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8.28.2016

Buchanan State Forest, Ruffed Grouse, Old CCC Camp, & Scenic Drive, Sideling Hill, Lincoln Highway, Fulton County

I love taking relaxing drives on the Lincoln Highway. There are so many fun things to check out along the way, and it seems that each time we make the drive, we find something else that is spectacular. Once you get to the top of Sideling Hill, on the eastbound side of the road you will see a little picnic area. The picnic area would be an excellent place to stop with a picnic lunch. They even have a small playground area. While this is beautiful, the main beauty lies just a bit further down the road. The 69,000+ acres of Buchanan State Forest are within three counties, Fulton, Bedford, and Franklin. It is named after the fifteenth president, and the only to ever come from the state. 
These structures date back to the CCC in the 1930s. The entire area is heavily forested and tremendously beautiful. The CCC camp that did this work was closed in 1937, along with three other camps throughout Buchanan State Forest. Two of the camps were turned into picnic areas, and another was used for POWs in World War II, and another was reused as a place for conscientious objectors to World War II to do service for the country. They worked on a bunch of projects, including erosion control on what is now the Abandoned Turnpike. The longest tunnel ever built for the Turnpike, measuring in at over a mile long, runs underneath this spot. The Sideling Hill Tunnel sits in abandonment and in full darkness. It is a thrill to explore.
 
I am sure that this fire tower offers a killer lookout, but it is not open to the public. The scenery around it is beautiful enough to warrant driving up to it. 
This view is looking east towards lots of farmland in the valley and the next few mountain ranges. There are stunning views throughout the drive across Sideling Hill through the Buchanan State Forest. This road runs roughly 12 miles from the Lincoln Highway, atop Sideling Hill and through Buchanan State Forest. This drive is one of the most scenic in the state, and a rare road that travels along the top of a mountain for a long distance. There are numerous trails throughout this area, in addition to tons of wildlife. Very few people seem to go through this area, so you see tons of wildlife, and since the road travels along the top of the ridge, views are afforded when you look in either direction. 
 
Blurry, but you get the idea, DEER! We always love seeing wildlife.
A beautiful sunset. I believe this was in State Game Lands 65, just down the road.
There is a terrific view of the Narrows, where the blue Juniata River crosses through the Alleghenies and the Turnpike, Lincoln Highway/Route 30, and the original Forbes Road.
We even saw our state bird, the Ruffed Grouse! Spectacular and funny bird. 
We highly recommend taking a little detour off of the Lincoln Highway at Sideline Hill to drive across the ridge through the Buchanan State Forest. This is an absolutely beautiful drive with multiple awesome scenic vistas and hiking trails. 

It all starts at Bark Road and Route 30, at the top of Sideling Hill. One of the finest drives in the state.

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