Clarion River Water Trail

The Clarion River is the 2019 Pennsylvania River of the Year and will be featured on a U.S. Postage stamp. It meanders through the narrow valleys and hardwood forests of the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region for 110 miles, flowing from Johnsonburg through Cook Forest to Clarion and ultimately joining the Allegheny River near Foxburg.  Forested mountain slopes teeming with wildlife, intermittent riffles on the water, and rock outcrops above its surface provide a picturesque backdrop for outdoor recreation. Nearly 52 miles of the river have been designated as scenic and recreational under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and adjacent public lands along its shores provide abundant opportunities for camping, hunting, hiking, bicycling, wildlife watching, and picnicking.

Fun on the Water

Each section of the Clarion River Water Trail has a unique character. The East and West Branches of the river offer great opportunities for experienced paddlers due to narrower and faster waters sometimes blocked by trees, and paddlers here most enjoy the water in the spring and after rainfalls. Boat and canoe launches and other amenities can be found at Elk State Park and Bendigo State Park, which also offer hiking trails, picnic areas, and other recreational facilities.

The East and West Branches of the river flow together at Johnsonburg to form the main Clarion River, which then continues on to Ridgway, home to several kayaking and canoeing outfitters. This section of the river offers fantastic trophy brown trout fishing. From here, the river begins its stretch of scenic and recreational sections, and as it continues southwest and begins to widen, it borders state game lands and the Allegheny National Forest­ ­— truly a beautiful and remote span of the river. Between Portland Mills and Irwin Run, three Class I+ rapids provide a bit more of a challenge to paddlers.

Below Spring Creek, the Clarion River borders River Road, which offers a scenic drive and easy access to the river and some limited campsites in the Allegheny National Forest. Clear Creek State Park has a riverside campground, cabins, and canoe access, and the section of the river between Johnsonburg and Clear Creek State Park provides anglers with miles of exceptional trout and smallmouth bass fishing.

The river’s character gentles as you near Cook Forest State Park, and this section is popular for family recreation. Famous for its magnificent old-growth forest of white pine and hemlock, the Cook Forest area features many hiking trails, easy canoe access, and good fishing and picnicking spots. The Seneca Point Overlook here and Fire Tower just downriver of Cooksburg provide spectacular views of the Clarion River Valley. In the town of Cooksburg, you’ll find lodges, cabins, B&Bs, restaurants, campgrounds, shops, canoe liveries, and lots of other attractions for vacationers young and old.

Downstream from Cooksburg to Mill Creek, the river’s final federally designated stretch returns to a primitive state with limited access and more challenges as it borders Cook Forest and state game lands and flows into the calm deep water of Piney Reservoir. The Toby Boat Launch and Route 322 bridge launch near the borough of Clarion provide reservoir access to power boaters, paddlers, and anglers alike.

The lower section of the Clarion River Water Trail below Piney Dam has fewer public access points, but paddlers can put in or take out at Deer Creek as well as the State Route 58 Bridge in Callensburg. The Clarion then joins the Allegheny River between Foxburg and Parker on the Clarion/Armstrong County line, and from there, it continues on to Pittsburgh and beyond.

Events

october

2019wed30oct(oct 30)7:00 pmthu31(oct 31)8:00 pmFeaturedHalloween Laser Spooktacular7:00 pm - 8:00 pm (31) EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Holiday,Other Events

november

2019fri01nov10:00 amsat02(nov 2)4:00 pmFeaturedChristmas in the Village10:00 am - 4:00 pm (2) EST Tionesta Market Village, 302-308 Elm St Counties:ForestCategory:Crafts & Markets,Holiday,Music

2019fri01nov10:00 amsun03(nov 3)5:00 pmFeaturedGingerbread Tour10:00 am - 5:00 pm (3) EST Cook ForestCounties:Cook Forest,JeffersonCategory:Crafts & Markets,Featured,Holiday

2019fri01nov7:00 pm9:00 pmFeaturedLasermania Classic Rock Double Feature7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Other Events

2019sat02nov7:00 pm9:00 pmFeaturedLasermania Pink Floyd Double Feature7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Other Events

2019sun03nov2:00 pm3:00 pmFeaturedFamily Matinee2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Fairs & Festivals,Other Events

2019thu07nov7:00 pm9:00 pmFeaturedFamily Night of Pop and Rock7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Other Events

2019fri08nov7:00 pm9:00 pmFeaturedLasermania Classic Rock Double Feature7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Other Events

2019sat09nov(nov 9)11:30 amsun10(nov 10)4:00 pmFeatured8th Annual Tour for Elk Ride & Toy Drive11:30 am - 4:00 pm (10) EDT Elk Country Visitor Center, 950 Winslow Hill Rd, Benezette, PACounties:ElkCategory:Outdoor Adventure

2019sat09nov7:00 pm9:00 pmFeaturedLasermania Classic Rock Double Feature7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Other Events

2019sun10nov2:00 pm3:00 pmFeaturedFamily Matinee Laser Safari2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Other Events

2019mon11nov(nov 11)7:00 pmthu14(nov 14)8:00 pmFeaturedFamily Night7:00 pm - 8:00 pm (14) EDT Clarion University - Planetarium, 61 Greenville AveCounties:ClarionCategory:Other Events

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