Tuesday, September 20

Fabulous Fall in Pennsylvania

The forest will soon be alive in the Allegheny National Forest Region with colors right from Mother Nature's palette.

Route 6 - Allegheny National Forest Region
The Allegheny National Forest Region, the site of the only national forest in Pennsylvania, is located 90 miles south of Buffalo, N.Y. Fall is bigger in this neck of the woods with thousands of acres of northern hardwood forest. With the diverse species of trees within the forest, in the fall leaf colors will be sunshine yellow, brilliant orange, butterscotch and deep apple red.

There's no wrong turn to be made during this time of the year here where the roads meander through some of the most scenic area in the Northeast. Plan your trip from late September to mid-October for peak leaf peeping.

One of the premier places to view the leaves is the brand new Kinzua Sky Walk, located at the Kinzua Bridge State Park on Route 3011 in Mount Jewett. The 329-acre Kinzua Bridge State Park was listed by the state as one of the 20 must-see parks in the state.

You'll be sure to fall in love with the view of the Kinzua Gorge from this platform with a partial glass floor built on the remains of the historic Kinzua Viaduct, which was once the longest and tallest railroad bridge in the world. Visitors are once again able to walk the "Tracks Across the Sky" - something that heightens a person's adrenaline as well as his or her senses.

Another must-see attraction is the Longhouse National Scenic Byway - listed by USA Today as one of the most scenic drives in the country. This 29-mile loop circles the Kinzua Creek arm of the Allegheny Reservoir and includes some of the best scenery in the area by combining the colorful forest canopy with water vistas. Jakes Rocks and Rimrock overlooks offer you an opportunity to view the forest shoreline from rocky overlooks, plus take advantage of the family-friendly picnic areas and hiking trails nearby.

This scenic byway is also close to the Kane, which is the perfect place to pick up something to eat and drink.

Be sure to stop at Jack's Meat $ Poultry on North Fraley Street to purchase some of the local fall harvest of apples, squash and pumpkins. Jack's family recipes are used to make more than 17 varieties of sausage, including Swedish korv, apple, and Greek. This is a delightful stop and taste for "foodies."

Call ahead at 814-837-7321 to order Jack's invention, a one-of-a-kind "griller" - chicken or pork stuffed with sausage and cheese and topped with bacon. You will never forgive yourself if you pass through without picking up one of these amazing, one-of-a-kind concoctions.

Flickerwood Wine Cellars & Lounge at 309 Flickerwood Road is the home of award-winning wines that are available for tasting in the wine lounge. Flickerwood's gift shop features a wide assortment of varieties for purchase. This family-owned winery brings the best of what grapes have to offer to the visitor.

Flickerwood is located just off of Route 6, the major west-east corridor in northern Pennsylvania. National Geographic Traveler named this roadway as "One of America's Most Scenic Drives."

Meander through the rolling forestlands of small Americana towns as the terrain turns into increasingly rugged hills. Stop in the Victorian town of Smethport where the homes of lumber barons from times gone by are part of the Smethport Mansion District Walking Tour.

Enjoy a bit of nostalgia - as well as a "Hubber Burger" and milkshake - at the Route 6 Diner, also located along Route 6 in Smethport.

For additional leaf-peeping suggestions, please visit http://www.visitanf.com/ which offers driving tour suggestions as well as downloadable maps and guides. Or call the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau at 800-473-9370 for a free brochure that features seven scenic driving tours with driving directions and mapping.

Be sure to check out the rest of my photography at http://genebowker.com/