Celebrate Spring in EVL
By Alicia Dziak
April showers bring loads of fun to EVL! While it may be referred to as “mud season” around these parts, that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit inside and wait for summer.
Where to begin?
April 1 marks the start of trout season in the region. The Enchanted Mountains offers great steelhead fishing opportunities along the Cattaraugus Creek. Licenses are just $25 ($50 for non-resident) and are good for one full year from date of purchase. Visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/31432.html to learn about specific regulations for Catt County.
Get your game on! The mild winter has made way for the chance to golf early this year. Holiday Valley’s driving range is open, and the “official” opening of the golf course’s front nine is Friday, April 1. Tee off and start the spring off right!
Whitewater rafting is a surefire way to get in your adrenaline rush, and April is the perfect time to go, with the spring thaw filling the creeks. Enjoy the gorges of Zoar Valley from below as you navigate the rapids of the mighty Cattaraugus Creek with experienced guides. Check out www.ZoarValleyRafting.com, www.Adventure-Calls.com or CattRaftingAdventures.com.
April 22 is Earth Day. Celebrate the great outdoors and enjoy some fresh springtime air. Wander through the Nannen Arboretum, or hike the trails at nearby Allegany State Park (ASP) or McCarty Hill State Forest. Take a bike ride around ASP’s Red House Lake. Meander the pathways between giant rock formations at Little Valley’s Little Rock City, Olean’s Rock City Park and ASP’s Thunder Rocks. Better yet, plant a tree in your own yard and give back to Mother Nature.
April 8-10, the Greater Olean Area Home and Garden Show returns. Get a jump on your spring home and garden projects by checking out more than 80 of the area’s leading businesses that will be exhibiting their wares and services. Displays include landscaping, patios, window replacement, siding, heating and air conditioning, pools, spas, furniture, computer technology and much more. There will also be demonstrations and seminars for DIYers. Show hours are Friday, April 8, 5-9 p.m., Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more info, visit www.OleanNY.com.
April 2-3 is the second Maple Weekend of the year, where you can find all things maple. Numerous area sugar shacks will open their doors to the public with demos, samples, and of course, pancake breakfasts, during this sweet celebration of spring. Head to www.mapleweekend.com and plan your weekend!
Want even more maple? Head to Franklinville for the annual Maple Festival, April 23-24. Stop by to taste that mouth watering, freshly made maple syrup and learn the process of making it! Enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, demonstrations and a craft show. There also will be a petting zoo, antique gas and engine show, kids rides, a craft show, a parade, a library book sale, plowing demos, live entertainment, helicopter rides and the Miner’s Cabin will be open!
On April 23, check out the Craft Beer and Wine Festival in Springville. Head to the Springville Volunteer Fire Company at 405 West Main Street from 4-7 p.m. for live entertainment by Mike Nugent and a tasty sampling of beer and wine from Flying Bison, 42 North, Ellicottville Brewing Co., Southern Tier, Big Ditch, Savage Winery, The Winery of Ellicottville, Main St. Winery, Four Mile Brewing, and The Winery at Marjim Manor. Tickets are $30 presale and $35 at the door. Must be 21 or older.
By the time May flowers arrive, EVL is in the full swing of spring! Get ready for Sky High’s season opening on May 6, and the Happy Half and 5K at Holiday Valley on May 7. Also happening May 7 are the Allegany Adventure Run at ASP and the Springville Center for the Arts’ Art Crawl.
April may be muddy and wet, but that can be fun, right? Take this time to leave the house and welcome spring with a smile, checking out all the fantastic activities the area has to offer!