Summertime in Warren

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Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.

Article by
Walt Pickut

Take a walk through the wilds on a sunny summer afternoon…the Pennsylvania Wilds, that is, in the heart of Warren County, PA. “Warren is a great place to work and live or just to visit and spend some time,” said John Papalia, Director of the Council on Tourism for Warren County. “We have something here for everybody.”

The Wilds
Warren is a County nearly as large as its northern neighbor, Chautauqua County, but with less than one third the population, leaving vast, unspoiled natural areas for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Summer is the ideal time to explore its six hundred miles of forested trails. Visitors can find scenic and well kept trails for a leisurely stroll or a high-energy hike, mountain biking or horseback riding, picnicking, camping and fishing throughout the county, and especially in Warren’s half-million acre Allegheny National Forest.

The Arts
The city of Warren, the County seat, is home to a carefully restored and lovingly maintained Historic District which includes the original, 1883 Struthers Library Theater which is now one of the nation’s oldest, original remaining theaters still in operation. Today the Library Theater is still home to active and popular theater companies, including the Warren Players, Friends of the Library Theater, the Allegheny Regional Theater Experience, the Library Theater Film Series, the Jack-in-the-Box Players and the Youth Connection. Learn more at www.strutherslibrarytheater.com or call 814-723-7231.
The banks of the Allegheny River that flows through Warren is the site of free concerts on summer evenings. Music lovers also enjoy concerts performed by the Warren Civic Orchestra.

Family Fun
Warren is a “kid friendly” city, with 21 playgrounds and a municipal pool with a wonderful water slide and a waterworks fountain. There’s plenty of play in Warren for the grown-ups in the family too. Well maintained tennis courts and well groomed golfing lead off the recreational opportunities, while the Allegheny River, the scenic 24 mile-long, 12,000 acre Allegheny Reservoir and the Kinzua Dam recreation area offer a marina, canoeing, kayaking, waterskiing, swimming and boating.

Places to Explore
Jake’s Rock Overlook offers well-traveled, forest-lined paths meandering among enormous, weathered boulders left over from a bygone geological age and a spectacular view of the Kinzua Dam area. Nearby Rimrock Overlook offers not only another unforgettable view but also opportunities for a rock climbing adventure at its best.
The Buckaloons Campground is scenically located south of the city of Warren at the confluence of the Allegheny River, Brokenstraw Creek and Irvine Run. The spot offers beautifully groomed campsites and a perfect landing place for canoers and kayakers out for an afternoon paddle down the Allegheny from Warren.
The Heart’s Content Recreation Area offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy and marvel at a tract of true old growth forest, one of the few such wilderness areas remaining anywhere in the Northeastern United States. This peaceful and secluded forest has never been logged, cleared, farmed or harvested since long before the first European settlers landed in North America. Babbling brooks and birdsong move gently among trees so ancient and enormous a visitor could be excused for saying they had never really known what a tree was until they spent the day hiking through Heart’s Content.

Coming Events
July 18-20 brings the All American BBQ Festival to Betts Park where the minimum purse of $3000 will go to the winner, sanctioned by no less an authority than the Kansas City BBQ Society.
The Warren County Fair returns from August 5-9 on the Warren County Fairgrounds in Pittsfield. It is a perennial favorite in Warren County drawing crowds from throughout the region. Carnival food, rides, the Craft Fair, the Rumble at the Fairgrounds Cruise-In and much more will make this year’s Fair a memorable event
The Y not Tri Women’s Triathlon, sponsored by the YWCA, will step off at 8 am June 23 at nearby Chapman State Park in Clarendon PA. This is billed as the first annual event. And it includes a 100 meter swim, a 2.5 mile run and an 8 mile bicycle ride.
To learn more about all of his Warren’s many outdoor attractions, cultural events, arts and entertainment, log onto www.wccbi.org and discover one of the best staycation destinations in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania.

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.