Scenic Drives

Scenic Drives

The mountain forests in our part of Pennsylvania are priceless natural wonders. They are renowned for their inspiring beauty, especially in the fall as the colors of the leaves turn orange, mustard and scarlet.  As the dappled greens of summer wane to reveal the dazzling oranges, crimsons and golds of autumn, the woodlands of Pennsylvania show their true colors.  When you take into consideration Cook Forest, the Allegheny National Forest, and the several state parks and natural areas located in our part of the state, the trees outnumber the people easily by a thousand to one.  For folks on a fall leaf drive, that means Mother Nature’s crazy quilt of color can be enjoyed around almost every bend in the road wherever you go.  We have put together a few recommended routes for your convenience along with a number of our favorite stops along the way.  Enjoy!

Fantastic Forests (85 miles, 2 hours and 17 minutes)

This ride routes you alongside the picturesque Allegheny and Clarion Rivers, both protected by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, as well as through the unique woodlands of Cook Forest State Park and Allegheny National Forest. 

Starting at the intersection of Route 36 and River Road in Cooksburg, take River Road for 8.3 miles along the banks of the Clarion River to the intersection with Route 899.

Take a sharp left onto Route 899 and ride north for 8.9 miles until you reach Route 66.

Turn right onto Route 66, and continue through Marienville for 2.8 miles. The Allegheny National Forest Ranger Station will be on your left. Stop in to learn about the ANF and stretch your legs.

As you leave the ANF Ranger Station, make a left on Route 66 and ride northeast for 4.0 miles.

Turn left on Blue Jay Creek Road, and follow this road for 5.4 miles. After you cross Tionesta Creek, make a left onto Route 666.

Ride Route 666, “The Devil’s Highway,” across the Allegheny National Forest for 24.6 miles through spectacular mountain vistas to East Hickory.

At the intersection of Route 666 and U.S. 62 in East Hickory, make a left on U.S. 62 and ride south for 7.2 miles. Enjoy scenic views of the Allegheny River on your way to Tionesta.

Continue straight on Route 36 for 0.3 miles past the turnoff for the U.S. 62 bridge and turn right on Highland Street. Travel 0.1 mile and turn left onto Lighthouse Island. Park for awhile and walk around Lighthouse Island, home of the Sherman Memorial Lighthouse, a Tionesta icon and a curious attraction in landlocked western Pennsylvania.

Head back out to Highland Street and turn right on Route 36. Continue for 19.4 miles through Leeper back to Cook Forest State Park.

Turn right onto Fire Tower Road and ride for 1.5 miles to the trailhead for Seneca Point and the Fire Tower. These two attractions deep in the woods offer wide views of the park and the Clarion River Valley you won’t soon forget.

Jump back on your bike and continue along the loop for 1.3 miles back to Route 36.

Turn right on Route 36 and ride for 0.9 miles to return to your starting point at the entrance to Cook Forest State Park. The old-growth forest it contains features some of the tallest trees in the northeastern United States, a wide range of trails for hikers of all skill levels, plenty of picnic areas, and a craft market and summer theater, so you’ll find lots to see and do.


Elk Country (91.1 miles, 2 hours and 11 minutes)

This route offers spectacular mountain views in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Wild Elk Country. Wykoff Run Road in the Quehanna Wild Area is one of the top-rated motorcycle rides in Pennsylvania, and it features amazing sweeps and turns following a photogenic mountain stream with pull-offs where you can see several beautiful waterfalls.

Start at the Elk Country Visitor Center (use 950 Winslow Hill Road, Benezette, in your GPS), and follow Homestead Drive for 0.6 miles out to Winslow Hill Road.

Turn left on Winslow Hill Road and ride 0.9 miles down the hill to the Benezette Hotel, then turn left and continue one block to Route 555.

Turn right on Route 555 and ride for 2.9 miles to the intersection with Route 2004/Quehanna Highway.

Turn left on Quehanna Highway and continue for 9.0 miles to the intersection with Losey Road. Pull off at the parking area on your left and stretch your legs for a few minutes with a short walk into the Marion Brooks Natural Area section of the Quehanna Wild Area. The woods adjacent to the parking area include a photogenic stand of white birch trees, one of the largest and most accessible in the state.

Get back on your bike and turn left to continue along Quehanna Highway for 5.4 miles.

Take a sharp left turn at the intersection with Route 2001/Wykoff Run Road, and enjoy the views along this scenic road for 9.9 miles as you continue to Sinnemahoning.

Wykoff Run Road ends at Route 120 in Sinnemahoning. At this intersection, turn left onto Route 120 and ride for 20.7 miles to Emporium.

At the Y intersection with Route 155, bear left to continue on Route 120 for 20.1 miles through Emporium to St. Marys. In Emporium, take note of the Cameron County Canvas murals, which illustrate people who played significant roles in town or represented it honorably through their military service.

When you reach St. Marys, turn right on South Michael Street to stay on Route 120. In 0.1 mile, take a sharp left turn as you follow the signs for Route 120 West/Route 255 South.

Continue on Route 120 West/Route 255 South for 0.2 miles to the intersection with State Street. Stay straight to continue on Route 255, and follow this road for 8.6 miles.

Turn left at the intersection with Caledonia Road and ride for 3.7 miles to Route 555.

Turn left on Route 555 and head back to Benezette to watch the elk at sunset from Winslow Hill. To get there, take Route 555 for 6.7 miles to the sign for the Elk Country Visitor Center and turn left, then right at the Benezette Hotel on Winslow Hill Road. Ride for 2.1 miles and turn left onto Dewey Road, then take an immediate right into the parking lot for the Winslow Hill Overlook.

Groundhog Loop (112 miles, 2 hours and 45 minutes)

This drive features Punxsutawney, known as the home of the world’s most famous weather forecaster, Punxsutawney Phil, as well as the historic towns of Brookville and Ridgway, the most unique Harley-Davidson dealership in the U.S., the endlessly scenic Clarion River, and beautiful rolling hills.

Starting at the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitor Bureau at 2801 Maplevale Road in Brookville, make a left on Maplevale Road. Go 0.1 mile to the intersection with Jenks Street and turn right.

At the Y intersection in 0.9 miles, bear right and continue down the hill on Valley Street for 0.4 miles to the stoplight on Main Street.

Cross Main Street and continue south on Route 36 for 16.2 miles to Punxsutawney, passing several picturesque farms along the way.

Turn left on Walston Road and continue for 3.2 miles to Mahoning Street in downtown Punxsutawney. The town is full of Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil attractions as well as shops, restaurants, trails, historical points of interest, and public art, plus several wineries can be found on its outskirts, so take some time to explore.

To continue your ride, turn left on Mahoning Street and go 0.2 miles to the intersection with U.S. 119/Hampton Avenue, just before the bridge. Turn left and continue for 13.3 miles to Sykesville.

At the stoplight next to the Sykesville Post Office, continue straight to stay on U.S. 119. In 0.3 miles, turn left to continue on U.S. 119, and ride for 3.9 miles to U.S. 219.

Turn left on U.S. 219 and continue for 2.7 miles through DuBois to East DuBois Avenue. Turn left to stay on U.S. 219, and you’ll see DuBois Harley-Davidson on your left in 0.1 mile. Pull in and check out the most unique Harley-Davison shop in the country.

After you’ve loaded up on Harley gear, take a left on U.S. 219 and ride for 9.8 miles to Brockway.

Turn right to stay on U.S. 219 and continue 17.4 miles to Ridgway. Stop in at the Ridgway-Elk County Chamber of Commerce at the intersection of U.S. 219/Main Street and Route 949/South Broad Street to get a map of the town’s “Lily of the Valley” National Historic Register District, and spend some on “Millionaires’ Row” admiring Ridgway’s distinctive architecture dating back to the mid-1800s.

From the chamber office, turn left on South Broad Street and ride for 0.2 miles to Route 949/South Street.

Turn right onto Route 949/South Street and travel for 20.0 miles.

Watch for signs and take a right to stay on Route 949 for 10.8 miles.

Turn right onto Clear Creek Road and take a short detour into Clear Creak State Park. This small gem of the state parks system is a great place to stop for a picnic lunch, a short hike, or even a swim in its icy waters.

As you leave the park, turn right and ride for 4.0 miles to the flashing light at the intersection of Route 36.

Turn left on Route 36 and ride for 7.0 miles to get back to Maplevale Road. Turn left on Maplevale to get back to your starting point at the visitors bureau, or continue straight to refuel yourself and your bike.

To get to historic downtown Brookville and its restaurants, shops, and attractions, stay south on Route 36 for 1.0 mile from the Route 36/Maplevale Road intersection, then turn left onto U.S. 322/Route 36/West Main Street and continue for 0.8 miles to the west end of this charming Victorian historic district.

Clarion’s Countryside (105 miles, 2 hours and 26 minutes)

This drive features the beautiful countryside of Clarion County on its scenic route through dense forests, alongside peaceful rivers, past quiet farms, and through quaint small towns offering many interesting places to stop along the way.

Starting at the Clarion County Courthouse in downtown Clarion, take North 5th Avenue out of town. Ride across the bridge spanning the upper end of Piney Reservoir on the Clarion River, part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. North 5th Avenue becomes Miola Road.

Stay on Route 1005/Miola Road for 6.9 miles. At the intersection with White Oak Drive, turn left, then turn left again in 0.1 mile into the parking lot for Helen Furnace. Take a moment to stretch your legs and walk around this relic of western Pennsylvania’s industrial heritage.

Head back out onto Miola Road and take a left to continue 4.5 north to the intersection with Route 36.

Make a left onto Route 36 and drive 7.9 miles through Leeper to the intersection with Route 208. Turn left on Route 208.

Travel 5.0 miles west to the town of Fryburg, then make a left on Route 208 toward Marble.

Take Route 208 7.7 miles south to Shippenville.

In Shippenville, turn right to stay on Route 208 for 0.2 miles, then turn left onto Railroad Street to stay on Route 208 and continue south.

Travel 4.3 miles on Route 208 to downtown Knox. At the intersection with West State Street, turn right and travel 0.1 mile on Main Street, then turn left onto West Railroad Street to continue on Route 208.

From there, continue west for 7.2 miles along Route 208 through the Beaver Creek Nature Area to the intersection with Route 38. Turn left to continue on Route 208 south for 1.7 miles to the intersection with Route 478.

Turn left on Route 478 and follow this road for 2.2 miles south to Route 58 in St. Petersburg.

In St. Petersburg, make a right on Route 58 and continue west for 2.3 miles to the resort town of Foxburg. Spend some time enjoying the downtown attractions.

Once you’re ready to leave Foxburg, cross the bridge spanning the Allegheny River, part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, then make a left on Route 268/Kittanning Pike.

Continue 7.5 miles to Bruin and make a left on Main Street to stay on Route 268.

Carry on south 3.1 miles to Petrolia. Take a left on Route 4002/Main Street and continue on this route for 6.3 miles to the intersection with Route 68.

Take a left on Route 68 and travel for 1.1 miles across the Allegheny River into East Brady, then turn right onto Kellys Way to stay on Route 68. In 0.4 miles, turn left on 3rd Street to continue on Route 68.

In 2.1 miles, pull into the parking lot on the left and take in the panoramic view of a wide bend in the Allegheny River at Brady’s Bend Overlook.

From the parking lot, take a left onto Route 68 and follow this road for 6.1 miles through Rimersburg.

After passing through Rimersburg, make a right on Route 861 and ride 11.6 miles to New Bethlehem.

At the intersection of Route 861/Penn Street and Route 66/Wood Street in New Bethlehem, turn left and follow Route 66 north for 16.2 miles to Main Street in Clarion.

Make a left on Main Street and return to your starting point at the Clarion County Courthouse in 0.3 miles. Take some time to explore the restaurants, shops, trails, and other attractions found throughout this cute university town.



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