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2.06.2016

Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir Recreation Area, Warren County, PA

One of the most scenic areas of Northern Pennsylvania and Southwestern New York is the Allegheny Reservoir Region. 
Initiated under the Flood Control Act of 1938, the Kinzua Dam was erected by the Army Corps of Engineers as a flood control measure after the devastating St. Patrick's Day Flood of 1936 in Pittsburgh. Youghiogheny, Loyalhanna, Conemaugh, Crooked Creek, Mahoning Creek. Tionesta Lake, and Tygert Lake Dams were all built under the Flood Control Act of 1938, many of which also provide recreational opportunities in addition to their flood control and navigational purposes. The dam is also utilized for hydro power.

Unfortunately, this dam is one of a number from that era that broke many promises with Native Americans. Lake of Betrayal, A film is currently in the works for PBS, that will cover the hardships faced by the Seneca nation when eminent domain and treaties that dated back to the start of the nation were broken. An alternate flood control plan was offered to the Army Corps of Engineers, but instead, when the lake was built, a third of the Seneca Tribe's land was stolen once again. To compensate, land to the north of the reservation was contributed to the Seneca Indian Reservation. If you get the chance, check out Salamanca, NY and the rest of the reservation for it is quite beautiful.

By volume, the only lake in PA that exceeds the Allegheny Reservoir is Lake Erie. There are a bunch of boat launches, picnic areas, a swimming beach, overlooks, and more, that surround this picturesque lake.
One of the overlooks of the lake
The mountainous terrain surrounding the lake lends for countless scenic overlooks.
Bent Run Falls 
Coordinates: 41.8378° N, 79.0030° W
Bent Run Falls is a series of many cascades down a giant, boulder filled, creek bed. With 700 feet of elevation change, this is a fun little hike. Be prepared for some tricky terrain, so be sure to have proper hiking gear and be prepared to maneuver in an awkward fashion over some giant boulders and downed trees. 

The view of the reservoir from the area of the dam. The Allegheny River was seriously curvy in this section.
Kinzua Dam and the Allegheny Reservoir, coupled with the surrounding Allegheny National Forest, including Hector Falls, and the nearby Kinzua Bridge and Elk Country, in addition to the Seneca-Iroquois Museum in the Seneca nation on the northern end of the lake in New York, make this an awesome area to visit.

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