The Allegheny National Forest has around 1000 miles of trails including 108 miles of ATV trail, 600 miles of trail for mountain bikes, some 360 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, hundreds of miles more just for hikers, and a few cross country ski trails. This 500,000 acre wilderness has a wide variety of ecosystems from evergreen forest and cherry forest to marshland and reservoir.
Snowshoe hares are brown in the summer and white in the winter, so a typically very camouflaged except in winter when there is no snow. These animals are named for their over-sized 3-4 inch long back feet that keep them on top of deep snow. Though hares often use their coloring to escape detection by predators, they can run up to 27 miles per hour and leap about 10 or 15 feet in a single bound. Though relatively rare in Pennsylvania, snowshoe hares can be found in the Allegheny National Forest, often in thick evergreens, areas of blown-down trees, or thick underbrush.
Marienville is a great place to hunt, with the Allegheny National Forest and surrounding areas having an abundance of woodlands and swamplands. The area has hundreds of camps for deer hunters from Pittsburgh and Cleveland. It is also a popular spot to hunt snowshoe hares and waterfowl.
The Shamrock Dining Room at the Kelly Hotel is a nice cheap spot to grab breakfast in central Marienville. An omelet with potatoes and coffee might run you $5 max. This restaurant has some of the best-tasting omelets I've ever eaten.
Their other meals include burgers, a number of sandwiches, steaks, some seafood, roast beef, meatloaf, liver and onions, ham, and chicken. Their panani sandwiches are great, consisting of thick toasted bread topped with ham, turkey, corned beef, or steak, and finished off with coleslaw, cheese and french fries for about $9. That is very expensive, though, as their other sandwiches are between $3 and $6 each.
The Kelly Hotel has been in operation for decades. My dad says he stayed here back in the 1970s, and even then it was pretty rustic.
The Route 66 Dinor (with an "O") has been at this location since the 1940s. I have been stopping here occasionally since the 1980 because it was one of my grandparents' favorite restaurants. It is located in an old house, with a newer addition on the side.
Most recently I stopped here for two meals while hunting in the nearby Allegheny National Forest. We enjoyed good breakfasts of omelets, pancakes, and fried eggs for less than $5 per person. My favorite meal is certainly the ham and cheese omelet with toast for about $4.
Besides the name with its odd "O", the Dinor has two other strange features. One is the broken down old sign that has been half torn from its foundation for some five years or so without repair. Second is the bell by the cash register; the owner is the cook and also the cashier, so to call him from the kitchen to the cash register, customers must clang the old bell rather loudly. Very distracting for the other diners.
One note about dinors with an "O." A quick Google search reveals just a handful of other diners that spell their name with an "O". Almost all of them are located in Western Pennsylvania: the Zodiac Dinor in Erie, the Greenville Dinor in Greenville, the Academy Dinor in Erie, and the Girard Dinor in Girard.
Texas Hot Lunch was established in 1914 and has been a family business for four generations since 1928. While they have a lot of basic American and Greek foods, their specialty is the Texas Hots: hot dogs with mustard, onions, and smothered in their famous Texas chili, all for just $1.35 (add 5 cents more for cheese)!
This has been a stopover place for our family for years on our frequent trips between Clarion County and Bradford. We usually get the simple items like Texas hots, burgers, Texas fries, coffee, or beer.
Their menu includes a good selection of other items are very inexpensive prices. Breakfasts include pancakes ($1.50 to $2), omelets ($5-$6), and breakfast sandwiches ($3). Appetizers include nachos, chicken wings, homemade soups, and even Campell's soup out of the can! Greek specials include souvlaki dinners ($10), pitas ($4), and gyros ($4-$5). They also have a few traditional American items like chicken and biscuits ($5), hamburgers ($2.50-$4), fried fish ($8), Philly steak sandwiches ($5), and cold subs ($4-$5).