Allegheny National Forest, located in northwestern Pennsylvania, is a treasure trove for horseback riders looking to explore the great outdoors. Spanning approximately 513,000 acres, this vast forest offers a multitude of beautiful trails that showcase the stunning beauty of the region. From rolling hills to dense forests, Allegheny National Forest has it all. Here, we present to you some of the best horse trails to explore within this magnificent forest.
1. Rimrock Overlook Trail: This 3.5-mile trail is perfect for both beginners and experienced riders. As the name suggests, the trail provides breathtaking views of the Allegheny Reservoir, and the lush greenery that surrounds it. The trail winds through ancient forests and past stunning rock formations, making it a unique and memorable horseback riding experience.
2. Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail: For riders seeking a more secluded and wild experience, the 12.6-mile Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail is an excellent choice. This trail takes you through the heart of Allegheny National Forest's only designated Wilderness Area, offering a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in pristine nature. As you ride along the trail, you may catch glimpses of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, black bears, and various bird species that call this place home.
3. Jakes Rock Overlook Trail: This short but rewarding 1.5-mile trail takes you through majestic hardwood forests to awe-inspiring panoramic viewpoints. As you reach Jakes Rock Overlook, you'll be greeted with stunning vistas of the Allegheny Reservoir and surrounding valleys. The tranquility and beauty of this location make it an ideal spot for a peaceful picnic or some serene horseback riding.
4. Morrison Trail: If you crave longer rides, the 42-mile Morrison Trail is worth exploring. This trail offers diverse terrain, including open fields, wooded sections, and river crossings. With numerous access points along its route, you can choose how much of the trail to explore. The Morrison Trail provides a true taste of adventure and allows riders to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the Allegheny National Forest.
5. Tionesta Scenic and Research Natural Area: Nestled within the forest, the Tionesta Scenic and Research Natural Area takes you along a 4.5-mile loop trail that showcases some of the oldest trees in Pennsylvania. Riding through this ancient forest gives you a sense of the region's rich history and the importance of preserving its natural heritage. The trail also passes by several small streams, adding to the peaceful ambiance of the ride.
Before embarking on any trail in Allegheny National Forest, it's important to plan ahead and come prepared. Make sure your horse is well-trained and properly shod. And don't forget to check regulations and obtain any required permits or passes. Stay on marked trails, respect wildlife, pack out your trash, and leave no trace to help preserve the beauty of this national forest for generations to come.
Whether you're a seasoned equestrian or a casual rider, Allegheny National Forest offers an array of horse trails that cater to all skill levels and preferences. Exploring these well-maintained paths allows you to witness the forest's captivating beauty, both the soaring vistas and hidden pockets of tranquility. So saddle up, hit the trails, and immerse yourself in the magical world of horseback riding at Allegheny National Forest.