Jakes Rocks is one of my favorite places in the national forest. It features impressive cliffs, overhangs, crevices, and vistas. It is also home to a premier mountain bike trail system, called the Trails at Jakes Rocks.
While Rimrock Overlook is more popular, I actually think Jakes Rocks are more beautiful. The views are more interesting and the cliffs are larger.
From the parking area, take the paved trail to the right of the restrooms. This paved trail continues straight to a vista which provides a view to the backside of the Kinzua Dam. Right before the vista, look for an obvious, unblazed dirt trail to the right; this is the Indian Cave Trail and descends to the bottom of the cliffs. This trail does not have a sign. Be sure to hike this trail when visiting Jakes Rocks.
The Indian Cave Trail descends over stone steps and explores the base of the massive cliffs, colored with springs and moss. The cliffs are truly impressive as they rise through the trees. Reach a massive overhang with a huge boulder. This overhang is interesting to explore. The trail continues along the base of the cliffs and reaches a deep crevasse through which I hiked with dripping moss.
From the crevasse, the path is much narrower. It winds its way along the base of the cliffs and climbs to the second vista. It is narrow and steep. I did not hike this trail; I turned around at the crevasse and retraced my steps to the paved trail.
The paved trail at the top of the cliffs explored large boulders and some unofficial side trails that went to the edge of the cliffs. I soon reached the second and more impressive vista as it looked down on the Allegheny Reservoir with all its bays and coves. The reservoir curved off into the distance. A remarkable view and probably the finest in the national forest.
The paved trail looped around and returned me to the parking area. Jakes Rocks is a beautiful place that is a highlight of the Allegheny National Forest.
Jakes Rocks is described in Hiking the Allegheny National Forest.