Red House Lake drained

By Alicia Dziak

Good news for those heading to Red House to celebrate the end of the school year. The lake will soon reopen to swimmers, kayakers and everyone looking to spend their summer near the water.

According to Allegany State Park park manager Tom Livak, “All critical concrete work on the Red House dam spillway area has been completed to date so the lake level can be returned to normal elevation once final certifications are completed and adequate rainfall is received.  As such, we are tentatively planning to open Red House Lake beach on June 23 or a date soon after when lake levels have returned to an acceptable level.”

The actual date of opening will be dependent upon the weather and the amount of precipitation received to fill the basin. Please look for updates on the park’s Facebook page for confirmation on the exact date.

Quaker Lake Beach will be open daily for peak season beginning on June 23. The Quaker boathouse, located lakeside along the beach, will also offer kayaks, canoes and various watercrafts for rent.

Work continues on the earthen portion of the dam which, once completed, will permit the roadway and lakeside trail construction work to be finalized. This work is also very weather dependent due to soil moisture tolerances of the material used for widening the earthen dam.  Livak noted that, “This work will likely be completed in the next several weeks” but emphasized that the remaining earthen dam and roadway portion of the construction work will not affect recreation on the lake.

Cain Hollow Cottages

The hillside to the right as you head into the Cain Hollow area of the park behind Quaker Lake has a different landscape these days. That’s because of the construction of 15 new full-service cottages. While these cottages have some similarities to the cottages built on Parallel and Bova trails a few years back, they are smaller, with one bedroom instead of two. The cottages sleep 4-5 comfortably, with one full size bed, one twin bed and one full size futon, and also feature a bathroom with  They also include linens and kitchen utensils.

Six of the cottages are ready and able to be rented through Mark Barbera of ASP Partners LLC, the licensee for development of the cottages inside the park, said the remaining cottages should be open by July 1, or at least a majority of them will be, with the last two or three to follow soon after.

The cottages can be reserved at, but be sure to search for “Cain Hollow cottages” as cottages are in a separate section of the website than cabins.


Kids and kids at heart can enjoy two awesome new playgrounds at the park this year. The first is located on the Quaker side of the park, near the Quaker picnic shelter/area and across the street from the Amphitheater. The second one is located along Red House beach. This project is part of a goal Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed to modernize 100 state park playgrounds as part of the NY Parks 2020 Initiative. Under the initiative, the state park system will replace outdated playgrounds at the parks with code-compliant equipment, improve accessibility for people with disabilities and create distinct areas for young and older age groups.

Indian, Reed and Circle Cabin Trails

On the Quaker side of the park, past the picnic shelter are the Circle, Indian and Reed trails. Don’t worry—the orange construction fencing doesn’t mean these cabins will be torn down. In fact, it’s the opposite. These historic cabins, many of which started their life as tent platforms decades ago, have evolved into the cabins that patrons still enjoy today. In order to keep these historic structures in service for years to come, cabins are receiving new structural supports along with new piers, replacing any siding necessary, new roofs, doorway improvements and porch and step repairs or replacement as needed. A total of 11 cabins will be rehabilitated on these three cabin trails. This project is expected to be completed in July.