Bureau of Land Management National Park Service U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service

Clarion River, Pennsylvania

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Managing Agency:

U.S. Forest Service, Allegheny National Forest


Designated Reach:

October 19, 1996. From the Allegheny National Forest/State Game Lands Number 44 boundary, approximately 0.7 miles downstream from the Ridgway Borough limit, to an unnamed tributary at the backwaters of Piney Dam, approximately 0.6 miles downstream from Blyson Run.


Classification/Mileage:

Scenic — 17.1 miles; Recreational — 34.6 miles; Total — 51.7 miles.

Clarion River

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Clarion River (U.S. Forest Service)

Photo Credit: Tim Palmer

Clarion River

Several factors contribute to the special scenic value of the Clarion River. The unique landform (unique in the region of the Allegheny River Basin) of the Clarion River Valley contributes a feeling of intimacy to the river. The sinuous, relatively narrow river valley with steep sides and little floodplain provides little opportunity for long, focused views. The steeply forested hillsides of almost continuous mature deciduous and coniferous vegetation contribute to a feeling of remoteness in many places along the river.

The scenery, the feeling of remoteness, accessibility and the variety of recreation activities possible and ease of canoeing of the Clarion River combine to provide a significant recreation experience in this region. The Clarion River has a longer floating (canoeing and tubing) season than other rivers in the area and is relatively accessible to the public. The Clarion is also an attraction for picnicking, sightseeing, camping, watching wildlife, birding, fishing, biking and hiking. A variety of recreational facilities in the Allegheny National Forest, Cook Forest State Park and Clear Creek State Park support the river-based recreation.