Buzzard Swamp: Prime Spot for Hiking, Biking, and Fishing (Mon., 8/23/21)

One of 15 man-made ponds at Buzzard Swamp Wildlife Viewing and Hiking Area. (photo: Christopher Maggio)

One of 15 man-made ponds at Buzzard Swamp Wildlife Viewing and Hiking Area. (photo: Christopher Maggio)

Buzzard Swamp deceives. Rather than a bog for the foulest of fowl, Buzzard Swamp is an expansive and lush habitat for myriad wildlife. Allegheny National Forest and Pennsylvania Game Commission cooperatively manage it. Visitors can hike, mountain-bike, fish, and (during colder times) cross-country ski. 11.2 miles of trails bend around 15 man-made ponds inhabited by frogs and snakes. Other potential animal sightings include bears, beavers, deer, and even bald eagles. Visit during the spring waterfowl migration, and see 20 to 25 different species of birds. Although the trails are mostly flat, they are not marked by diamond trail markers, save the Songbird Sojourn Interpretive Trail. Bring a map and look for “You Are Here” signs throughout the journey. Motorized vehicles, including motorized boats, are prohibited. There are two entrances to Buzzard Swamp: the northern trailhead is on Forest Road 376, and the southern trailhead is on Forest Road 157. Buzzard Swamp is a few miles from Marienville, just two hours from Pittsburgh.