Armstrong County, named for Colonel John Armstrong, was formed in 1800 from parts of three other counties. Kittanning, from the Indian name Kit-Han-Ne, was the original county seat and remains so today.
As you look up Market Street, the main street through downtown, you’ll see the profound architecture that is the Armstrong County Courthouse perched at the top of the hill. Built in 1860, the Greek Revival architecture with hipped roof and topped by an octagonal cupola and bell, certainly makes a statement. A project to restore the condition of the cupola will take place in the coming weeks. In 1873, the jail was added and housed 24 cells. In 2003, the jail was moved to a new facility that now houses nearly 160 inmates.
Right below the Courthouse, running through town along Grant Avenue, is the Armstrong Trail. The Armstrong Trail follows the path of the former Allegheny Valley Railroad and is rich with local history with many sites to see along the way. Downtown Kittanning is just one of the many places to hop on the 36-mile trail.
Armstrong County is riddled with history just about everywhere you turn. Dive deeper into the tales of how the county came to be at the Armstrong County Historical Museum. (The museum is located at 300 North McKean Street and is open Thursday through Sunday from 1 to 3pm in the summer months and other times by appointment.) Within the walls of the museum are stories and artifacts dating back as early as 1756. It features a remodeled McCann House parlor room, displays of Colonel Armstrong and the Battle of Kittanning, as well as the county’s involvement in the Civil War.
When you’re ready for some grub, Kittanning has much to offer as it has turned into much of a “foodie town” in recent years. The Allegheny Mariner not only features delicious food options but also a beautiful scenic view overlooking the great Allegheny River. Dizzy Lizzie’s is the place to be if breakfast food is what you’re craving. Serving Armstrong County residents for decades, this small town diner will treat you right. If an evening of good drinks fits your fancy, check out the Meredith Inn, located along the river in a historic mansion on Water Street. Along with a tasty menu, they offer a full bar with craft cocktails, 12 taps, and a thoughtful wine list.
Finish out your evening with a peaceful walk at the lower end of town along the Allegheny River through the Kittanning Riverfront Park. The park boasts beautiful public picnic pavilions, winding walkways and scenic river views. Keep an eye on our online calendar and catch an event at the John P. Murtha Amphitheater. Redesigned in 1998, the amphitheater hosts concerts, movies, festivals, and many other events throughout the summer.
Lenape Heights, A One Stop Shop!
Located right in the heart of Armstrong County, The Inn at Lenape Heights consists of a luxurious boutique hotel, a bar and restaurant with an outdoor terrace, and an 18-hole public golf course – all you need for a relaxing weekend away right in one place.
Start your evening with a delicious meal out on the patio of Lenape Bar & Grill with a stunning view of the golf course. The restaurant as recently been “relaunched” with a fresh concept and expanded menu using high quality ingredients and local delicacies, and aims to become to the first choice in the area for every dining occasion.
When it’s time to relax and rest your head, The Inn at Lenape Heights is a perfect mix of modern design and gracious hospitality making their four-star Boutique Hotel a unique destination. Spacious rooms, luxuriously furnished in modern style, a breathtaking view of the golf course or the rolling mountains of Armstrong County, modern art in the corridors, a library that invites you to relax in comfortable armchairs – just a few of the amenities you’ll find to top off your stay.
Grab your clubs and get an early start on some of the best greens in the area at the Lenape Heights Golf Resort. The superbly designed, challenging course boasts spectacular views with tee times seven days a week and golf packages to accommodate anyone ready to take on the 19-holes (or 8, if that’s more your speed.)
Lenape Heights Golf Resort is surrounded by the natural beauty of Armstrong County that provides endless possibilities for outdoor fun and adventure. Try our own two-mile hiking trail situated right on the Golf Course, or even take a rowboat out on one of our ponds!
To wrap up the day, take a little trip right down Route 66 and grab something sweet at Speedy’sTasty Treats. Speedy’s is a family-owned eatery and specializes in homemade soft serve and hand dipped ice creams – any flavor you could imagine. Speedy’s is certainly a staple to the area and not a place you want to miss.
Ford City's Great Outdoors
Explore the beauty that is Crooked Creek State Park with hiking and biking the extensive trails, fishing the great variety of fish within many lakes, or pitching a tent at the park’s campground. Check the calendar for some of the amazing, education events that go on at the Outdoor Discovery Center and Crooked Creek Horse Park as well.
While you’re visiting the park, stop by the Crooked Creek Spillway and put your kayaks in for a relaxing trip down the creek. Even on the hottest days, Crooked Creek makes for an exceptional kayaking trip under the shade of surrounding trees. Contact Workhorse Outfitters to navigate your trip, rent kayaks, and even a shuttle back to start at the end of your voyage.
As Crooked Creek brings you to the Allegheny River at Rosston near Ford City, grab a bite to eat at one of the great restaurants in town. Miller’s Hoagie’s is an excellent choice and conveniently located across the street from Ford Memorial Park, where you can grab a picnic table, relax, and enjoy a meal. Also to consider, are Harper’s Grill for some mouth-watering burgers or Spigot Brewery for a meal and a few cold ones.
One of the most historic sites of small-town Ford City was restored around 2010 – the PPG Tunnel. The tunnel is located at Third Avenue and Ninth Street, right next to the park, and was once occupied by the thousands of employees of Pittsburgh Plate Glass at each shift change. Take a walk by and have a look. The tunnel was built under the train tracks which ran through town to allow employees safe access to the plant. PPG peaked in the 1950s as the nation’s largest glass producer, and it was PPG that brought the abundance of foreign labor for which the town was built, until the company closed the plant in 1991.
Running parallel to Third Avenue, where the same train tracks mentioned above once ran, is the Armstrong Trail. The 36-mile trail runs from Rosston to East Brady along the Allegheny River and offers scenic views and ideal surfaces for walking, running, hiking, and biking. Ford City is just one of the many places to hop on the trail. End your evening with a relaxing stroll and a beautiful view of the sunset on the river.
A Walk in the Footsteps of History
Everywhere you go in Armstrong County, you’re walking in the footsteps of history. Let’s work our way through the county on a trip to some of the most historic places. Each of these (with the exception of the Nellie Bly Memorial) has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
St. Stephen’s Church – Route 68, Brady’s Bend
This historic Episcopal Church was built in 1867 and is a one-story, sandstone building built in Gothic Revival style with a steeply pitched gable roof. In 1925, it was converted to a community meeting hall.
Brady’s Bend Iron Company Furnaces – Route 68, Brady’s Bend
This set of blast furnaces and roll mill is constructed of stone, with the first blown into production in 1840. The second furnace was added in 1845. The furnaces and rolling mill (added in 1842) were powered by a 250-horsepower steam engine. In 1844, these became known as Brady’s Bend Iron Company, which manufactured the first T-rails west of the Allegheny Mountains. The works closed in 1873.
Mahoning Bridge – Route 3178 over Mahoning Creek near Deanville, Madison Township
This 181-foot-long, two-span, concrete arch bridge located between Mahoning and Madison Townships was built in 1895 over Mahoning Creek.
St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church – Route 268 west of Cowansville
Built in 1805 and measuring 22 feet by 35 feet, St. Patrick’s has a gable room and three windows on each side. It is the oldest Catholic church still standing in Western Pennsylvania.
Marshall House Museum – State Street, Dayton
The Marshall House was built around 1865-68 with a Georgian plan. The architecture mixes Victorian theme with early Greek Revival. An addition was added to the house in 1881. As of 2013, it is now the home of Dayton Area Local Historical Society and is open for tours.
Nellie Bly Memorial – State Route 2025, Ford City
Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, better known by her pen name Nellie Bly, was an American journalist known for her record-breaking trip around the world in just 72 days and an expose in which she worked undercover to report on a mental institution. Bly was born in Cochran’s Mills in Burrell Township in 1864.
Drake’s Log Cabin – Williams Alley, Apollo
This historic cabin built in 1816, is a one and a half story, one-room, rectangular log cabin measuring only 18 by 22 feet. It has a gable room with an interior end stone chimney. The cabin was restored in 1971, and is now open for tours by the Apollo Area Historical Society.
Stay, Play, Eat
All inclusive package
The Lenape Heights Golf Resort consists of an 18-hole public Golf course, a luxurious Europeon-style Boutique Hotel and an upscale fine-dining restaurant and bar with an outdoor terrace.
Plan a day in the beautiful outdoors of Armstrong County.
But the day isn’t over yet, stop in at the newly opened RoseCourt Winery for some sampling or choose your favorite flavor to take home.
Escape to Foxburg!
Head North to Foxburg, PA.
Visit the oldest golf course in the USA. Check out the log clubhouse at Foxburg Country Club that commands an imposing view of the valley below.
Smell the aroma of fine European style chocolatier and barista at Divani Chocolate Boutique made in the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley. Espresso coffees, teas, smoothies and ice cream awaits your taste buds.
While in Foxburg you can’t pass up the opportunity for a delicious dinner at The Allegheny Grille, situated along the beautiful Allegheny River. You can also test some wine at the award winning Foxburg Wine Cellars.
The Foxburg Inn Hotel offers luxurious rooms with breathtaking river views, Jacuzzi tubs, private fireplaces, gracious amenities and charming surroundings.
Located in the former Golden Dawn Store, take a walk down memory lane at The TLC Shop, the areas largest consignment store specializing in new and used furniture including unique vintage items, antiques and collectables.
But the afternoon is still young, discover the hidden Armstrong County. Dragon Run Forge & Livery in Cowansville offers horse drawn tours, from colorful fall foliage to relaxing spring and summer bloom drives and sleigh rides in the winter.
Not far, Cooper’s Pizza & Pastry Shop in Worthington has homemade pizza, salads and the #1 cinnamon rolls around. Check out “Crockpot Friday”. Enjoy their game room while your order is being made.
Enjoy a day at the Lake!
Enjoys a day in the fresh outdoors at Crooked Creek Lake and Park.
Visit the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center located in a a quiet wooded setting. Hike the marked trails and wet your line at the spillway.
Take a picnic basket and cookout on a grill in the Crooked Creek Lake Park while the kids enjoy the play area and beach.
What’s an afternoon without ice cream..Speedy’s Tasty Treats is just a stone throw away. Gourmet Ice Cream & Sherbert. Soft Serve Ice Cream, novelties, and Ice Cream Cake Rolls. Speedy’s is also famous for the best burgers, wings and hot sausage around.
Feeling a little Artsy, love Antiquing?
Visit the oldest house in Leechburg, the Leechburg Area Museum & Historical Society, where you can learn about Leechburg’s past and earliest existence.
Then stop by the Old Springhouse Antiques/Farmhouse Fabrics to purchase gifts, quilts, and antiques for your home in the country, primitive, and Victorian styles!
Lastly, take a stroll through Gilpin-Leechburg Park, and grab a snack from the concession stand.
Visit Vandergrift, the “Workingman’s Paradise”
Take a trip to the Victorian Vandergrift Historical Society in downtown Vandergrift to participate in walking tours, a craft shop, view the museum, and more!
Grab lunch or a drink from Lake’s Restaurant, and maybe sing some karaoke, too, while viewing the awesome sight of the Kiski River from their outside deck.
Stop by the Casino Theatre and catch one of their entertaining shows! Finish the night with a comfy stay at Lakes Motel.
Day Trip to Smicksburg
Go to the Primitive Peddler or Smicksburg Specialty Shops, where Amish-made furniture and other goods are sold. After that, take a quick stop at the Smicksburg Area Heritage Society- John G. Smick Heritage Center to learn about the exciting heritage of the Four Mahoning Townships and the Borough of Smicksburg, PA. Last but not least, stop at Windgate Vineyards and Winery to try a few of the 8,000 gallons of award-winning red, white, rose, and fruit wines that are hand crafted annually.
Spend a Day with the Kids
Take the kids and go to Brady’s Bend Community Park, where they can play and grill some hot dogs and burgers for lunch. Then head out to Brady’s Bend Overlook, a 1,500 foot panoramic view of the magnificent bend in the Allegheny River. For dinner, visit the Shore House Eatery for fresh steaks and seafood! To top off the night, stay at Cogley House B & No B, and go hiking in the morning before you leave!
Awe in Apollo
Start your day early by golfing at The Links at Spring Church. Stop by Brennan’s Pub for a relaxing atmosphere for lunch after a great game of golf. Head out to the Apollo Area Historical Society and learn everything you need to know about Apollo! Kistaco Farm is a place you can’t miss going to; it is a family-owned and operated fruit and vegetable farm that specializes in apples and freshly squeezed apple cider! Afterwards, taste test some wine at the Edgewood Winery and purchase a bottle to take home!