By Alicia Dziak
It’s June in Ellicottville, which means outdoor fun galore! Golfing, swimming, hiking, biking or even swinging from the trees can all be yours in the month ahead.
Holiday Valley is in full swing this time of year. Get your golf on at their 18 hole par 70 “Double Black Diamond” golf course. Looking to improve your game? Holiday Valley’s Director of Golf, Steve Carney, is a Master PGA Golf Professional, one of only 220 in the country. Steve’s 38 years of teaching experience with all levels and ages of golfers not only gives him the ability to pinpoint what you need help with, but also gives him a great understanding how each individual learns best. Also teaching at Holiday Valley are Class A PGA member, Kyle Benish and Tom Dirito USGTF Instructor, who specialize in children’s golf lessons and advanced players.
HV’s three-pool complex is now open weekends only and will open daily from June 19 through Labor Day. Splash into a kiddie pool, a lap pool and an activity pool, featuring a diving board and slide, play a variety of poolside games, or sip a drink from the Cabana Bar. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 8 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Get your adrenaline rush at Sky High Adventure Park. Sky High is made up of three components: the Aerial Park, the Climbing Forest and the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster.
The Aerial Park, the largest of its kind in New York State and third largest in the U.S., combines a series of platforms and bridges built in a 4-acre section of the woods near the resort’s Tannenbaum Lodge. There are 13 courses with varying levels of difficulty and the more difficult the course, the higher up it is in the trees. The Aerial Park includes 142 platforms, 170 elements and 43 ziplines, with the tallest platform at 68 feet and the longest zip line measuring 350 feet.
For rates and to make reservations, visit www.holidayvalley.com/summer/sky-high- adventure-park/.
Those ages five and up can enjoy the Climbing Forest, which is like a 3D version of a rock wall, and only one of three in the country. There are 10 trees outfitted with color-coded climbing holds and the difficulty ranges from very easy (yellow) to very challenging (purple). Each climber is fitted with a harness that is clipped into an Auto Belay system. Once a climber reaches the top of the tree at up to 45 feet, they just let go and the belay system slowly lowers them to the ground. There is also a kids’ area with two trees where the youngest climbers can climb about 6 feet up and climb back down.
For rate info, visit www.holidayvalley.com/summer/sky-high- adventure- park/climbing- forest/.
Sky High will both be open Fridays through Sundays, through June 11. Starting June 16, they will be open daily throughout the summer.
If you’re looking for fun opportunities to explore the great outdoors, look no further. The Ellicottville area offers numerous hiking and biking trails.
Take to the woods on Holiday Valley’s Mountain Biking Trails. The 4-5 mile “race loop” starts at the Holiday Valley Training Center and goes up gradually to the top of Cindy’s. From there it goes across the ridge line of the resort where you can choose to ride the wider and more forgiving cross country trails or skinny winding singletrack to the top of Eagle, Cochran Pond at the top of Morning Star, and into the Tannenbaum area. The flow trail, Senear Valley Trail, runs from Spruce Lake across through the woods to Champagne, then it zigs and zags across the front ski slopes with big banked turns in the woods, and finishes near the Training Center.
Head to nearby Allegany State Park which offers miles of trails through all kinds of terrain, as well as a paved bike path around Red House Lake.
The park also offers camping at hundreds of camp sites, cabins and full service cottages, as well as gift shops, a restaurant and two boathouses, where you can rent kayaks, SUPs, canoes, paddleboats, bikes and even pedal carts.
On June 10, sign up for the 5K fun run/walk to benefit The Elisa B. Hughey Scholarship for the Arts. Start/Finish is near the Gazebo in the heart of the Village of Ellicottville. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. (FREE) – donations for the scholarship fund will be gladly accepted! For more information on the scholarship, go to www.elisahugheyscholarship.com.
Ready to get muddy? Saturday, June 17 is the sixth annual Holiday Valley Mudslide, a guaranteed mucky time! Head over, under and through 11 obstacles, but nothing terrifying, which means no fire, barbed wire or the possibility of electric shock. Choose the 3.5 or 5.4 mile courses, both of which start by Spruce Lake (you even get a chairtlift ride to the top!) and end with the famous mudslide down the bottom of the Yodeler slope. An aweome after-party will feature food, drinks, music and awards. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Jim Kelly’s Hunter’s Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to giving hope through education and awareness, research, and family care for Krabbe, Leukodystrophies, and Newborn Screening. For more info and to sign up, visit www.holidayvalley.com.
June 17-18 is Paddlefest, at HV’s Spruce Lake. Enjoy kayak and SUP demos, kids races, SUP yoga demos, Orvis fly fishing casting demos, live music, a barbecue and more from 2 to 7 p.m. each day.
Mudslide participants get a free chairlift ride up, all others $7 per person.
June 17 and 18 is the annual Raccoon Rally at Allegany State Park. This competition featuring road races on Saturday and trail races on Sunday, draws participants from several surrounding states.
Saturday’s Gran Fondo Road Race/Tour kicks off the weekend on the rolling hills surrounding Allegany State Park with the first group rolling out at 9 a.m. Starting down near Red House Lake several groups complete 25, 50 or 75-mile courses around the Park’s 25-mile loop of rolling hills and serene backdrops. New for 2017 is the 3-lap course for category racers and teams that are out to get the most of their training. The 2-lap event is equally as challenging promising all that your quads can dish out. The 1-lap event is perfect for any rider or family looking to test their abilities. There will be a post-event picnic at the park’s Beehunter Shelter.
Sunday’s Cross Country Mountain Bike Race starts and finishes at the Summit area in Red House at 10 a.m., utilizing most of the Art Roscoe Trail System and Thunder Run Singletrack. Novice, Beginner, Sport and Expert classes battle it out for awards and prizes in several age groups and skill levels. Free Kids Races round out the Sunday action. For more info, visit www.heartrateup.com.
June 24-25, take advantage of Free Fishing Days in New York State. During Free Fishing Days/Weekends, anyone can fish the fresh or marine waters of New York State and no fishing license or recreational marine fishing registry is required! All other freshwater and saltwater fishing regulations still apply. For more info, visit www.dec.ny.gov.
End the month with the holiday weekend and the annual Summer Music Festival at Holiday Valley and in the village. This year’s festival, presented by the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, features the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, July 1 and Grand Funk Railroad on Sunday, July 2. Other weekend highlights include the annual pet parade, straberry festival and much more. For more info, visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.