Hiking the Allegheny National Forest: Exploring the
Wilderness of Northwestern Pennsylvania
book review by Chris Lareau

For the million hikers who come to our woods every year, choosing a
trail might be a burdensome process, even if you grew up here like I
did. Instead of wandering around in the forest, readers of Jeff Mitchell's
new book can easily pick and choose at their leisure, ahead of time.

Camera buffs can find out which trails have the best views. Biologists
can ponder over the four trails with the most wildlife. Like waterfalls? If
you have read Hiking the Allegheny National Forest, Exploring the
Wilderness of Northwestern Pennsylvania, you'd know there are five
different spots that have waterfalls or cascades. (And I thought we only
had three! I'm such a dope.)

Mitchell, an attorney from Tankhannock, breaks down 201 miles of
hiking trails for those of all interests: for people who want to see
old-growth forests (we have some of the oldest in the East), for parents
with kids, even for hikers interested in caves, rock outcrops, and large
boulders or rock cities. Mitchell even gives his opinion on which places
have the most to see.

In spite of its title,
Hiking the ANF also includes important descriptions
of trails in contigous state parks (including Cook Forest, the Akeley
Swamp, and Chapman State Park. For the first time, someone has
finally put all this in one book. The state parks are a tremendous asset
and so far they have been grossly overlooked. Cook Forest is highly
developed for outdoor enthusiasts and Chapman State Park, a
long-time favorite of locals,
continued on
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Right photo: Mountain stairway tunnel. These steps pass beneath the Rimrock Overlook in the Allegheny National Forest. Photo by Chris Lareau
About the book: Hiking the Allegheny National Forest: Exploring the Wilderness of Northwestern
by Jeff Mitchell, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA

64 detailed hikes in Warren, Forest, McKean, and Elk counties. In addition to the Allegheny National Forest,
it includes contiguous state forests: Chapman State Park, The Akeley Swamp, Cook State Forest and
Available at Amazon.com
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