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11.26.2017

Wintry Allegheny National Forest

Seeing the seasons change is always a beautiful process. We had the great fortune of seeing the Allegheny National Forest and Allegheny Reservoir almost exactly a month apart, with the first visit showing the beginnings of fall color, and the second visit showing the tail end of fall color and the season's first snowfall. 
On this visit, we stayed in a cabin at Chapman State Park and it felt like we had the 500,000+ acres of the area's public lands to ourselves. It was simply stunning and relaxing.
The lake is mostly drained at Chapman State Park for some dam work, creating a wetland area that looked beautiful with a little bit of snowfall.
It became bitterly cold over the weekend that we visited, creating some magnificent scenes.

Our cabin at Chapman State Park. With sleeping bags, these accommodations were comfortable and relaxing. It is so quiet in this area and getting away here is so relaxing.
The cabins offer bunk beds that can accommodate up to five people, complete with a sitting area, covered porch, an outside fire ring, and more. Their pricing is also extremely affordable.
 
A fresh coating of frost on the trees on the second morning of our visit.

From here, the possibilities for adventure are excellent. A number of overlooks, waterfalls, creeks, and more fill up the landscape of the Allegheny National Forest. Endless forests, country roads, and more await visitors to this area. 
This area here is the Tionesta Scenic and Research area. A portion of it was taken down during a hurricane and has been left to regenerate.
A common scene along a country road in the ANF.

The Anders Run Natural Area. One of several tracts within the National Forest that is home to old growth forest. Others include the Tionesta Scenic and Research Area, Hearts Content Natural Area, and the nearby Cook Forest State Park. 

Now we head up to the Allegheny Reservoir. For a more in depth look at the history and sights of this place, be sure to check out this article from our last visit
Jakes Rocks Overlook 
Kinzua Point Overlook
Powerhouse Historic Site on Route 321, just east of the Allegheny Reservoir. Historically this region is one of the first major oil centers. In the early 1880s, this area, including Warren, Bradford, and down into Oil City, and Titusville, was the epicenter of oil production. However, this dominance would be short lived. Some extraction still occurs, in addition to the recent development of natural gas extraction. This powerhouse dates back to 1939 and represents a sort of mechanization of the oil extraction process. A single 12.5 horsepower engine would power the oil pumps of the area, eliminating the need for powering each individual unit. With the exploration of more efficient oil reserves throughout the country, this powerhouse system allowed for more economical extraction in the oil fields of PA. It operated for 50 years. The Powerhouse operates as a small self service touring museum, with some neat relics that I totally geeked out, being that I am a history teacher.

The nearby Penn-Brad Oil Museum is awesome as well.


All in all, this is a beautiful area to explore and get lost in. We highly recommend it.

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