Our trip continued to Chapman State Park, a secluded, quiet park set in a forested valley, surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest. The park features a lake and many trails, but we were there to camp. The campsite was nice, surrounded by hemlocks. Rain fell through the night, and the hemlocks continued to drip in the morning, even as the skies began to clear.
We drove to Kinzua Dam, which thundered due to the water being released. Next was the Bent Run Waterfalls, a beautiful glen where Bent Run tumbles over large moss covered boulders, creating numerous cascades. A glorious spot. The Allegheny Reservoir stretched off into the distance, surrounded by dark mountains under a cloudy sky. The water had a metallic sheen.
Our drive took us past Jakes Rocks, Rimrock, and the Morrison Trail- places I had been to several times in the past. The Allegheny Reservoir is such a beautiful area; as the last color clung to the trees, I made it a goal to return in the summer to kayak, camp, and hike. Or maybe go mountain biking, since Jakes Rocks will be the home of a new, world-class mountain biking trail system.
We drove to Kinzua Bridge State Park. A tornado collapsed the middle of the bridge in 2003; the remaining section remains as an observation deck. The destroyed section lied in a twisted wreckage in the valley below. We walked out for great views of the valley below, not to mention an unnerving glass deck to see the bridge under my feet. A cold wind whipped the bridge. The park was under construction with a new visitor center near completion.
Bent Run and Kinzua Bridge are described as Hikes 1 and 13 in Hiking the Allegheny National Forest.
We headed south to the scenic town of Ridgway and to Benezette to see the elk…