Allegheny National Forest

Clarion Wild and Scenic River

The Clarion River was designated as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System on October 19,1996 (Public Law No:104-314). The outstandingly remarkable values for the Clarion River, as identified in the Clarion River and Mill Creek Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Report (March, 1996), are scenic and recreational.

Several factors contribute to the special scenic value of the 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. Two segments of the river, measuring 8 miles and 9.1 miles in length, are classified as scenic.

The scenery, the feeling of remoteness, accessibility, the variety of recreation activities possible, and ease of canoeing of the Clarion River for novices 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. Two segments of the river, measuring 8.8 miles and 26 miles in length, are classified as recreational.