RIDGWAY — Ridgway was among 10 towns featured on the Thrilllist’s “Best Small Towns to Visit in Pennsylvania This Fall” list.
Thrilllist, an online media website based in New York that covers dining, traveling and entertainment, released the list Oct. 23.
“Located at the eastern edge of the Allegheny National Forest, Ridgway is an artsy, small town with enough charming mom and pop establishments and antique shops to fill up an entire weekend,” Thrilllist says.
The website review also mentions Tower’s Victorian Inn and the several art galleries and antique shops in downtown Ridgway, as well as Buddy Boy Winery. Ridgway is home to the “Flavors of Fall Festival” in September.
Ridgway Main Street Program Manager Beth Shuttleworth said she hears of several locations tourists are visiting when they come to town during the autumn season, including the Clarion Little Toby Tail, the 2019 River of the Year — the Clarion River — Allegheny National Forest, Benezette and The Cross on Mount Zion Road in Weedville.
Shutteworth said although the Kinzua Bridge is in McKean County, it’s a fantastic sight to see in the fall. People also tend to visit Kyler Road in Kersey.
“It’s my favorite fall spot,” he said. “It’s a back road with exceptional views, great for driving or walking.”
The Umbrella Rocks Geologic Formation, State Game Lands 44, is located after drivers take State Route 219 from downtown Ridgway for about 4.5 miles, Shuttleworth says, to Snowdrift Road. Tourists can park in an area on their right, then start their hike there, visiting the railroad bed of the Ridgway and Shawmut Railroad, surveyed and built in 1861, completed with the Philedalphia and Erie Railroad in 1864.
Tourists can follow that same road until they see a rock formation on their right, until then come to a trail on their left that leads to the Umbrella Rocks formation.
Shuttleworth also mentions the “Swinging Bridge” in Brockway, a couple of miles in from that end of Rails to Trails.
“It’s a must see, and beautiful this time of year,” she said.
Shuttleworth notes the many places to stop along the way, including Joey’s Bakery, Aiello’s Cafe, Jordan’s Bar and Grill, the Summit Fireside Lodge and Grill, The Royal Inn and Elk County Foods hot foods bar, as well as coffee shops like The Creative Cup and Lucy’s Coffee Tea and Gifts and pizza places such as Paesano Pizza II and Fox’s.
For more information, visit www.thrilllist.com.