Camp New York caught up with Gary to talk about camping at Allegany State Park in Western New York. He also shared some insights in to their great hiking trails, the different campgrounds and how he likes to spend his time in the park. Allegany State Park is a great place to visit in western New York.
Gary’s Favorite Thing To Do In The Park
Visiting Thunder Rocks, one of our hiking areas- is a great way to spend a short time in Allegany State Park
Gary’s Favorite Campsite
For a quieter more secluded night I would suggest Cain Hollow. If camping with a family, the Red House Campgrounds is located in the heart of the area.
Get To Know Allegany State Park
When was Allegany State Park founded? How did it start?
One of the greatest four-season recreational assets in Western New York is Allegany State Park. Authorized by an act of the legislature on May 2, 1921, the first purchase of land was made on June 18, 1921. The park was formally dedicated on July 30, 1921. Governor Miller appointed a five-member commission headed by Senator Albert Fancher to develop a vast park eventually encompassing today’s 65,000 + acres. A Park Bond Issue in 1924 provided funding for the initial development of the Red House Area including the Administration building and the dam that created Red House Lake. Between 1933 and 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corps built roads, bridges, picnic and camping areas. Over the following years cabins and group camps were added. The original part of the park, the Quaker Area had a lake and large campground added to it’s over 200 cabins. Today, Allegany State Park continues to offer visitors opportunities for recreation, nature interpretation, camping, and outdoor activities first envisioned by those who worked so hard to preserve this land for future generations.
What are the most popular activities in the park?
Allegany State Park offers a variety of activities to its visitors; it is difficult to say what is the most popular. Allegany State Park is known for its 78 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of equestrian trails, 91 miles of snowmobiling trails, 24 miles of cross country and mountain bilking trails and over 5 miles of paved biking trails. Both areas of Allegany offer lake swimming, interpretative and recreational programs (summer season), tent and RV camping as well as year round cabin and cottage rentals.
Where is Allegany State Park located? What are some other attractions in the area worth checking out?
Allegany State Park is located in the southern tier of New York State bordering Pennsylvania. It is outside of Salamanca NY and 60 miles south of Buffalo NY and 30 miles east of Jamestown NY. Allegany State Park is easily accessed off of Interstate 86 at exits 18 and 19. The Seneca Nation of Indian lands border Allegany, one can visit their museums or Casino, a short distance away is Amish country for some great shopping and Ellicottville, NY is 15 minutes away which offers golf, downhill skiing and zip lines and Sky Coaster attraction. The Lucy-Desi Musuem, gift shop and the Lucille Ball Center for Comedy is located nearby in Jamestown, NY.
Which one of those attractions is your favorite?
The vast network of hiking trails allows one to get back to nature and leave the hubbub of everyday life behind.
What are the campsites like within the park? Are they more open or secluded?
There are some sites which are more secluded than others, but generally they are more open.
If you could only spend one hour in the park, what would you do?
Visiting Thunder Rocks, one of our hiking areas- is a great way to spend a short time in Allegany State Park. You can explore the huge conglomerate rock formations that line the trail, or take a short hike to Bridal Falls, a 30 foot shale outcrop best viewed in the spring when more rain is usually received.
If you could spend just 1 night in Allegany State Park, which campsite would you choose – and why?
In answer to this question I will speak to the two areas within Allegany State Park- Red House Campgrounds and Cain Hollow Campgrounds (Quaker). I cannot pick one exact site. I have no other answer than it all depends on what your preferences are. For a quieter more secluded night I would suggest Cain Hollow. The sites are more spaced out and the campground is in a more remote area. If camping with a family, the Red House Campgrounds is located in the heart of the area and many of the facilities, such as the beach, campground store, restaurant and athletic areas are easily accessible by bike or foot.