August 29, 2011

Ellicottville's Annual Painting of Fall Colors

As the seasons change in Western, New York all of hills come alive with color. The beautiful yellow, red , burnt orange trees paint the hillsides. The color can be seen around every corner of trails, highways and streets. The village of Ellicottville is in the heart of it all. The city streets, ski resorts and hillsides glow with fall color. Fall is a great time to explore Ellicottville, with the smell of dry leaves, cool nights and vibrant colors.

The Spas

Fall is a great time to explore the area surrounding Eillicottville and then return for a spa treatment. There are two spas that offer variety of treatments, including wraps, massages, facials and more. The Ellicottville Oasis Day spa is located in the village while the Falling Waters Spa is located at Holiday Valley Resort. Both have many spa packages available and reservations are recommended. Treat yourself to the ultimate in relaxation! There is also a holistic shop in the village!

The Shops
Strolling up and down the main streets of Ellicottville is exceptionally beautiful in the fall. The store fronts are decorated, the trees are changing color and the fall sales are abundant. You won't find large chain stores in Ellicottville. Many are eclectic shops that you unique and custom items. There are clothing stores, jewelry stores, artisan shops, free trade shops, athletic equipment shops, furniture stores, gifts, chocolate candy stores, sock shops, a home-made candle store, holistic stores and more.

The Restaurants
Along with the crisp smell in the fall air, the wonderful aromas escape from the local restaurants as their chefs prepare the fine cuisine. Many of the local restaurants create their standard items on the menu, but offer seasonal special that capture the tastes of the foods available in the fall.  Grab an ice cream cone or a fresh brewed cup of coffee for the perfect fall day. The Ellicottville brewery, the Kabob Care, Dina's Restaurant, Tips up, Coffee Culture, Coolings Cafe, Balloon's Restaurant, the Gin Mills and more have a full lineup of great food.

The Red House Area of NY State Park
The Red House area is located about 15 minutes south of Ellicottville. The central focal points is the Red House lake. There are spectacular views from the valley, being surrounded by a blanket of color. Hike a trail, take a bike ride, rent a paddle boat or pack a picnic for this great area. You can also check out the Stone tower or Thunder Rocks.

The Quaker Run Area of NY State Park
The Quaker Run area is connected to the Red House area. Both areas are just west of exit 21 off of route 86. This area has two great lakes for hiking, mountain biking, fishing and more. Pack a picnic for a day trip. There is also a boat launch to access the Allegheny Reservoir. Don't forget to check out the Bear Caves or access the Thunder Rocks area from here as well.

Little Rock City
Little Rock City is an areas of the New York State Forest just west of Ellicottville on Route 242. The area is know for its large boulders that you can see up close. Use caution around the rocks. There are two great hiking trails that are blazed in the area. Pack a picnic and sit at one of the tables. The falls color will surround your at every turn. The area closes at dark, so plan accordingly. There are no street lights in the forest.

Griffis Sculpture Park
Griffis Sculpture Park is part of a non-profit organization. The park is the oldest of its kind in the United States. There are over 250 sculptures on 400 acres. There is a $5 donation for adults and $3 for children, that is well worth it. Pack a picnic and enjoy the fall color outside the Mill Valley Road entrance. Take a hike buy the pond and explore the beautiful art as well the natural setting with the fall color surrounding you. The Rohr Road site has breath taking views and tall sculptures sweeping the hillsides. You can also head off to the trails in the woods for more sculptures.

Pumpkinville is open from the third Saturday in September through October 31st. This is great family fun. Pick up some pumpkins and check out the farm. There is a barbecue pit, homemade ice cream, home made deserts, pumpkin doughnuts, fresh cider, fudge, and maple products. All of the food is outstanding.The farm also has a cider mill, pony rides, hay rides, the cow train, corn cannons, storeyland and farm animals. You can watch the fresh cider mill in action. Each year this family tradition gets better and better. Check out the view or the mountainsides with a helicopter ride on select weekends! There is free admission to the farm and village; however, some activities require tickets. Pumpkinville is just down the road from Ellicottville in Great Valley, New york.

The Nightmare Hayrides
The Nightmare Hayride is a tremendous value. The entire experience takes about 40 minutes and includes the nightmare hayride, haunted maze and the vortex bar. All of the areas are full of haunts and have twists around every turn. Hang out in the food pavilion afterwards and enjoy some of the culinary creations. The Nightmare Hayrides run during the month of October, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. The attraction is located on Sommerville Road in Ellicottville, New York and costs about $15 per person. Group rates are available and kids under 5 are free.

Halls Produce
Hall's Produce farm and stand are located 3.5 miles south of Ellicottville off of Route 219. The stand has great fall produce, from gourds, acres of pumpkins, all kinds of squash, dried corn husks, mums and more. Try a new kind of squash. They have spaghetti squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, buttercup squash and more. Hall's Produce has great prices and selection. Support a local farmer.

Take a Scenic Drive
There are countless roads around Ellicottville that have scenic views. It is a great way to see the fall color and find some great destinations. Travel north on Route 219 towards Springville, New York. There are some scenic bridges, great hillsides and valleys and some cool towns and shops on the way. Griffis Sculpture park is in Ashford and Tom's Smokin BBQ in Springville has some of the best pulled pork around.

You can also head west on Route 242 towards the Amish area of Western New York. There are some great towns and tremendous views of the rolling hillsides. Little Rock City can be accessed of this road as well as Spruce lake. Many of the Amish home sell hand crafted items. There is also a cheese factory.

Finally, you can head East on Route 98. There are many creek side and mountainside views along the way. You might drive past the Golden Hill road state forest. The maintenance roads are plenty wide to take a short walk and enjoy the color.

As the cool nights set in and the day become shorter, the leaves began their fall tranformation into golden yellow, burnt orange, fire engine red and every color in between. Each year the colors change across the county and it makes the hills come alive. There is just something extra about the colors make these outdoor activities so much more enjoyable. So whether your shop in the village, head out to a park, enjoy fall harvest activities or just out for a drive, you will be sure to have a great time and experience the wonderful fall colors around the county.

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