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Celebrate the Season: Father’s Day Outings

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By Mary Heyl

Father’s Day weekend is the perfect time to show Dad some love (and a great time!) by sharing a memorable experience together at one of the region’s great outdoor events taking place this weekend. From hiking to biking to hitting the links, there are lots of great ways for families to get away for the day and celebrate the special man in their life.

Head to Sky High at Holiday Valley, where dad can climb free on June 17 with a paid admission. Take him into the Aerial Park, where he can choose from courses of varying difficulty, making his way from one platform to the next on ladders, ropes, ziplines and everything in between. Make reservations to secure your spot.

As part of Griffis Sculpture Park’s free summer series, take dad on a guided hike through the park from noon to 2 p.m. on June 16. Check out the park’s 250 sculptures while meandering through the woods and taking advantage of numerous photo opps.

Zoar Valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in New York State, is the perfect place to spend the afternoon exploring wildlife and learning about the history of the region. Naturalist Mark Carra is going to be leading the Zoar Valley excursion on Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This guided hike will take participants from Point Peter down to Valentine Flats where the main branch of the Cattaraugus Creek meets the South branch.

Carra will share information about the flora, fauna and the humans who have occupied the Valley throughout history. Interested participants should pre-register by calling (585) 457-3228. Cost is $7 per person, and the group will meet at Tops Friendly Markets located at 184 S. Cascade Dr. in Springville. Don’t forget to bring a bag lunch!

Fuel up for some fun at Bike and Bean, located at 30 Washington St. in Ellicottville. One of the area’s most popular bicycle shops also serves delicious burritos and real fruit smoothies. Why not try one of their signature fish tacos, made with wild-caught mahi-mahi, white rice, avocado, red cabbage slaw with Greek yogurt, salsa and lime! Treat Dad to a tasty lunch and some new cycling gear at Bike and Bean, where you can also get all the best advice on where to ride throughout the region.

No matter what your cycling skill level, you and Dad can take part in the Raccoon Rally Mountain Bike Race at Allegany State Park on Sunday, June 17. The park once again hosts one of the longest-running mountain bike races in Western New York in one of the most beautiful places in the region.

This Cross Country Mountain Bike Race begins in the Red House area at 10 a.m. and uses the Art Roscoe Trail System and the Thunder Run Singletrack. Visit http://www.heartrateup.com/raccoonrally18.html to register and view the schedule for expert, sport, and beginner and novice cyclists. There will be free kids races at 1 p.m. prior to the awards ceremony, where there will be awards and cash prizes to the top cyclists, as well as a picnic lunch and door prizes.

Hit the links with Dad this weekend at one of the region’s many picturesque golf courses. Holiday Valley’s Double Black Diamond Golf Course is the perfect place to spend the day. In addition to beautiful views from every hole, the 15-acre course includes a 300-yard driving range, covered and grass tees, target greens and a ball machine. Treat Dad to a lesson or two at the prestigious Phil Ritson/Mel Sole Golf School, or join a summer league with him and meet new friends!

Located at 9255 Genesee Road in East Concord, Concord Crest Golf Course is a great choice for a fun day with Dad. Concord Crest is open to the public and offers the same affordable rates every day of the week. Enjoy their 3-hole, par 10 practice facility, as well as a variety of lessons, clinics and camps for golfers of all ages. Call the course at 716-592-7636 to reserve your tee time.

Give Dad a gift he’ll enjoy all season long with a membership to Springville Country Club, known as “WNY’s Friendliest Golf Club”! Springville Country Club considers itself one of the most available private courses in the region, as joining is easy and there are no tee times, even on the weekends. With some of the most affordable dues in Western New York, it makes a great gift for Dad—and perhaps yourself, too! Call the Club at (716) 592-4334 to learn more or visit the office, located at 14445 Cascade Road in Springville.

Come dinner time, why not throw something on the grill with your own homemade sauce or rub? For a classic barbecue sauce, combine the following ingredients in a blender until smooth:

1½ cups brown sugar

1½ cups ketchup

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup water

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2½ tablespoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons salt

1½ teaspoons black pepper

Two dashes hot pepper sauce

For a dry rub that can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container, mix together the following ingredients:

½ cup paprika

3 tablespoons cayenne pepper

5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons onion powder

6 tablespoons salt

2½ tablespoons dried oregano.

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