Pittsburgh District Header Image


Home > Missions > Recreation > Lakes > Kinzua Dam & Allegheny Reservoir

Aerial view of Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir


Kinzua Dam & Allegheny Reservoir

1205 Kinzua Road
Warren, PA 16365-5599
Daily Lake & Recreation Information:
(814) 726-0164

 icon and link to Kinzua facebook page

Authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938, Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir is one of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. The project provides complete protection for Warren, Pa., from Allegheny River flooding, and in conjunction with other projects in the District, substantially reduced flooding in the Allegheny and upper Ohio River Valleys.

The project’s flood control capabilities were dramatically demonstrated during the June 1972 floods resulting from Tropical Storm Agnes when an estimated $247 million in flood damages were prevented. Since its completion in 1965, Kinzua has prevented flood damages estimated to be in excess of $1.2 billion.

The reservoir also provides water to be released during dry periods. These releases have the effect of reducing pollution and improving the quality and quantity of water for domestic, industrial and recreation uses. Flow regulation also helps to maintain navigable depths for commercial traffic on the Allegheny and upper Ohio Rivers.

Another benefit of the Kinzua project is hydroelectric power. A power plant is operated by the First Energy Corporation. Its peak capacity is 400,000 kilowatts per hour. The Big Bend Visitor Center contains displays which illustrate the hydroelectric process.

Recreation, Events, Facilities & Activities


Totally surrounded by forest, Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir are at the heart of one of the largest and most popular outdoor recreation complexes in the northeastern United States. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites you to visit the reservoir and discover a diversity of year-round recreational opportunities that will delight the outdoor enthusiast.

In the summer, there are numerous activities ranging from swimming, boating and water-skiing, to camping, fishing and sightseeing. During the autumn, the Kinzua countryside produces colorful displays of fall foliage with miles of hiking trails and country roads from which to enjoy the brilliant fall scenery. Winter doesn't signal an end to the enjoyment of the outdoors. Hikers turn to cross-country skiing, fishermen continue their sport on the ice and snowmobiles speed along the many trails and forest roads. The blossoming of the woodland wildflowers signals the arrival of spring in Kinzua Country; and with it, the arrival of trout fishermen, canoeists and nature enthusiasts.

The Allegheny Reservoir spans the border between Pennsylvania and New York. In Pennsylvania, the reservoir is completely surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest; and in New York State by Allegany State Park and the Allegany Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation. Along with Cattaraugus County in New York, these agencies provide numerous recreational facilities for your enjoyment.

Allegheny National Forest

The Allegheny National Forest provides more than one-half million acres of outdoor fun in both developed recreation areas and rustic backwoods sites. Ten campgrounds of varying sizes and facilities are available. The Dewdrop, Kiasutha, Red Bridge, Tracy Ridge and Willow Bay campgrounds provide campsites suitable for trailers and motor homes as well as tents. The remaining five campgrounds are only accessible by either hiking or boating. These sites provide a rustic setting for lakeshore camping and a convenient stop-over while hiking the North Country National Scenic Trail or one of several loop trails which traverse the National Forest.

The Kinzua-Wolf Run Marina and six boat launches located within the National Forest provide ready access onto the waters of the reservoirs. There are also two swim beaches and several scenic picnic areas available for a day of fun and relaxation with family and friends.

For more information concerning recreational opportunities in the Allegheny National Forest, contact:

Allegheny National Forest

4 Farm Colony Drive
Warren, PA 16365
Phone: (814) 728-6100

Allegany State Park

In New York State, Allegany State Park's 65,000 acres contains two major recreation areas and many opportunities for outdoor recreation.  For those looking for overnight accommodations both cabins and campground facilities are available in the State park.  The cabins can be rented year-round and the campgrounds are equipped with electric hookups.  Allegany's recreation areas also provide hiking, biking and cross-country skiing trails, picnic areas and swim beaches.

For additional information contact:

Allegany State Park

2373 ASP, Rte 1, Suite 3
Salamanca, NY  14779
Phone: (716) 354-9121

Cattaraugus County
The Onoville Marina is located along the western shoreline of the Allegheny Reservoir in New York State.  Leased to Cattaraugus County by the Corps of Engineers, it has over 400 dock and mooring spaces, six launch lanes, a 74-site campground and picnic facilities.

 For additional information contact:

Cattaraugus County

Onoville Marina
P.O. Box 8
Steamburg, NY  14783
Phone: (716) 354-2615

The Seneca Nation of Indians

Almost the entire portion of Allegheny's New York shoreline is bounded by the Allegany Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation of Indians.  The Highbanks Campground operated by the Seneca Nation provides facilities for both tent and trailer camping as well as cabins.  There is also a boat launch, swimming pool and camp store located in the campground.

The Seneca Indians have a long and rich history in the area.  A museum containing exhibits on the history, culture and folklore of the Seneca is located in the city of Salamanca.

For additional information contact:

Seneca Nation of Indians

G.R. Plummer Building
P.O. Box 231
Salamanca, NY  14779
Phone: (716) 945-1790

Visitor’s Center

Visitors can enhance their visit to the area by stopping at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Big Bend Visitor Center just downstream of the dam.  The center contains slide programs, exhibits, displays and brochures which explain and illustrate the purpose to the dam, power plant and other features found in the area.  The center is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day and weekends in September and October.

Facilities & Activities


   US Army Corps
 of Engineers
of Indians
State Park
Highbanks Onoville Quaker


Accessible Restroom   X X X X X X
Boat Launch Ramps  X   X X X X X
Boat Rental         X X
Cabin Rental      X   X X  
Campground     X X X X
Electric Hookups     X X X X X
Visitor Center
X       X X
Marina       X   X
Pets On Leash X X X X X X
Picnic Area X X X X X
Picnic Shelter   X X X X
Playground X X   X X X
Snack Bar
    X X X X
Showers     X X X X X
Simming Pool     X      
Trail X X     X X X