By Alicia Dziak
Woo hoo! Kids are off until 2017, and it’s time to celebrate with loads of fun over this holiday break.
Hit the slopes! Holiday Valley is open and in full swing. Choose from numerous lifts and slopes, warm up in the lodge, then head back out and do it all over again.
HV offers other ways to enjoy downhill if you want a break from the skis or snowboard. Both the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster and the tubing park just opened for the winter season. Check out the article on page 1.
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are other great ways to get some exercise and fresh air. The cross country trails along the top ridgeline of Holiday Valley and around the golf course at the bottom of the mountain are generally packed by snowmobile and if weather permits the lower trails are trackset. The trails on top are open until 3 p.m.; intermediate skills are recommended. You can buy a two-ride cross country ticket for the Mardi Gras, Cindy’s or Tannenbaum lift for $12 and either ride the Mardi Gras or Tannenbaum chair back down, or ski down. The easier trails along the golf course at the base of the mountain are open during daylight hours and there are solar lights for a nighttime ski on the golf course, but be sure to stay away from the ponds that are used for snowmaking. (they’re marked with a rope) Cross country rental skis, boots and poles are $18 per day.
Snowshoeing is also available on the lower slopes and on the golf course, just be sure to stay to the side of the cross country tracks. Snowshoes are available to rent from the High Performance Shop for $18 for eight hours.
Adventurous and experienced cross country skiers can make use of the miles and miles of mountain bike trails located in the state forest bordering Holiday Valley. These trails are not patrolled or maintained, so take all precautions of a responsible back country skier.
For more XC and snowshoeing opps, head to Allegany State Park and enjoy the Art Roscoe trail system, The Art Roscoe Cross-Country Ski Trails are one of the finest double-track trail systems in the Northeastern US. The 20 miles of trails are well-designed and offer skiers of all ages and abilities an exceptional skiing experience. Scenic vistas around the trail offer beautiful panoramic views of the Allegany region and never does a road or power line cross the trail.
ASP also offers trails for snowmobiling, part of over 400 miles of snowmobile trails in Cattaraugus County.
As the largest state park in New York, ASP is filled with winterized cabins. If you stay before Dec. 31, there is a buy two nights, get one free camping special. Visit www.reserveamerica.com and enter promo code COZYCABIN16. Check daily, as new cabins tend to open up due to cancellations.
Looking for some indoor fun? Head to EVL Bowling for some competition on the lanes and at the arcade games. Order a pizza and a pitcher of pop and make an afternoon of it.
Stroll the Village streets and stop into your favorite shops to stock up on gifts for yourself and post-holiday deals.
Grab a bite at one of Ellicottville’s eateries, and stay into the evening to enjoy some live music.
There’s no shortage of exciting adventures you can take this time of year. Enjoy the last of 2016 with friends and family, and have a blast this holiday break!
If time on the ice is calling, head to the Twelve Skating Days of Christmas, through Dec. 31 in Olean. Through the generosity of the community businesses and organizations listed below, the City of Olean Youth Bureau & Recreation Department is offering free admission for public ice skating the following dates and times. There is a $2 skate rental fee.
Skating hours are as follows:
Friday, Dec. 23, 6-8 p.m., sponsored by Olean Moose Lodge #119;
Saturday, Dec. 24, 11 a.m-2 p.m., Christmas Eve Skate, sponsored by Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce;
Monday, Dec. 26, 6-8 p.m., sponsored by The Iroquois Group;
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 6-8 p.m., sponsored by Five Star Bank;
Wednesday, Dec. 28, 6-8 p.m., sponsored by Olean Lions Club;
Thursday, Dec. 29, 6-8 p.m., sponsored by Olean Sports Boosters;
Friday, Dec. 30, 6-8 p.m., sponsored by City of Olean Fire Department;
Saturday, Dec. 31, 1-4 p.m., New Year’s Eve Skate sponsored by Southern Tier Realty;
Sunday, Jan. 1, 1-4 p.m. New Year’s Day Skate.