Allegheny National Forest

Buckaloons Interpretive Trail

WELCOME to the Buckaloons Recreation Area. The Seneca Interpretive Trail meanders along the Allegheny River and Irvine Run. It circles around the picnic area and the campground. Plan to enjoy a picnic after your walk or stay overnight in the campground. See the campground host during the summer months for more information on area activities.

HIKING THE AREA - The Seneca Interpretive Trail begins at the boat launch in the recreation area. The Trail is a one mile loop trail around the picnic area and campground. Follow the numbered markers along the way, there are no blazes. At a leisurely pace the walk should take about 30 minutes. On the tour, you can learn to identify tree species, observe the inter-relationship between wildlife and the trees of the forest, and become aware of the life and death struggle among different tree species. Also, you might learn some interesting facts about the area.

The White Pine is easily identified by its soft, flexible needles that always grow in bundles of five. The White Pine is a light-loving tree and in its natural state depends on catastrophes, such as tornados and fire, to destroy the shade-tolerant hemlock and hardwoods.

The Sycamore is a very large lowland tree with distinctive brown bark which flakes off in jigsaw-puzzle-like pieces. Indians used trunks of the Sycamore for dugouts. One such canoe reported to have been 65' long and to have weighed 9000 pounds. The twigs are eaten by deer and muskrats.

The Shagbark Hickory can be identified by its light colored bark in long, loose strips. It is a tall tree have leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets. Husks of the Hickory nut usually break into four rather separate parts upon ripening. The nuts are eaten by squirrel, oppossum, and wild turkey. The twigs are browsed by deer and rabbits. Wood is valuable in the manufacture of skis, tool handles, gunstocks, and baskets.

The White Oak can be identified by its light gray, long ridged bark and widespreading branches. Most White Oak is made into lumber for flooring, furniture, handles, boxes and railroad ties. The acorns of the oak are an important source of food for squirrels, deer, turkeys and many birds in this area.

Fishing is popular in the Allegheny River, Brokenstraw Creek, and Irvine Run. Trout and walleye are popular species of fish found in these waters.

REGULATIONS - This trail is for hiking, skiing and mountain biking. Motorized vehicles, ATVs and snowmobiles, are not allowed on any of the trails. Forest trails policy prohibits the use of a saddle, pack or draft animals on hiking or cross county ski trails. If you are hunting in the area, please make sure you are outside the campground boundary. All dogs must be on leashes when using the trail.

SAFETY - The skill level of this hiking trail is easiest. We encourage you to hike with at least one other person and to leave your itinerary with friends so they'll know where to look if you don't return on time or need assistance.

This trail is open for winter hiking. Remember to dress in layers appropriate for the weather conditions. Be aware that these trails are used heavily in the late fall and spring by hunters. It is a good idea to wear bright fluorescent colored clothing if hiking during these time periods. Practice NO TRACE ETHICS - PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT...and for sanitary disposal of wastes, dig a pit on flat ground at least 6 inches deep and at least 200 feet from water.

The nearest hospital is located in Warren. The nearest telephone also is located in Warren. The pump water in the developed recreation areas is safe for drinking. Water from any other sources should be boiled before consumption.

VOLUNTEERS - If you, a friend, or your club are interested in volunteering to help maintain this trail area, please contact the Ranger District.

CUSTOMER SERVICE - Warren is a full service community. Please report any unsafe trail conditions such as downed trees and missing signs or trail markers directly to the Ranger Station. We appreciate your support.

Interpretive Stops:

1. The retangular wire baskets filled with rocks are gabions. They are used to control erosion.

2. The Seneca Interpretive Nature Trail begins here along the Allegheny River in the shade of these oak trees.

3. This Shagbark Hickory tree gets its name from the rough loose plates of bark which resemble "shagbark". The tough, springy wood is used in high quality tool handles. The hickory nuts are a favorite of squirrels and man.

4. These White Ash trees are a fast growing tree used to make high quality baseball bats.

5. High quality Wild Black Cherry tree command premium prices in the lumber industry. Paper thin slices of the wood are used as veneer in the manufacture of fine cherry furniture. The fruit is a dark red berry relished by many species of wildlife.

6. This hugh stump once supported a Black Walnut trees. Weakened by fire and decay, this century old tree became a hazard and was felled in 1964 to protect visitors using the trail.

7. Although thoughtless people have driven nails into the trunk of this Sycamore and chopped through its protective bark, it still survives as shade for visitors.

8. The Allegheny River offers a summer-long rather placid waterway of 45 miles for canoeing, boating, fishing and other recreational activities on the Allegheny National Forest.

9. The only Revolutionary War battle in northwestern Pennsylvania was fought on Thompson's Island five miles downstream from this point.

10. French trappers and soldiers passed here in canoes enroute from Quebec and Fort Niagara to St. Louis and down the Mississippi to New Orleans, or up the Missouri to trapping grounds on the Yellowstone.

11. This wild grape vine provides food for bear, turkey, grouse, racoon, and other wildlife found within the Forest.

12. At this junction of Irvine Run and Brokenstraw Creek the trail crosses over a small aquatic world. This natural pothole, teeming with microscopic life, is typical of many on the Forest.

13. This stand of Sycamore is typical along larger Pennsylvania streams. Although this tree is not a major commercial timber species, its wood is used for fruit and vegetable baskets, boxes and crates, concealed parts of furniture, and interior trim and paneling.

14. Spring flood waters have gnawed at this streams banks causing it to change its channel, undercutting and carrying the soil downstream.

15. Although it has lost its top, this White Oak has remained alive and provides a home for small animals and birds.

16. Eastern Hemlocks, Pennsylvania's state tree, supported much of the early forest industry in this area. Tannin from the bark was used for tanning leather. Today the wood is used for contruction lumber.

17. This uprooted old White Oak was growing here when America was young. Seneca warriors may have stood beneath this very tree and talked of the pale faces who where overrunning the lands east of the mountains.

18. This tall, straight, fast-growing tree is a Tulip Poplar. It was named for the large tulip-like flowers it bears in the spring.

19. This White Pine is a remanent of the virgin White Pines that were once prized by early eastern loggers. Today is plays a very minor role in local logging.

20. The Purple Martins who build nests and raise from 3 to 8 young each year, arrive from South America in early April. The birds eat mostly insects. Each bird may eat up to 2,000 mosquitos in a single day.

Whether you are camping, picnicking or just visiting, we hope you have enjoyed your walk along the Seneca Interpretive Trail.


The Buckaloons Recreation Area rests on the site of a former Indian village, on the banks of the Allegheny River. Travel west from Warren, PA on US Route 6 for six miles. Take the Tionesta exit to proceed south on US Route 62; before crossing the bridge, turn right.