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Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir


Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir, Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania

Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir

©2006 Kimberly & Albrecht Powell
Completely surrounded by lush forest, the Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir are the heart of one of the largest and most popular outdoor recreation areas in the northeastern United States. The Allegheny Reservoir spans the border between western Pennsylvania and New York, and offers year-round recreational opportunities including swimming, boating, camping, fishing and stunning fall foliage.

Location / Directions:

The Allegheny Reservoir is located along the western border of Pennsylvania and New York, and is completely surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania; and in New York by Allegany State Park and the Allegany Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation. The Kinzua Dam and Big Bend Visitor Center are located 9 miles east of Warren, PA, on PA 59.

Admission & Fees:

The Kinzu Dam and Allegheny Reservoir Recreation Area is free and open to the public.

What to Expect:

The 25-mile long Allegheny Reservoir is a popular haven for fishers and boaters, with scenic views and over 100 miles of forested shoreline. Nearby, plenty of great hikes, hidden spots, and scenic overlooks extend the outdoor fun.

Big Bend Overlook Visitor Center:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a nice visitor center and picnic area just downstream of the Kinzua Dam. The visitor's center, which is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and weekends in September and October, contains exhibits, displays and brochures which illustrate the purpose of the Kinzu Dam, and highlight recreational and sightseeing opportunities in the area. Several overlooks provide great views of the Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir.

Boating & Swimming:

The Kinzua-Wolf Run Marina and six boat launches located within the National Forest provide ready access to the Allegheny Reservoir and its rivers. There are also two swim beaches and several scenic picnic areas available for a day of fun and relaxation with family and friends. Boat rentals, including canoes, kayaks, motor boats, pontoon boats and houseboats, are available from the Kinzua Wolf Run Marina.

Camping & Cabins:

Adjacent to the Allegheny Reservoir, the Allegheny National Forest offers ten campgrounds of varying sizes and facilities, as well as primitive backwoods camping in most sections of the forest. Some campgrounds are only accessible by boat, and offer easy water access to the Allegheny Reservoir.
Campgrounds in the Allegheny National Forest


Fishing is abundant in the Allegheny Reservoir, with an incredible variety of fish, including walleye, small mouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, channel catfish, brown trout and muskellunge. A Pennsylvania license is required for fishing in the PA portion of the Allegheny Reservoir, except on PA Fish for Free days. In New York, most of the Allegheny Reservoir is under jurisdiction of the Seneca Nation, which requires its own fishing license.
How to Get a Pennsylvania Fishing License
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