Take a break from your daily routine, and spark your sense of adventure in Armstrong County, just an hour drive from Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania. This is the place where the Allegheny River winds through the picturesque countryside, and the landscape is dotted with wide-open green spaces—from parks and golf courses to nature preserves and state game lands—all just waiting for exploration.
On foot or by mountain bike, explore the many trails in Armstrong County, such as the Cowanshannock Trail, which leads to Buttermilk Falls; the 36-mile Armstrong Trail, a rail-trail along the former Allegheny Railroad corridor; and the Roaring Run Trail, which includes a 4-mile section suitable for people with disabilities.
If exploring by canoe or kayak sounds more your style, splash into one of the county’s many waterways, including the Kiski-Conemaugh Water Trail, which meanders through carved out canyons, and the Kiskiminetas River, which can be accessed from the Roaring Run trailhead. Several lakes in Armstrong County—from Crooked Creek Lake to Keystone Lake and more—offer even more paddling adventures, as well as plenty of opportunities to drop in a fishing line. Stop by one of the local water adventure outfitters for canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard rentals.
Armstrong County is also home to a number of attractions that will get you into the great outdoors. The Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek in Ford City features a 31-acre park with a self-interpretive trail, poetry trail, herb garden, and a handicap-accessible trail, as well as access to Crooked Creek. Numerous golf courses and country clubs offer pristine greens and well-maintained driving ranges to enjoy a round of golf or just some practice time. During summer months, bring the whole family to the Belmont Complex in Kittanning to enjoy the Olympic-size heated outdoor pool and waterslides. On the quaint Steele Farm in Leechburg, don’t miss the annual Freeport Theatre Festival, presenting summer shows (everything from original historical dramas to well-known comedies) in a barn theater. Meanwhile, autumn is the time for hayrides, corn mazes, and picking pumpkins during the Pumpkin Fest at Renshaw Farms in Freeport.
After a day of active adventures, rest your head at one of the unique hotels in Armstrong County. Enjoy luxury accommodations at the Inn at Lenape Heights, a boutique golf resort in Ford City with 20 rooms and suites, or opt for a budget-friendly stay at the Quality Inn Royale in Kittanning. For a rustic stay beneath the stars, pitch your tent in one of the nearby campgrounds. River’s Edge Campground & Marina in Cowansville is conveniently located on the Allegheny River and offers comfort amenities such as hot shower and laundry, while Silver Canoe Campground in Rural Valley is located on a 2-acre private lake with fishing and boat rentals.
Get even more ideas with the Armstrong County Visitors’ Guide.