By Alicia Dziak
Enjoy the height of leaf peeping season this weekend! Check out the brilliant shades of gold, crimson, copper and more as the forests and hillsides are transformed.
Don’t know where to begin? How about right here in Ellicottville with a view from above? Enjoy the last weekend of chairlift rides at Holiday Valley. Ride the Spruce Lake chair to the top, enjoy the view and either ride the chair down or hike around the lake then take the new 1.25 mile Orange Trail back to the base. Rides are offered from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 16. Tickets are $7, children age 2 and under are free.
If you want to be even closer to the leaves, make your plans for Sky High, where you can climb through the trees, fly down the mountain or zipline your way through the color in the Climbing Forest, Mountain Coaster and Aerial Park, open through Oct. 30. For more info, visit www.holidayvalley.com.
Enjoy a hidden gem and take time out to explore Nannen Arboretum, in the heart of the village, which offers paved and stone paths for leisurely strolls.
Nearby Griffis Sculpture Park displays fall’s hues amid more than 250 gigantic artistic sculptures on hillsides, in fields and forest — even in a pond.
Hike the newly-opened Rails to Trails in Springville, or head to Glenwood’s Sprague Brook Park and roam miles of wooded trails.
Allegany State Park provides you with more than 65,000 acres of leaf peeping paradise along lakes, hiking/biking trails and at special vantage points like the Stone Tower with great views. Be sure to bring your camera!
Rock City Park wows visitors with a spectacular panoramic view high above the treetops, providing a gorgeous view of the rolling hills and valley housing the city of Olean below.
Little Rock City Park is perfect for climbing the natural outcrop of huge conglomerate rocks nestled in the forest.
Feeling adventurous? Head to Zoar Valley or Letchworth State Park and whitewater raft through the gorges for a spectacular view from below.
An afternoon road trip along the Amish Trail provides a different kind of escape to a more peaceful part of the county down back roads, over hills, past Amish farmsteads and fields to view colorful scenery and glimpse into a simpler way of life.
Whether by foot or by car, you’ll surely enjoy this beautiful and colorful time of year. Grab your travel mug and some hot cider, and get movin’ before the leaves fall!