By Kellen M. Quigley

Summer is in full swing at Allegany State Park, and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors in New York’s largest state park.

Grab a bite to eat at the Park Restaurant, located at the Red House Administration building, which is currently undergoing a renovation project to make the building look as new as it did many decades ago!

But don’t worry, the restaurant, museum, offices and the gift shop are still open inside.

There’s no better way to cool off during a heatwave than by a dip in the lake, and Allegany State Park offers two sandy beaches.

Red House Lake, which reopened last summer after being closed for nearly a year due to the reconstruction of the Red House Dam, once again to welcoming visitors to its scenic waters. 

Beachgoers will not only enjoy a guarded beach with plenty of room to sprawl out on the sand and the grass but can also have fun at the all-new playground overlooking the beach. The snack bar is open, as well as the boathouse, where you can rent kayaks, SUPs, canoes and even bikes and pedal cars to cruise the bike path around the lake.

Over at Quaker Lake, the beach is open daily as well, offering plenty of parking, picnic tables and a wide beach for sunning and building sandcastles. A second new playground was also constructed in the picnic area across from the Amphitheater. A new dock area was added last year, adjacent to the beach, where you can also rent a variety of watercraft to enjoy the lake.

The park packs in a full lineup of live music all summer long with special events and their Artists in Resident Program, which unofficially began in the early 1980s. In the early years, concerts were mainly on the Red House side of the park, but as it continued to grow in popularity, eventually the Quaker side of the park was included.

Today, concerts are held all week long at various locations throughout the park, including the Quaker Amphitheater, Red House Beach and Red House Administration Building lawn. The schedule can be picked up at either registration building or viewed on the park’s Facebook page.

Get ready for a rockin’ good time at the park’s 8th annual Rock the Park, set for July 19 at the Red House Beach area. The day kicks off at 3 p.m. with a local vendor showcase. Various merchants and organizations will be on hand to familiarize park patrons and local residents with the many great things that are available to them in the surrounding area.

At 5 p.m., Park Naturalists will host an “Ask the Naturalist” program that will feature several interactive nature displays including a nature-themed photo booth. At 6 p.m., a sandcastle building contest will take place, sign up at the “Ask the Naturalist” table. 

Also at 6 p.m., it’s time to “Rock the Park” with opening act and Allegany’s own Artist in Residence, Tyler Calkins. This 31-year-old singer-songwriter set out to create a sound reflecting the songwriting techniques of the sixties and seventies, while also utilizing modern and alternative rock.

He will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by the headliner, Pressure Sensitive, which is an explosive band sometimes referred to as a rock and roll time machine due to the variety of songs they play. 

They take audiences on a wild ride that stops anywhere between the 1960s and into the new millennium. Pressure Sensitive is a band that will keep you dancing and singing all night long. 

For more information on this event contact the Environmental Education/Recreation Department at 354-9101 ext 236 or check out our Facebook page.

Then on Saturday, July 27, bring your four-legged furry friends to the Red House Picnic Area at Allegany State Park for the second annual Dog Days of Summer event!

From agility courses to paw painting, this event set for 2 to 4 p.m. is perfect for you and your pup.

Any pet on a maximum of a six-foot leash, with proof of vaccination, and is friendly to both people and other animals are more than welcome! Additionally, as this event is a park-run function, we must add that any unruly animals may be asked to leave.

This event is co-hosted with EARS, a local adoption agency who will bring along animals looking for their forever home. Come and beat the heat at our beautiful park with some fun games, free treats, great tunes, and good company. Registration is not required. 

Would you like to volunteer for this event? Contact the Environmental Education/Recreation Department at 716-354-9101 ext. 231 or for more information.