By Alicia Dziak
It’s May in the Enchanted Mountains, which means loads of fabulous activities to fill your time.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, recreation, competition or art, May is all about getting outside and having some fun!
Ready to get your adrenaline rush on? On May 5, Sky High Adventure Park opens for the season. The Aerial Park, which features ziplines, platforms and courses of varying levels of difficulty, and Climbing Forest, which resembles a 3D version of a rock wall, will be open weekends only through June 16, and then open daily. The Mountain Coaster opens on weekends starting May 19.
How about a little competition? Race season is in full swing and there are plenty to choose from.
Head to Allegany State Park on May 6 for the Allegany Adventure Run, a trail run through the beautiful Allegany State Park. For more info, visit www.heartrateup.com.
On May 13, HV hosts the Happy Half, 5K and Beer Mile. See the article below for more information.
Take the short drive to Sprague Brook Park or the Grinder Trail Race on May 14, where runners gear up for this wild and wicked 3.5-miler through park trails including single track, grass sections, creek crossing and hills. Register at www.heartrateup.com.
Starting on May 23 and running through June 27, the Dirt Devil Series features six individual trail running races taking place at Sprague Brook Park on Tuesday evenings. For more info, visit www.heartrateup.com.
Also at Sprague Brook Park are the Campus Series mountain bike races, beginning May 10. This weekly series of eight races i for all ages and abilities. For more information, visit Facebook.com/singletrackracing or on the web at singletrackracing.com.
May is a great time to give back. On May 6, sign up for I Love My Park Day. This state-wide initiative is about volunteering at your favorite state park or other state land. Many area parks are participating this year, including Allegany State Park. Register at www.ptny.org/events/i-love- my-park- day.
How about some fun on the water? This year’s 2017 annual Great Valley Volunteer Firemans Regatta will be held May 6. Sponsored annually by the Great Valley Volunteer Fire Company, this 10-mile regatta is fun for spectators and participants alike, with prizes awarded for best costume, group and fire department. Dinner, music and refreshments top off the day. For more information, visit http://greatvalleyfireco.com/regatta.
Head to Zoar Valley for some whitewater rafting. Take a guided trip down the Cattaraugus and enjoy a wet and wild adrenaline rush as you view the gorge from below. For more information, visit www.ZoarValleyRafting.com, www.Adventure-Calls.com or CattRaftingAdventures.com.
Get out those kayaks or canoes and get in some fresh air. Area lakes, creeks and waterways are calling!
Enjoy the scenery via mountain or road bike. It’s a great time of year to hit the trails at Holiday Valley or through McCarty State Forest. You can also head to Allegany State Park and enjoy the paved path around Red House Lake.
Olean’s Rock City Park opens for the season on May 1. Take an awe-inspiring walk through the park and check out giant rock formations.
On May 13-14, the park hosts their annual arts and crafts show, which will include returning popular artists and crafts people as well as new artisans who will be displaying their watercolors, oils, sculptures, photography, jewelry, glass, metals, wood and much, much more. Vendors will be located indoors, but then visitors can take a hike through the park, exploring the huge rocks and crevices in, under and around them. Park information, history, directions and general rates can be found at www.RockCityPark.com or by calling (716) 372-7790.
For more ways to connect with your creative side, head to the Springville Center for the Arts Art Crawl on May 6. Main Street in Springville becomes an art gallery, with artwork in many businesses, music in surprising corners and interactive art activities sprinkled throughout. For more information on this pedestrian-friendly, free, walking event, visit www.SpringvilleArts.org or call (716) 592-9038.
How about a unique opportunity to spend some quality time with your kids? Date Night with Kids Fishing Clinic at Adventure Bound on the Fly is happening May 13. This fishing class is designed for children and provides an ideal opportunity for kids to have fun and learn about a great sport of fly fishing while the parents enjoy some adult time. Each child will enjoy hands-on practice casting, identifying fish food (bugs) and playing, landing and releasing fish in a fun and respectful way. There will be hot dogs, chips and drinks for the kiddos to enjoy in between casts and landing fish. Call (716) 217-4047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your reservation.
How about a weekend of geocaching? The Allegany State Park GeoBash XII happens May 19-21. The weekend starts on Thursday night when the organizing committee will be hosting an informal “Pizza & Mountain Pies” event to thank those that help out with setting up the event grounds and to welcome early comers to the park. The annual Meet and Greet Bonfire event hosted by the Allegany Rangers will be held again on Friday night. The musicians, The Very Amazing Gentlemen, were a huge hit last year, and they enjoyed the event so much, that they are coming to entertain again. On Saturday, the ASPGB XII event will take place at Camp Allegany. For more info, visit http://www.facebook.com/Allegany-State- Park-GeoBash- 85423658079/.
May in the Enchanted Mountains means fun everywhere you look. Don’t miss this wonderful time of year to enjoy everything the area has to offer!