Washington Park’s 65 acres features an upland forest with an outstanding view up and down the Allegheny River. The 11-acre Point Park is located on the floodplain at the confluence of the Conewango Creek and the Allegheny River. Each park has a small parking and picnic area. Although there are no restrooms available on the site, both places are close to conveniences in Warren, Pennsylvania.
Natural History Interest
These two public areas in the community of Warren provide a good overview of the natural history of one of the major natural “crossroads” of our region. From its elevation 400 feet above the Allegheny River, Washington Park provides an excellent view, especially of the big bend and the confluence of the Conewango Creek around which Warren has been built. It is one of the places in our region where the plateau topography of the region is evident. Even though “flat” country is nowhere to be seen, the view levels off toward the horizon.
A whiff of petroleum may greet the visitor. Here and there is an oil well, no longer operational, but attesting to the history of these wooded valleys as producers of oil and natural gas. The forest type here on this high, south-facing slope is Oak-Hickory. Large Northern Red Oaks and White Oaks dominate. Much of the understory consists of blueberry. Witch-hazel is common, and there is the occasional American Chestnut, formerly a part of the canopy and now confined to the understory. Plants of the forest floor include False Solomon’s Seal, Clintonia, Canada Mayflower, May-apple, and Wintergreen.
Who To Contact
If you would like more information on either Washington Park or Point Park contact the City of Warren by visiting their website or calling 814-723-6300.
How To Get There
To get to Washington Park from Pennsylvania Avenue in Warren, turn onto Liberty Street and keep going where the road steeply ascends the ridge. The park is on the left, 1.2 miles from Pennsylvania Avenue. Point Park is located near Warren’s municipal swimming pool. To get to Point Park from Pennsylvania Avenue turn south onto Conewango Avenue at the traffic light and follow the blue municipal swimming pool signs to the park area. The park is 0.4 mile from Pennsylvania Avenue.
What To See
Birds noted on the tract during the nesting season include Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay, Indigo Bunting, Black-capped Chickadee, Wood Thrush, Veery, American Goldfinch, Magnolia Warbler, Blue-headed Vireo, and Red-eyed Vireo. Juxtaposed with Washington Park’s ridge-top forest is the wooded floodplain located a few minutes away at Point Park. Silver Maples dominate the stream banks here, and there are several large Black Willows as well. The rich woods are filled with Green-headed Cone-flower which put on a terrific display with their bright yellow, sunflower-like blossoms in late summer. Both Spotted and Pale Touch-me-nots form thickets at the same time. From fall through spring, the open water attracts a good variety of waterfowl. The lucky visitor may even spot a Bald Eagle in the vicinity.
Why It’s Important To Conservation
The upland forest of Washington Park provides habitat for nesting woodland species and a significant number of wildflowers. The confluence of the Conewango Creek and the Allegheny River create a significant waterway for waterfowl and other birds to rest and feed in and along. Raptors like Osprey and Bald Eagles as well as birds like the Belted Kingfisher feed on the abundant fish populations in the area. Other birds such as variety of swallows and flycatchers feed on the invertebrate life attracted to and breeding in the waterways.