July 14, 2011

Mountain Biking and Hiking in Ellicottville, NY

What is there to do in Ellicottville, NY after the snow melts? Well, once the ground semi-drys up, the hills and single track trails are wide open territory for hiking and mountain biking. That is correct, there are plenty of single track hiking and mountain bike trails surround the Ellicottvile in the New York State Forest, the New York State Parks and trails located in Holiday Valley Resort. Take trip out and explore the hills and parks for some great scenic exercise and fun.

Little Rock City Forest
The NY State Forest trails are in the Golden Hill Road forest, the Little Rock City forest and the McCarthy Road forest and are maintained by the Western New York Mountain Bike Association (WNYMBA) ( They produce topography maps of the mountainsides and list all of the current trails in the area. Maps can be purchased at the Ellicottville Bike shop for about $6, which helps the organization maintain the trails and is a great way not to get lost!

The Golden Hill Road forest has two main trails, a red blaze and a blue blaze trail. The trails are challenging, crossing ravines, riding around tress and have exhilarating hills. The red trail intersects the blue trail about halfway from the red trail head off of Golden Hill road.The area also has plenty of maintenance roads to ride and hike around on too.

The McCarthy Road has direct access to a trail with starts with an uphill climb. There is ample parking just outside the trail head. The trail later connects to the ridge trails across Holiday Valley Resort and the Little Rock City forest trails. Some of the trails are Porcupine, Big Merlin, Pale Ale Trail, Four Rocks Trail, Buzzards' Breath and more. Definitely pick up a map when exploring this area.

Finally, the Little Rock City forest trails wind among large boulders. There are two main trails that are better suited for hiking, but the area connects to all of the single track trails on the ridge. There are a pink and white blaze trails in this area. Bring you camera for some scenic shots and views of gigantic boulders. There is plenty to explore. There are also picnic areas at the trail head. Remember, take out what you brought in to the forest. 

Overall, there are over 14 trails in the combined areas of the New York State forest to explore. Organized trail rides are offered by the Ellicottville Bike shop on most Monday night at 6:00 during the summer. Individual trail guides for other times may be available (

Red House Lake
The NY State Park trails are located in the Red House and Quaker run areas of the Allegany state forest (www.nysparks.state). Trail maps are available at the entrance gate or at the Administration building in the Red House area. There are plenty of roads to just ride around and enjoy this scenic area. Then head off road and hit the mountain bike trails in the Red House area. There are plenty of trails that are hiking only as well. They all offer scenic views and plenty of challenging terrain! Overall there many trails to mountain bike, plenty of scenic road rides and trails to hike int both areas!

Finally, you can explore ares on top of the Holiday Valley Resort, including the Holiday Valley Race Loop. You can ride or hike non-golf course areas at Holiday Valley Resort at your own risk. There are access roads across the ski resort that will take you to the top or stroll across the bottom of the mountain. To access the maintenance roads, park at  the Holiday Valley Training Center / Sky High Adventure Park shop (near the Tannenbaum Lodge parking lot). Head up the crushed stone / dirt maintenance roads to the top ridge of the resort. From there you can explore the ridge, Spruce Lake, the Holiday Valley Race Loop and access some of the NY State forest trails. Holiday Valley Resort also has mountain bike rentals.

Overall, Ellicottville is the perfect place to getaway and explore nature on foot or mountain bike. Enjoy the exhilarating terrain and the scenic views. From lakes, to streams, to forest, to mountain tops; this area has it all. Pack a picnic, take a hike or ride and enjoy every acre. It is well worth the drive to Ellicottville to enjoy this great slice of nature.

No comments: