By Alicia Dziak
Your ASP camping experience can only be enhanced by the numerous amenities the park has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a home-cooked meal, a grocery item you overlooked or that special gift, you’re sure to find what you need and then some at ASP’s restaurant and stores.
The Park Restaurant, located on the second floor inside the Red House Administration building, offers casual dining year round and is perfect for a day trip to the park or for those times you just need a break from cooking over a fire. The restaurant is open seven days a week during peak season (late June through Labor Day) and is currently open Fridays noon to 8 p.m., Saturdays 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. and Sundays 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
The Red House Gift Shop, located on the first floor inside the Red House Administration building, offers patrons a variety of unique souvenirs, including picture frames, logo wear, mugs, car decals and everything in between. There’s also a pressed penny machine by the entrance, so even if you only have 51 cents, you can still take home an ASP souvenir. Hours vary throughout the year and currently are Monday–Thursday 9:30 a.m. –4:30 p.m., Friday 9:30 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m., and Sunday 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. The Red House Gift Shop is the only store within the park that is open daily this time of year.
If you’re taking in the scenery at ASP on weekends, you have many more options, as all other stores in the park are currently open Friday through Sunday. The Quaker Museum and Gift Shop, located on ASP 3 past the Quaker Rental Office, offers many of the same items as its Red House counterpart but in a smaller space. A second door off the porch leads visitors into a museum full of photos and artifacts of ASP past and is worth checking out.
The Quaker General store, located across from the Quaker Rental office on ASP 3, offers an impressive array of camping essentials, as well as fun items like glow sticks and small toys.
“My family is always impressed at the selection in the Quaker store,” said David Hannes, 38, of Sardinia. “They carry anything we could possibly need while camping. We always seem to forget that one important item, whether it be spoons, ketchup or marshmallows, and we can always find it at the Quaker General Store. We’ve even seen camping chairs and sleeping bags there.”
The Quaker General Store also houses an ice cream and food stand, serving guests via an exterior window, offering inexpensive frozen treats and grillables to hold you over until your next camping meal.
If you’re camping across the park, necessities can be found at the Red House General Store, located on ASP 1 across from the Red House campsite loops. This store offers campers a selection of food, ice, firewood, paper plates and bug spray, and is conveniently within walking distance of all the tent and trailer sites on Red House.
If it’s recreation you seek, the Red House Boathouse, located next to Red House Beach, is the place to go. Paddleboats, hydrobikes and rowboats can all be rented for $10.95 per hour or $28 per day. Bikes can be rented for $8.95 per hour or $26 per day, and bike trailers are available for those toting little ones. The Boathouse is open daily in the summer months, but this time of year hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., weather permitting.
While at the lake, visitors can also check out the Red House Snack Bar, offering ice cream and other quick treats at Red House Beach. New this year, the snack bar will remain open on weekends through Columbus Day.
For more information, call (716) 354-9282, or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Allegany-State-Park-Shops-Restaurant.