Quaker-LakeBy Alicia Dziak

With the largest of New York’s state parks practically in our backyard, it’s no wonder that Allegany State Park (ASP) grows in popularity each year with anyone wanting to spend an afternoon or even a week in the great outdoors. If you’re one of the thousands who considers ASP your home away from home, you’ll want to know what’s opening and when in these next couple months.

With the addition of the all-new Quaker Bathhouse last year, Quaker Lake has become a hot bed of activity. For an opportunity to enjoy the lake even more, this season, you’ll be able to rent kayaks, SUPs, paddle boats and row boats at the new Quaker Boathouse.

According to John Marino, owner of J-Con Parks, who operates all retail space within the park, “The new Quaker Boathouse area will feature a 10-feet by 20- feet Amish-made shed placed near the beach near the the side of the beach volleyball area.”

He added that, “It will allow us to sell cold beverages, bait, beach sundries, toys, beach chairs…. down near the beach. We will load and unload boats off the shore for this spring in hopes of a docking system similar to the Red House lake operation.”

This will be the first time these types of rentals are available at Quaker Lake, and while the timing of it coincides with the Red House Dam project, which will affect the use of Red House Lake in the summer, this location will be permanent. The new Quaker Boathouse will be open weekends in May and will remain open throughout the summer and into the fall season.

“It’s my belief that this location will be very well received and offer guests and water enthusiasts two different lakes to rent watercraft,” Marino said.

The Red House Boathouse, offering the same types of rentals, plus canoes and bikes, is scheduled to open in late April, weather permitting.

The Park Restaurant, located on the second floor of the Red House Administration Building, will remain open with the current Friday through Sunday schedule through Memorial Day Weekend, after which the hours will be extended. Watch for their summer menu coming next month, the opening of their outdoor patio for the season and several themed nights planned throughout the summer.

For those who frequent the stores within the park, the gift shop inside the Administration Building is open every day and hours will be extending in a few weeks.

The two general stores and Quaker Gift Shop will all open at the end of April, weather-permitting.

Start planning for peak camping season now! Make your reservations at www.reserveamerica.com.

Stay up to date on all ASP news by checking out their Facebook page.