By Alicia Dziak

Summer is in full swing at Allegany State Park (ASP). Cabins and campsites are overflowing with excited campers ready to enjoy the beautiful weather and the amazing park.

While many visitors have their favorite activities they must do every visit, there are always new adventures to be had.

Park visitors can take advantage of the wonderful free programs offered around the park. The weekly program schedule can be picked up in both the Quaker and Red House rental offices, and it is also posted on the Allegany State Park Facebook page that week.

Programs cover topics like Edible Wild Plants, Canada Geese, Fossils, Wilderness, Ladybugs, Butterflies, Salamanders, Birds, Bears, Snakes and Osprey. There are also tours of various points of interest inside the park like Thunder Rocks, Bear Caves, and a Beaver Colony, as well as general educational nature hikes.

Besides the weekly scheduled activities, special events are planned throughout the summer.

A fireworks display will be held at Quaker Beach on July 3, featuring live music and family fun.

Rock the Park will be held on July 12, at Red House Beach. This event will include live music by Artist in Residence Jamie Haight, one of the evening’s featured musicians.

Haight, according to his blog biography, says, “I love playing music, sharing music and teaching the many fun aspects of playing guitar.”

Haight’s performances will take place July 8 at Red House Beach House, 1–2 p.m.; July 9 at Red House Beach House, 7:30–8:30 p.m.; July 10 at the Quaker Amphitheater, 7:30–8:30 p.m.; July 11 at the Red House Beach House 1:30–2:30 p.m.; and July 12 at Red House Beach House, 6–7 p.m. during the Rock the Park event.

The following week, the Sunset Bluegrass Band will be the Artist in Residence, with numerous performances scheduled throughout the week.

For a fun, live music experience like no other, the Hootenanny started up this week and will continue every Thursday night at 8 p.m. at the Quaker Amphitheater throughout the summer season.

“Sally Marsh has led the Hootenanny sing-a-long for over 40 years,” said Cassie Wright, ASP naturalist. “It is a tradition for some and it brings in hundreds of people most weeks. It is something you have to experience yourself to get the full effect.”

While on the Quaker side, stop into the Quaker Store Museum. It’s also free and is filled with old photos, maps and interesting historical facts about the park.

No matter how many times you’ve been to ASP, there are always opportunities to learn something new. Be sure to pick up the weekly schedule upon arrival at the park (or check the official ASP Facebook page before you head down) so you don’t miss out on all the fun!