Fall Driving Tours
Autumn in the PA Great Outdoors region is a special time of the year. The air is cool and crisp and our forests are dancing with bright orange, yellow and red leaves blowing in the breeze. If you go on a leaf drive, Mother Nature’s crazy quilt of colors can be enjoyed around almost every bend in the road wherever you go. We have put together several recommended routes with a number of our favorite stops along the way. This is third of four driving tours that will be posted to this blog on Saturdays.
Allegheny National Forest Drive
(69.5 miles, 1 ½ hours)
Hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, over 700 miles of streams, and 87 miles of the Wild & Scenic Allegheny River traverse the terrain of the 1/2-million acre Allegheny National Forest. There are also over 100 undeveloped islands including seven Wilderness Islands in the Allegheny River and the huge forest tract is home to amazing wildlife and magnificent stands of trees. Tionesta is the western gateway to the ANF, where you can see the Sherman Memorial
Lighthouse (A) along the Wild & Scenic Allegheny River, a great photo opportunity. Browse the beautiful selection of artwork from local artisans
at From the Forest Gallery (B) in the Forest County Visitor Center. Take Rt. 62 north 7 miles to East Hickory and you’ll get more outstanding views of the river, which runs parallel to the road. When you turn east onto Rt. 666—the Devil’s Highway—you’ll be headed toward Kellettville. The drive will take you past woodlands, farms, and dense forests. This is an exceptional stretch of road for fall foliage. It curves uphill and down with some hairpin turns. In Kellettville, stop by the Longhorn Saloon and Trail’s End Dining Room (C) at the Flying W Ranch to quench your thirst and check out the Western themed merchandise at the ranch’s gift shop. Head out of Kellettville and continue traveling on Rt. 666 for another 15 miles into the village of Lynch. Turn right onto Blue Jay Creek Road where you will cross Tionesta Creek then continue 5 miles to intersect with Rt. 66.
Heading south, between Pigeon and Marienville you’ll find the newly remodeled Allegheny National Forest Visitor Center (D). The center has informative exhibits about the flowers, trees, birds and other wildlife of the forest. When in Marienville, make sure you try the delicious homemade dinners at the Bucktail Hotel (E). From Marienville take Rt. 66 for 12 miles through Vowinckel to Leeper where you can enjoy a hand-dipped ice cream treat at the Country Store (F). In Leeper you pick up Rt. 36 north for 14 miles. As you make the steep descent into Tionesta past Tionesta Lake, you will notice how the road was carved into the rocky mountainside.
For more information on fall events in the region and fall foliage driving tours, go to VisitPAGO.com/scenic-drives/ or call the PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau at (814) 849-5197.