One of our favorite canoe trips is the Allegheny River in Warren County, PA. The most popular put-in is at the Visitor Center just below Kinzua Dam. The stretch of river from the dam down to the city of Warren, Pa. is about 8 miles. The current in this stretch is generally moving right along making this quite easy to paddle. The only white water you'll see is when you're nearly past the refinery. It's nothing to difficult.
Once you enter downtown Warren the confluence of the Conewango Creek is on your right. You have traveled about 8 miles. After Warren the river widens some and the current seems to drop-off. Approximately another 7 1/2 miles below Warren you will come to Buckaloons National Forest Recreation Area on river right. If you're looking for a regular campsite with a picnic table, fire-ring, and access to a pit toilet on the grounds, this is the place to stay. If you decide to "rough-it" a bit, Crulls Island, along with several other islands, are just beyond the Buckaloons. Either the Buckaloons or one of the islands are a nice place to spend the night.
The second day your destination will be Tidioute. Tidioute is approx. 15 miles downstream from Buckaloons. There are more islands scattered along the way, so time your stop to find an island before Tidioute. Some of the islands on the river are public, some are private. However, we have never experienced any problems camping on any of the islands. If it's posted private, stay off. If Tidioute is your pullout, the boat ramp is on your right, just before the bridge.
The third day your destination will be Tionesta, about 14 miles down stream from Tidioute. This pullout can be a little tricky to see until you're nearly by it. So when you drop off your shuttle vehicle make certain you locate some landmarks for the pullout on river left. If you like to fish there is a healthy population of smallmouth bass and walleye. You are also likely to see Bald Eagles along the way. We have seen them on several different occasions.
The river is lined with camps in some areas and quite isolated in other areas. There is some industry near Warren but you're by it before it becomes bothersome. In case of an emergency you're really never too far from help as Routes 59,Route 6 or Route 62 parallel the river at some point of your journey.
For river flow we use the USGS gauge in Warren, PA. and also the West Hickory gauge for the Allegheny river. We look for a flow of 2300 and up for a fully loaded canoe.
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)