ASP_vballBy Alicia Dziak

Allegany State Park is certainly nature’s playground. With miles of hiking and biking trails, ASP encompasses 65,000 acres of beautiful scenery just waiting to be explored.

But what if hiking and biking just aren’t your things? Or you just want something new to do that keeps you active in the park?

Don’t fret! ASP is filled with recreation areas just waiting to be enjoyed.

For starters, sand volleyball courts can be found at Red House beach, across the street at the Beehunter Rec Area and on the Quaker side at the Fancher Rec area. Bring a volleyball, round up a team and start serving!

For basketball fans, both the Beehunter and Fancher Rec Areas house hoops, perfect for 3-on-3, or a quick game of Pig or Around the World. While you’re at Fancher, you can also take advantage of the horseshoe pits.

Baseball fans can throw a game together in the fields behind the Quaker General Store or in the Beehunter Rec Area.

You don’t always need an official field to play your games of choice. Any open field will do for soccer, kickball, dodgeball, bocce or ladder ball.

“Kickball is a huge crowd pleaser when we go camping,” said Dayna Smith, 34, of Hamburg. “We like to set up games by the Cain Hollow playground.”

Large open spaces can also be found behind the Quaker General Store, next to the Quaker Recycling Center, and in front of the Diehl cabin trail, as well as at Red House in the Beehunter Rec Area.

Another open field favorite is Capture the Flag. The object is for each team to capture the opponent’s flag on the opposite side of the field without being caught by the other team.

“My family uses jump ropes for our center line, hula hoops for the ‘jails’ and T-shirts or whatever we have lying around for the flags,” said Emily Lineen, 36, of Hamburg. “We like to use the open space by the Quaker picnic shelter, across from the museum.”

In addition, if you don’t mind shelling out a small amount for your games, mini golf is available for only $1.75 per child (slightly higher for adults) next to the Quaker Gift Shop.

For my family, no trip to Allegany is complete without a trip or two to the mini golf course!

Whatever your game, chances are there’s a spot for it at ASP if you know where to look. Pack up your sneakers and a water bottle, and get ready, set, go!