Tuesday , August 22 2017
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Out with the Old, In with the New Construction at ASP

ASP-CABINSBy Alicia Dziak

Many of Allegany State Park’s (ASP) buildings have been standing for decades, apparent by the layers of thick green or brown paint on the cabins.

While some have aged gracefully, others have not fared as well, and this summer, visitors have had to say goodbye to some of their “old friends” — the ASP cabins.

Demolished cabins include many of the small cabins in Group Camp 10 on Red House, as well as cabins on Creekside, Gypsy, Pine Tree and Parallel Trails, all on the Quaker side. According to ASP’s Facebook page, “The park engineers said they were structurally unsound.”

This news is particularly sad to me because my family wrote “Abandoned Cabin Tour” on our summer to-do list for our week in ASP this summer.

We just discovered Group Camp 10 when we were painting for I Love My Park Day in May, and one of the wonderful Friends of Allegany volunteers suggested taking a detour through Group Camp 10 on our way out.

We parked the car on the shoulder, took the short walk up the driveway and were amazed that there was a place this incredible in ASP that we had never seen before. At the top of Group Camp 10 sat the large mess hall, and it appeared in pretty good shape despite the lack of stairs to get into it. Across from the mess hall stood the bathhouse, and behind that were two parallel rows of small cabins lining two sides of a hill. The view from the top was amazing, and my daughter and I couldn’t resist walking down the center of the hill and peering into the one room structures, as most of the doors were swung open.

I later learned from Allegany State Park Historical Society’s Facebook page that Group Camp 10 was the first group camp on the Red House side of the park.

According to Bob Schmid’s write-up on the Facebook page, “It also had the distinction of having the first wood cabins constructed in Allegany State Park.” It was used by various groups throughout the years, opened to the general public from 1977-2000, and closed at the end of the 2000 camping season. The group camp had a rich history, much of it outlined on the ASP Historical Society’s Facebook page.

Also on our cabin tour list were the two-room Pine Tree cabins, which we admired last year at the conclusion of our hike on the Three Sisters hiking trail, and the abandoned Parallel cabins, which we’ve been snapping family photos in front of for years. The poor Creekside cabin was hit by a falling tree, which made it buckle.

As sad as the news of the demolished cabins was to hear, there is a bright side, and that is that we can replace our “Abandoned Cabin Tour” with a “New Construction Tour.”

Cain Hollow is the large area behind Quaker Lake housing over 150 campsites on four loops. Last year, the area did not fare well in a summer lightning storm. Power was knocked out and remained out for much of August and into the fall.

For starters, the electrical has been updated, some with 30 and some with 50 amp service. There have been other improvements as well.

“New site number posts, as well as crushed limestone on the site driveways/pads, and a small section of one of the main loop access roads was paved,” said Cassie Wright, ASP naturalist.

In addition, a new bathhouse is currently being constructed and is expected to be completed later this year.

Besides all the new construction going on at Cain Hollow, many other new projects have been completed or are in progress throughout the park, including the all-new Group Camp 5 on Quaker and renovations to Camp Allegany.

ASP is a place full of history that is continually moving forward with new developments and improvements.

My family is looking forward to spending time there to enjoy some new adventures, and perhaps we will even visit the former sites of our old cabin friends along the way.

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