Red-House-Picnic-PavillionBy Alicia Dziak

Allegany State Park (ASP) is really like two parks in one, as it’s divided into two sides — Red House and Quaker. Regular visitors to the park definitely have a favorite. If you’re not a regular at ASP, how do you know which side would better suit your camping style?

The Red House area is centered around the fabulous Tudor-style Administration Building, which features a natural history museum, regional headquarters, a restaurant, and a gift shop. The building overlooks Red House Lake, and most of the Red House Area is centered around the lake.

During the summer months, Red House beach is full of happy families splashing in the lake and picnicking in the sand. There is an ice cream shop, as well as mini golf and boat rentals at the boat house nearby. A paved path leads bikers, joggers and walkers around the lake, and numerous playgrounds and picnic shelters lie on the outskirts.

Cabins vary from spacious, three-room cabins (Beehunter) to newly remodeled one-room cabins with built-in bunks (Congdon) that are always a hit with kids. Campsites are concentrated in the Red House Loops A-D area.

With 130 campsites, 144 cabins and one full-service cottage, there’s room for plenty of guests who enjoy a little more hustle and bustle, and the ability to walk to a majority of activities throughout their stay.

“I like the Red House area better than Quaker because I think there’s more to do there, and it’s all closer together,” said Dave Brown, 53, of Springville, who’s been camping at Allegany for many years. “I like the beach there, and how everything else is nearby.”

The Quaker area is a bit quieter and spread out. It features two lakes, two fishing piers, and a canoeing or kayaking access point.

Quaker Lake also boasts a beautiful beach with lots of space to spread out.

The Quaker area also has an ice cream and food stand, mini golf, playgrounds and picnic shelters, but they are further apart from one another and require a little more walking or driving. There is also a museum housing interesting exhibits that document the history of Allegany State Park and a replica of an old ASP cabin, and the Quaker Amphitheater, which hosts many programs throughout the summer.

Quaker offers 189 campsites (most of them located in Cain Hollow), 230 cabins and seven full-service rental cottages.

If quiet camping in the wilderness is more your style, then Quaker is the place for you. Many of the sites and cabins are bordered by creeks and woods, and give campers a lot of privacy.

“I prefer Quaker because Cain Hollow has so many great campsites, and the porches on the cabins are much nicer, covered and wooden,” said Tim Smith, 36, of Hamburg, who spends many weekends every year camping at ASP.

Whether you choose the action of Red House or the tranquility of Quaker, you’re sure to have a wonderful time exploring one of the region’s most scenic destinations.

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