficult to follow. It is suggested that all hikers have and know how to use a map and compass or GPS device when hiking in Hickory Creek Wilderness.
The 11.1 mile Hickory Creek trail provides a unique opportunity for those who seek a Wilderness trail challenge not available elsewhere in this region of the country. If a Wilderness maintenance standard is not the type of hiking experience you seek, we encourage you to explore any of the nearly 200 miles of well-marked developed hiking trails available throughout the Allegheny National Forest.
Finding the trail: The new trailhead parking lot is located approximately one half mile north of Hearts Content Recreation Area along SR2002 (the Hearts Content Road), 15 miles southwest of Warren, PA. US 6 and Township Road T3005 meet in the middle of Warren at the Hickory Street Bridge. TR 3005 begins here, crossing the Allegheny River toward Warren General Hospital (bear left away from the hospital after you cross the bridge). Follow TR 3005 about 11 miles to its junction with a marked township road which leads to Hearts Content Recreation Area (four miles).
Hiking the trail: Watch the informational signs. This trail offers challenges to a wide range of skill levels as it traverses the rolling terrain within the Hickory Creek Wilderness. From Hearts Content Recreation Area, the trail heads westward along the top of the plateau between East Hickory and Middle Hickory Creeks. Once the trail reaches Jacks Run, it loops back eastward and climbs in and out of several small valleys along the way.
Fishing for small native brookies can be done in East and Middle Hickory Creeks. Enjoy the wildlife viewing as you hike. The vegetation found in the Hickory Creek Wilderness supports wildlife typically associated with older trees and decaying vegetation. Groves of hemlock may be found along the lower half of East Hickory Creek. Middle Hickory Creek flows through meadows studded with bogs and beaver ponds. Large white pine are scattered in open areas. The most significant evidence of human intrusion that still remains are several old railroad grades used in early logging efforts.
Camp overnight as you enjoy the Hickory Creek Wilderness, or make a long day trip through the wilderness.
Regulations: The trail currently blazed infrequently with yellow paint on tree blazes, but is in the process of being changed to unpainted tree blazes in order to be more compatible with a wilderness designation. Normal wilderness regulations apply, including no motorized vehicles or equipment use of any kind. Forest trail policy prohibits the use if a saddle, pack or draft animal on hiking trails.
This 10.5 kilometer (6.4 mile) trail utilizes old railroad grades, roads and existing trails to form several loops for your skiing pleasure. Of significance is the old growth forest of hemlock, beech and white pine in the Hearts Content National Scenic Area – enjoy the solitude and grandeur of these ancient trees.
Finding the area: The trailhead parking lot is located at the picnic area of the Hearts Content Recreation Area 15 miles southwest of Warren, PA. To reach Hearts Content Recreation Area, take the Warren to Tidioute road from Warren or Tidioute to the junction of the Hearts Content Road. Follow this road four miles to the Hearts Content Recreation Area. From Sheffield, take the Austin Hill (Bull Hill) Road to the Hearts Content Road. Total distance is approximately 15 miles.
Regulations: This trail is for hiking, skiing and mountain biking. Motorized vehicles, ATVs and snowmobiles, are not allowed on any of the trails. Forest trails policy prohibits the use of a saddle, pack or draft animals on hiking or cross county ski trails. If you are hunting in the area, please make sure you are outside the campground boundary. All dogs must be on leashes when using the trail.
Skiing the area: Watch the informational signs. This trail area offers challenges to the beginning skier. The more experienced skier will find these trails offer an easy afternoon. All three loops are rated as suitable for beginners.
The Hearts Content Loop offers a scenic tour through the grandiose old stands of beech, hemlock and white pine. Toms’ Run Loop offers a gradual rise in elevation as it climbs the plateau along Tom’s Run. At the headwaters of Tom’s Run, the trail crosses the plateau and joins with the Ironwood Loop. This loop offers another opportunity for beginning skiers to experience the Hearts Content Cross-Country Ski Area, park at Dunham Siding on the Hearts Content Road instead of parking at Hearts Content Recreation Area. The Ironwood Loop receives less use than the other two trails and for that reason offers a little more solitude.
The hike to Rimrock Overlook can be easily made in less than 10 minutes on the man-made pathway. A series of steps and board walkways help you descend to the main overlooks. These overlooks offer spectacular views of the Allegheny Reservoir and Allegheny National Forest. Another set of steps, carved in the stone, take you down below the overlook to primitive hiking trails. Commonly seen wildlife in this area includes birds, chipmunks, squirrels, grouse, and whitetail deer. In addition, black bear, wild turkey, red & grey fox, raccoon, opossum, bobcat, fisher,weasel, and coyotes can be found in the area, but seen less often. Be sure to stay on the trails, as there are dangerous cliffs around the overlook area.
Board walkways and steps, as well as primitive trails below the overlook
To reach the trailhead from Warren, Pennsylvania:
Take Route 59 past the Kinzua Dam, Wolf Run Marina, and Kinzua Beach
Turn right at the top of the hill after Kinzua Beach/ Wolf Run Marina
The hike to Jakes Rocks Overlook can be easily made in less than 10 minutes on the fairly level, paved pathway, making this a very easy hike for nearly anyone. The overlooks offer spectacular views of the Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir. Commonly seen wildlife in this area includes birds, chipmunks, squirrels, grouse, and whitetail deer. In addition, black bear, wild turkey, red & grey fox, raccoon, opossum, bobcat, fisher,weasel, and coyotes can be found in the area, but seen less often. Be sure to stay on the trails, as there are dangerous cliffs around the overlook area.
Paved hiking trails
To reach the trailhead from Warren, Pennsylvania:
Take Route 59 past the Kinzua Dam
Turn right onto Longhouse Scenic Drive
Turn right again onto Forest Road 492
Turn right again at the stop sign.
Bear to the right at the triangle intersection, and go to the 2nd parking lot.
Friday, June 12, 2009 Moonlight Meteor Shower Paddle 10:00 pm – 11:30 pm
Paddle the lake and the west branch of the Tionesta Creek by moonlight. Do you think you can spot meteors from the Lyrid meteor shower? Come and learn about the park as well as how to stargaze using binoculars, which will be provided. Please call the park office at 814-723-0250 and pre-register by Thursday, June 11, 2009, as canoes are limited. Meet the Park Naturalist at Pavilion #2.
Saturday, June 13, 2009 Get Outdoors Day Boating Basics 12:00 pm-2:00 pm
Learn all the basic information and techniques you need to take that first canoe or kayak trip. We will discuss safety, PFD’s, what to bring, and what to wear. We will also go over paddle strokes and practice them out on the lake. Please call the park office at 814-723-0250 and pre-register by Friday, June 12th, as canoes are limited. Meet the Park Naturalist at the Mooring area parking lot. Leave No Trace- Day Hiking Essentials 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Meet the Park Naturalist at Pavilion #3 to learn about day hiking history, gear, and why we hike. We will discuss 7 principles of Leave No Trace and learn how to lessen the impact of recreation on the environment. We will be hiking Penny Run Trail, a 1.4-mile long trail. Hiking difficulty is moderate with steady uphill grades. Please bring proper footwear.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 Stream Safari 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Investigate the stream by Penny Run Trail and look for fish, salamanders, crayfish, insects and other aquatic creatures. Meet the Park Naturalist at Parking lot #1. Be prepared to get your feet wet! This program is for waders of all ages; children under 6 may attend with an adult. GeoCache Hunt 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Park Naturalist at the amphitheater for this program about the new sport of geocaching. We will be going on a hike to find a cache near the park. Geocaching is like a treasure hunt but you just take one item from the cache. If you want to trade for an item in the cache bring something small. GPS units will be provided for this program, but feel free to bring your own.