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Allegheny Islands Wilderness

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Two people paddle a canoe down a beautiful blue river, bordered on both sides by lush green forest.
Library image #1899: Canoers on the Allegheny River, enjoy the trip downstream from Baker Island.


The United States Congress designated the Allegheny Islands Wilderness (map) in 1984 and it now has a total of 372 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Pennsylvania and is managed by the Forest Service.


Between Buckaloons Recreation Area and the town of Tionesta, a distance of approximately 56 miles, seven islands in the Allegheny River have been designated Wilderness. Alluvial in origin, the islands were formed from deposits of sand, mud, and clay that the river carried down from the Allegheny Mountains. Old river-bottom trees--willow, sycamore, and silver maple--characterize these little hunks of land. Crull's, at 96 acres, is the largest, followed by Thompson's and Baker (both 67 acres), Courson (62 acres), King (36 acres), R. Thompson's (30 acres), and No-Name (10 acres). Leave No Trace camping is essential on these islands because of the impacts litter and improperly disposed waste can have on this important river system. Although trailless, the islands are relatively easy to explore on foot in the springtime. As the year goes on, the brush gets more dense and exploration becomes more of a challenge.

Approximately eighty-seven miles of the river have been designated as "recreational" under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The calm water here extends an irresistible invitation to many placid-water canoeists. Many kinds of water fowl may be seen along the river, along with bald eagles, blue and green herons, turkey buzzards, and a variety of songbirds.

Planning to Visit the Allegheny Islands Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Allegheny Islands Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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