Rolling hills, refreshing bodies of water and a mixed hemlock/hardwood forest are just some of the reasons why Allegany State Park in Salamanca attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year.
According to Gary Quattrone, park manager III Allegany Region, a combination of what Allegany State Park offers in both recreation and aesthetic fascination make the park so appealing.
“The draw to Allegany State Park is just its natural beauty that can be enjoyed four seasons out of the year and we basically can usually provide something for everybody, from biking to swimming to hiking to skiing to just enjoying nature,” he said.
The park’s diverse selection of entertainment and activities has outdoor lovers really flocking to the park during the summer months. Every week during the summer through Aug. 24, a different local music artist performs daily or nightly from Monday through Friday at either the Quaker Amphitheater or the Red House Beach Area.
On another musical note, the “Rock the Park” music concert will be held July 13 at the Red House Beach Area and will feature Kevin McCarthy from 6-7 p.m. and the Porcelain Bus Drivers from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
For cycling enthusiasts, the Raccoon Rally is held every year and includes four different cycling events: the Road Race, the Bike Trials, the Cross-Country Race and the Kids’ Race. This year’s event will take place on June 30 and July 1 and cash prizes and medals will be awarded depending on finishing time and the event.
For strength and endurance junkies, a triathlon will be held Aug. 4 at Quaker Lake, and the Pain the Alleganies Half Ironman, which will feature a half-distance triathlon, an aquabike, a sprint triathlon and a duathlon, will occur from Sept. 22-23 at the Red House Beach Area.
More laid-back events at the park include fireworks at dusk July 3 at Quaker Lake and the Aug. 10 Full Moon Family Beach Party, which will be held at the Red House Beach Area. The fireworks will be preceded by a chicken barbecue at 4 p.m. and the band Cruisin at 7 p.m. The Beach Party will include a music concert, a limbo contest and a lifeguard competition.
On Sept. 29, the park will observe National Public Lands Day, which is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States. Volunteers devote their time during the event to improve public lands for outdoor recreation.
Of course, there are other grounds for visiting the park, too – campgrounds.
Allegany State Park is divided into two sections that each feature camping opportunities, the Quaker Area and the Red House Area. According www.nyparks.com, the Quaker Area has 189 campsites, 230 cabins (30 of which are winterized), one group camp for rental and seven rental cottages that sleep six and include a bathroom with a shower, a refrigerator and an outdoor grill.
The Red House Area, meanwhile, offers 130 campsites, 144 cabins (128 of which are winterized) and three group camps for rent. Also, www.nysparks.com states that the park’s vacation rental, Pitt Cottage, is “reminiscent of a classic hunting lodge” and offers the same amenities as the Quaker Area cottages, as well as a gas-burning stone fireplace.
According to the website, the Quaker Area is known for its two lakes and has many hiking trails, a variety of sports courts and fields, an amphitheater and a park museum that features exhibits that document the history of Allegany State Park as “the wilderness playground of Western New York.” The Red House Area, according to the website, has five miles of paved bike paths, boat rentals, a sandy beach, a historic Tudor-style administration building and a bedrock city known as Thunder Rocks.
Unquestionably, Allegany State Park provides an array of entertainment and activities and serves as an excellent camping spot. Of course, the true allure of any state park is the pure splendor found within its wilderness.