By Alicia Dziak
Camping! Hiking! Fishing! Biking! Boating! You can do it all at Allegany State Park (ASP), New York’s largest state park with 65,000 sprawling acres to explore. With next weekend as the unofficial start to summer, now’s the time to plan your adventure at ASP.
Camping anyone? Choose from hundreds of camp sites, cabins and full service cottages in a variety of park settings. Do you want to be overlooking a creek? Close to your neighbor so you can share a campfire? Backing up to the woods or in an open field? You can take your pick! Visit www.reserveamerica.com to book your stay.
Miles of hiking trails await to take you over all kinds of terrain. Choose from destination hikes to the Stone Tower, Fire Tower, Little Ireland, the Bear Caves and much more. Head up Black Snake Mountain and snap the obligatory “one foot in New York, one foot in Pennsylvania” picture, challenge yourself on the North Country and Beehunter trails, or simply take a stroll through Thunder Rocks or around Red House Lake. Pick up a trail map at the rental offices.
Enjoy fishing on Red House, Quaker and Science Lakes. Rent a watercraft at Red House and Quaker Lakes, where you can choose from paddleboats, canoes, kayaks and SUPs. At Red House, you can also rent a bike or pedal car to take on the paved path around the lake. On your journey, be sure to stop by the new waterfowl observation deck, located near the bike path below Red House Dam.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the Park Restaurant in the Red House Administration Building, where you can find soups, salads, burgers and everything to satisfy your cravings. If the sun is shining, enjoy the outdoor patio that overlooks the lake.
Browse the park shops and find unique gifts and everything you need for a comfortable stay in the park. Each side of the park boasts a gift shop and a general store, offering everything from t-shirts and mugs to ice cream and coffee.
Be in the know on all things ASP. Be sure to pick up the Ellicottville Times every week and check out the park page, featuring events and other happenings in the park all summer long.