If you need to get away from the crowd, head for Forest County. This is beautiful, wild, and rugged country. The largest tract of the 519,000-acre Allegheny National Forest extends across the county from Tionesta to Marienville. The county is also known for exceptional fishing and big game hunting.
Marienville is a quiet village known as the Snowmobile Capital of Pennsylvania and for good reason. There are hundreds of miles of trails you can ride through the ANF. Each year the town hosts a winter festival with an inspiring snowmobile torchlight parade. Marienville is also famous for ATV riding, trail biking, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, and camping.
Each May and October ATV riders come to Marienville for the Tour-De-Forest ride through the scenic Allegheny National Forest on designated forest roads and trails that are not usually open to ATV traffic. Nature lovers flock to the area for spectacular bird watching, including bald eagles and ospreys, at Buzzard Swamp.
Tionesta is another ANF gateway town. It is located on the banks of the Wild & Scenic Allegheny River. Canoeing and kayaking, fishing, hunting, and boating, along with hiking and horseback riding can be enjoyed in this woodland paradise.
The Market Village is a must see attraction that offers visitors the chance to shop a collection of local merchants offering a variety of handmade treasures. To really escape into nature, you can camp on the uninhabited islands in the river. Make sure to take your camera along as eagle and river otter sightings are common.
Late June and early July is Firefly season when the night is fielded with a spectacular synchronized natural light show in the ANF. Each July cowboys and cowgirls from all over the eastern U.S. compete in the 3-night outdoor Allegheny Mountain Championship Rodeo.
The town’s Native American heritage is celebrated each August with the Tionesta Indian Festival. There is also a functioning lighthouse on the island in town, which opens for self-guided tours several times during the year.