Fall Color Reaches Peak during Early October in the Allegheny National Forest Region

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Stunning fall colors are inviting visitors to the Allegheny National Forest region in northwestern Pennsylvania. Color has already started to dot the hillsides as the orange tips on the sugar maples play against the bright yellows and ruby reds of the other species of the hardwood forest.

The Sky Walk at the Kinzua Bridge State Park

The first two weeks of October are predicted to be the peak of fall color in the Allegheny National Forest region in northwestern Pennsylvania. Color has already started to dot the hillsides as the orange tips on the sugar maples play against the bright yellows and ruby reds of the other species of the hardwood forest. Road side stands full of apples, cider, mums and pumpkins add to the fall color as you tour the region.

The Longhouse National Scenic Byway, chosen by U.S. Today as one of the top scenic drives in the United States is a favorite driving destination for fall “leaf peeping.” This 27-mile loop circles the Allegheny Reservoir and offers three distinct developed scenic overlooks-Rimrock, Jakes Rocks and Kinzua Point. Rimrock Overlook offers a rugged rock outcrop with a hiking trail to the shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir, a picnic area, and spectacular vistas of forest color reflected on the waters of the Allegheny.

A patchwork of color covers the hillsides of the Kinzua Gorge. One of the best ways to view fall color is from the Kinzua Sky Walk at the Kinzua Bridge State Park. The Kinzua Sky Walk is built on six towers of the historic Kinzua Viaduct, once the highest and longest railroad viaduct in the world, which was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003. The Kinzua Skywalk extends 624 feet into the Kinzua Gorge and features a partial glass overlook from which you can peer down into the gorge and view Kinzua Creek over 324 feet below.

Fall is a perfect time to enjoy a fall hike. Over 600 miles of trails take you into the forest for a crisp hike among the fall leaves. The Eric Benjamin Bridge, a wooden covered bridge, spans the spillway of the Marilla Reservoir and is part of the Marilla Trail System. Marilla Trail is a one-mile loop around the reservoir, White Pine Trail takes you into old growth forest, and Marilla Springs Trail is a more robust trail with distinct changes in typography. Located along Rt. 346 west of Bradford, Pennsylvania visitors can also kayak or canoe on the Marilla Reservoir.

Vintage Bi-Plane Rides are offered during the fall foliage season departing from the Bradford Regional Airport in Lewis Run, Pennsylvania. Participants fly over the Forest and the Kinzua Sky Walk seated in an open cockpit with piolet Bruce Klein. Rides are $80.00 per person and last approximately 20 minutes. Reservations are required. Phone 814-558-5376.

The ANF Foliage Photo Trek is Oct. 11, 2014, leaving from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Participants join award-winning photographer Ed Bernik on a guided photo excursion into the Allegheny National Forest region. Scheduled during the peak of the fall foliage season, you will learn how to capture that perfect shot while enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds you. The photo trek includes photography instruction, breakfast, box lunch, dinner and a full-day of photography, including a photo-critique. Reservations are required. Phone 814-362-5078.

The 7th annual, 2014 Gem-Mineral Fossil Show will be held on Oct. 11, 12 and 13th at Rock City Park, Route 16 in New York, just ten miles north of Bradford, Pennsylvania. This show offers gem-stone jewelry and rough mineral and rock specimens, fossils, crystals, beads and mineral-related crafts of all sorts from many vendors. Demonstrations will include the splitting of geodes of all sizes which when split reveal various colors ranging from clear quartz crystal to purple amethyst. Admission to Rock City Park and the Gem-Mineral-Fossil Show is only $5.00 per person and includes access to the hiking trails, gift shop and museum. http://www.rockcitypark.com

On Oct. 10-12, 2014, the Johnny Appleseed Festival will be held at Memorial Park, Sheffield, Pennsylvania. Events include an antique tractor pull, a draft horse pull (both heavy and lightweight), a wine tasting event, antiques appraisal, music, apple pie baking contest, chain saw carving, fireworks, professional lumberjack competition, food, and crafts. http://www.johnnyappleseedfest.net.

Plan your trip by downloading the Scenic Driving Tour Brochure & Map with seven scenic drives with driving directions, suggested sites to visit, restaurants, and lodging at http://www.visitanf.com or call 800-473-9370 for information.

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