By Alicia Dziak
It’s June in Ellicottville, which means anything you want it to mean! Golf, music, pool time, runs and so much more can all be yours this month. Read on for some ideas, and be sure to have your pen handy to mark those calendars!
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. Kyle and Tom 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 18 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, 174 elements and 43 ziplines, with the tallest platform at 68 feet and the longest zip line measuring 350 feet. New this season is the Tarzan swing, where brave guests swing on a rope into a giant cargo net.
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.
Also new this season will be a Gem Mining feature opening in mid-June. Younger children can try panning for treasures at the new Mr. Happy Gem Mine, located at the base of the Climbing Forest.
For rate info, visit www.holidayvalley.com/summer/sky-high- adventure-park/climbing- forest/.
The Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster and Climbing Forest also opened for the season last weekend. The coaster is a thrilling ride that zigs, zags and spirals down the mountain where you control the speed. The Climbing Forest features a series of nine trees outfitted with climbing holds that create a 3-D climbing wall.
Sky High is currently open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and will be open daily starting June 15.
The first of two Locals Days is planned later this month, on June 20 (the second if on July 25.) If you live in Cattaraugus County, you can get a 3-hour climb for only $15. June 17 is Father’s Day and dads climb free that day at the Aerial Park (3 hour climb) with the purchase of a full priced ticket for kids or mom. Call for reservations, (716) 699-4444.
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 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.
Another great way to explore New York’s largest state park is the 60th annual Allegany Nature Pilgrimage, June 1-3. The Pilgrimage includes numerous nature-inspired workshops and programs for all ages, and there is definitely something for everyone. Make your own schedule designed around your personal interests, with programs running from 90 minutes long to a half day. Visit www.alleganynaturepilgrimage.com for more info.
On June 9, Allegany State Park’s Environmental Education Department invites the public to discover some unique outdoor activities at the “Get Outdoors Day!” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Summit Warming Hut on the Red House side of Allegany State Park. This free, family-friendly event features exciting ways to get outside and the park, kicking off at 9 a.m. with a guided bird walk. Join the Trail Stewardship staff at 10:30 a.m. as they lead us along a 2.4-mile hike on the Sweetwater trail. The Friends of Allegany State Park will be on hand to lead tours at the Summit Fire Tower from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. A fly-fishing demonstration starts at 12:30 p.m. Rods will be available for practice. Bring your bikes, as the mountain bike tour begins at 2 p.m. Don’t forget to stop by the Warming Hut to see the “Ask the Naturalist” booth open the duration of the event. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch, water and a sense of adventure. Registration is not required for this free event. For more information, please contact the Environmental Education/Recreation Department at 716-354-9101 ext. 236 or check out the Allegany State Park Facebook page.
Another hidden gem is Griffis Sculpture Park, the largest outdoor sculpture park in the country, which will host free outdoor activities every Saturday at noon starting this month. Check out the following events: June 2, Found Rock Painting, 12 p.m.; June 9, Screen Printing Activity, 12 p.m. (bring a white t-shirt); June 16, Free Guided Hike, 12- 2 p.m.; June 23, Watercolor Painting at the Gate House, 12 p.m.; June 30, Kite Creation and Flying, 12 p.m. For more info, visit www.griffispark.org.
On June 9, 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. There will be raffles and a community party later that afternoon at Dina’s Restaurant. For more information, visit www.elisahugheyscholarship.com.
Ready to get muddy? Saturday, June 16 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 16-17 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 is the annual Raccoon Rally at Allegany State Park. This Cross Country Mountain Bike Race once again blasts off and finishes at the top of the mountain/Summit area in Red House at 10 a.m. utilizing most of the Art Roscoe Trail System and Thunder Run Singletrack. Novice, Beginner, Sport & Expert classes battle it out for awards and prizes in several age groups. There’s a course for every level of mountain biker at the Raccoon Rally. First 250 entrants receive a Raccoon Rally finishers keychain. Free Kids Races round out the Sunday action followed by the awards ceremony and raffle up at the Summit Area as well. Race-day registration is welcome. For more info, visit www.heartrateup.com.
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 Live music on stage at Holiday Valley on Saturday, June 30 starting at 8 p.m. is Dennis DeYoung and the music of Styx. Sunday, July 1 will feature the Buffalo Philharmonic at 8 p.m. followed by a spectacular fireworks show. Other weekend highlights include the annual pet parade, strawberry festival and much more. For more info, visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.