(Tubing in East Brady Photo by Angela Burtner)

Among the most biologically diverse watersheds in Pennsylvania, and a federally designated National Wild & Scenic Recreation River, the Allegheny River in Western Pennsylvania has been voted the 2017 Pennsylvania River of the Year. The general public was invited to vote online from November 14 through December 19, choosing from among four waterways nominated across the state. At the conclusion of the public voting campaign, the Allegheny River was the clear winner tallying 45% of the more than 16,700 total votes cast for the four finalists.

More than 325 miles long, the Allegheny River originates in scenic north central Pennsylvania, making a brief foray into New York state before returning to Pennsylvania to form the northern and western border to much of the Allegheny National Forest as it zigzags southward.

The Allegheny River serves as the major tributary to the Ohio River and has rebounded dramatically from its heavily polluted industrial past to become an inspiring example of successful restoration.

The Allegheny River Water Trail offers many recreational opportunities. Its deeper waters allow outdoor enthusiasts of all types to flock to the river with power boats, kayaks, and canoes virtually every time of the year.

(Sherman Memorial Lighthouse in Tionesta Photo by Drone Guys PA)

Paddling, Boating, Fishing

The Wild & Scenic stretch of the Allegheny flowing through the PA Great Outdoors region has a variety of access points. Starting in Forest County near East Hickory, the river offers good paddling and fishing. The West Hickory launch is a popular place with paddlers. Downstream, the Tionesta and Lighthouse Island access sites offer boat launch ramps. You’ll also find the Forest Folk School on the island and lodging, shopping, and dining in Tionesta. The stretch of river from Tionesta to Hunter’s Station is one of the most beautiful on the Allegheny. You can even spend the night on one of the many remote wilderness islands in the middle of the river. Make sure to bring a camera as eagles, osprey, and river otters are often seen along the river. This section of the Allegheny is also known for outstanding musky, walleye, and trout fishing.

Further down river is the beautiful resort town of Foxburg in Clarion County. This is the perfect place to relax and watch the river flow as you enjoy a winery, inn, shops, restaurants, and a lively art scene.

At the southwest tip of Clarion County, you find river access at Brady’s Bend on Pool 9, which is the northernmost deep water pool on the river. This area is incredibly beautiful as the wide deep water loops around the town of East Brady, and it’s home to many catfish contests each year. The Brady’s Bend Overlook offers a spectacular view and is prime eagle and hawk watching territory as they glide on the thermal waves rising above the steep cliffs.

Find information to plan a day of fun on the water online at VisitPAGO.com or call (814) 849-5197.

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