Hiking, Cycling and Mountain Biking

Hiking at Spruce Lake
The mountains surrounding Ellicottville are a great place to explore. There many single track trails in the region, including the NY State Forest, the NY State Park - Quaker Run and Red House areas, the Finger Lakes trail, Holiday Valley Resort trails and more. Little Rock City is in the NY State forest and has giant boulders all around the trails with scenic views, wildlife and great forest growth. Spruce lake is on top of the mountains near Holiday Valley Resort and Holimont Ski Resort and has great trails and scenic views. All of the NY State foresets' single track trails are for both hiking and mountain biking. There are different levels of skill level and there are ones for all ages.

There are also mountain bike and running events in Ellicottville throughout the summer, including the Mudslide Trail  Run, THe Dirty Duathlon, Fall Festival 5K, 6 Hours of Power mountain bike race, The Raccoon Rally, The Ellicottville Mountain Bike Festival and the Mountain Bike Race Series at Holiday Valley Resort. Take a trip out and enter into one of these great events.

Accessing the trails and trail maps:

There are many trails available that can be accessed from the McCarthy Road forest entrance, Little Rock City forest and off of Mutton Hollow Road near Spruce Lake. The Golden Hill Road areas has two great trails (Red and Blue blazed trails) and plenty of maintenance roads to ride and hike on. The NY State Forest trail maps for the region can be purchased at the Ellicottville Bike shop or on line through the Western New York Mountain Bike Association (WNYMBA). WNYMBA (http://www.wnymbo.org/) also has current trail condition updates and host many summer race events.
The NY State Park has fantastic trails in the Red House and Quakter Run areas. Topographical maps are available at the ranger station as you enter the park or at the Administration Building at the north end of Red House lake. The Red House area can be accessed near Salamanca, NY just South off at exit 21 (Route 86) or directly off of Route 86 at their respectively named exits, just West of Salamanca. 

Trail Guides / Organized rides:

GUIDED MOUNTAIN BIKE TOURS on the Ellicottville area trails (McCarthy Road, Little Rock City and Spruce Lake) can be arranged at the Ellicottville Bike Shop (www.ellicottvillebikeshop.com/ 716-699-2453). The bike shop also has organized rides every Monday night in the summer.

Trail Conditions:
Both WNYMBA and the Ellicottville Bike Shop post trail conditions on their respective websites listed above. Take a peek at there website see reported trail conditions.
When hiking or mountain biking in any area, use common sense safety rules. Be conscious of the time of year; with hunting season in the fall. The areas close at dusk and never hike or mountain bike alone.

Mountain Bike Rentals:

Are you looking to rent mountain bikes in during an upcoming stay in Ellicottville, New York? Mountain bike rentals are availabel at Holiday Valley Resorts.


View from the Chalet at the top of Champagne ski lift.

  • Big Merlin
  • Porcupine
  • Buzzards' Breath
  • Four Rocks Trail
  • Hale Road Trail
  • Furn Trail
  • Pale Ale Trail
  • Mutton Hollow Trail
  • Rain Trail
  • Dead Dog Loop
  • Bent Rim Trail
  • Race Loop (Holiday Valley Resort)

This areas is 5 minutes from downtown Ellicottville. There is a nice sized parking area. There is a maintenance road to explore and one direct trail to access. There are nice views and you can access many of the NY State Forest trails off of this connector loop. The trail is located just past the maintenance road gate on the left hand side and has red blazes.

From downtown Ellicottville, take route 219 South and go 2.2 miles. Turn right on McCarthy road and follow the road up the hill to the parking lot. The trail head is just past the gate. This trail is marked with red blazes and is a pretty steep climb. You can also follow the forest maintenance road back to other areas.

Little Rock City State Forest - Hike around the boulders!

This areas is approximately 15 minutes from downtown Ellicottville. Can access the two trails directly from the picnic area. There is a white blaze trail and a pink blaze trail that will loop or connect to other trails in the NY State forest. There picnic tables in the area, so it make a great day trip to explore the rocks, trails and have a picnic. There is also access to one of the single track trails directly, off of Little Rock City Forest road on the right hand side.


From downtown Ellicottville take 242 West for approximately 2 miles and turn left on to Whig street. Take the right fork in the road and drive 1.2 miles. Veer right on to Mutton Hollow Road and drive 0.7 mile. At the intersection, there will be a small country church on your right. Turn left on to Hungry Hollow Road and drive 1.1 miles. Turn right on Little Rock City Forest Road. Approximately 0.25 mile, you will see a single track trail head for hiking or mountain biking. If you are heading to the picnic area, boulders and additional trail heads, stay on the road for a total of 1.9 miles. At the end you will run into the picnic areas and trail head. The large boulders are in this area on the left.


Holiday Valley Resort is approximately 1 mile from downtown Ellicottville. The white blaze NY State Forest trails, Holiday Valley Resort Race Loop, cross country ski trails, maintenance roads and resort hills can be accessed from this area. Park at the Yodler lodge and take the maintenance roads up, or park by the Tannenbaum lodge and take the blue blaze trails up (to the right of the lodge / spruce lake ski lift).

From downtown Ellicottville, drive 0.9 miles south on Route 219. Turn right on to Holiday Valley Resort Road. To access the trails to Spruce lake, you can park in the Tannenbaum parking lot and follow the blue blaze trail up the mountain, just right of the Spruce Lake ski lift. The trail is marked and it will be an uphill climb or mountain bike to the top.
You can also park by the Yodler Lodge. The maintenance road  that starts the trail up to the top, is near the  Holiday Valley Training Center. It is a good hike uphill and you will need low gear on your mountain bike. It is an exhilarating climb, with great lookout points. At the top, you will reach the junction of the Mardi-gra, Yodler and Monrningstar ski chair lifts. You can also take a slower climb and follow another maintenance road up to the top of Cindy's run. Either way you can explore the Cross country trails roads, access the NY State Forest White trail (near the Spruce Lake lift) and explore the Holiday Valley Race Loop. You can also work your way back to the white trails and logging roads of Mutton Hollow Road.

Spruce Lake

This area is approximately 10 minutes from downtown Ellicottville with a short walk off of Mutton Hollow Road. It can also be accessed with a short hike from the Tannenbaum lodge at Holiday Valley Resort. There are spectacular views of the valley and Spruce lake. Explore the top ridge along Holiday Valley Resort from the cross country ski trails or venture down the maintenance roads. You can also access the white blaze trails of the NY State Forest or Holiday Valley Race loop.

From downtown Ellicottville take 242 West for approximately 2 miles and turn left on to Whig street. Take the right fork in the road and drive 1.2 miles. Turn left on to Mutton Hollow Road and drive 2.3 miles and you will see an opening on your left to park in. It will be near a communications tower. Park in this areas or on the side of the road. You can see the lake area through the clearing. There is a trail around Spruce lake and additional hiking areas towards Holiday Valley Resort and Holimont Ski resort. There are also picnic tables around spruce lake. If you hike or ride towards the ski left, head to the opening on the right. You will see a sign for the cross country ski trail. Turn right after the sign and you will see the white trail blazes painted on the trees. Take the white trail back along the Holiday Valley property. If you stay on the cross country ski trail, it will take you towards the Holiday Valley Race loop. You can hike all around the access roads and areas on top of the ski resort. Please use common sense safety rules with hiking and mountain biking.

Trail Maps:

Trail maps for The McCarthy Road State Forest, The Little Rock City State Forest and the Golden Hill Road State Forest are available at the Ellicottville Bike shop for $6. The bike shop is located at 34 East Washington Street, a few blocks east of downtown Ellicottville.

Ellicottville, McCarthy Road State Forest, Little Rock City State Forest and Spruce Lake Trails 

There are two Golden Hill State Forest trails in addition to the forest maintenance roads. This forest area is about 15 minutes from downtown Ellicottville and makes a great day trip. Use common sense safety rules and make sure that there is plenty of daylight left before you head out. The trails cross access road, ravines and climb up and down the hills.

  • Red Loop - Challenging loop with technical turns through trees and across ridges. Single track trail with dirt surface.
  • Blue Loop - has plenty of switchbacks as you head down grade. Cross streams and there is a good uphill climb. Single track trail with dirt surface.
  • Forest maintenance roads provide wide are to walk or rice on crushed stone / dirt road surface. There are several roads that wind through the area. The roads are closed to automobile traffic, except for NY State vehicles.

From downtown Ellicottville take route 219 South for 2.3 miles. Turn left on Brewer Crossing Road (by Dollar General store) and go over the railroad tracks. Take the road for 0.5 mile and turn right on CR 71. Drive 2.3 miles and turn right on Farm Market Rd. Take Farm Market Road for 0.3 mile and turn left on SR 98. Drive 2 miles and turn right on Golden Hill Road. You will be heading up hill. Go 1.6 miles and you will see the par sign on your right. Park in the small lot next to the sign or on the side of the road. Cross Golden Hill Road (left of the park sign) and walk 0.1 mile and the Red loop crossed the maintenance road. You

Trail Maps:

Trail maps for The McCarthy Road State Forest, The Little Rock City State Forest and the Golden Hill Road State Forest are available at the Ellicottville Bike shop for $6. The bike shop is located at 34 East Washington Street, a few blocks east of downtown Ellicottville.


Red House lake

The Red House and Quaker Run areas of the NY State Park have over 65,000 acres to explore. One of the Red House park entrances is approximately 20 minutes south of Ellicottville near Salamanca, NY. Both park areas are fantastic! They both have scenic lakes with excellent hiking and mountain biking trail. Great place to spend all day! Pack a picnic and enjoy the area after hiking or riding the trails!


Mt. Tuscarora - Fire Tower (5.0 miles)
Bear Caves - Mt. Seneca (4.0 miles)
Black Snake Mountain (3.0 miles)
Three Sisters (2.5 miles)
Bear Springs (0.5 miles)
Beehunter (6.5 miles)
Osgood (2.5 miles)
Red Jacket (2.0 miles)
North Country Trail (ASP section of the trail) (20.0 miles)
Conservation Trail (4.0 miles)
Patterson (3.5 miles)
Ridgerun (5.0 miles)
Leonard Run Loop (5.0 miles)
Christian Hollow Loop (4.0 miles)
Sweetwater (2.7 miles)
Flagg (3.0 miles)
Eastwood Meadows (2.5 miles)
Snowsnake Run (4.9 miles)


From downtown Ellicottville, take 219 south 10.9 miles.  Turn right on Wildwood (417/219). This will veer onto Murray Ave. (towards hwy. 86). Watch the signs carefully. Turn left on Parkway Drive and  you will drive pass both highway 86 East and West entrances. Keep driving up the hill and follow Scenic Road to the NY State Park entrance for the Red House area. There is a small admission during some parts of the summer. 

Trail Maps:

Trail maps are available at the entrance gates or at the Administration building in the Red House area. The Administration area is well marked and signs in the park will direct you to it. The building is located at the north end of Red House lake. www.nysparks.state.ny.us

There are many winding country roads and rolling hills in Cattaraugus County that are great for road biking. You can see some great mountain and countrysides as you enjoy an exhilarating ride. Veloroute.org has outlined 4 great courses to try. Check out some of these routes that start and finish from the Inn at Holiday Valley.

Road Courses on Velroute.org Webste:

Ellicottville-West Valley Loop - a moderate 38 mile loop with rolling hills.
Beaver Meadows - a bit shorter, slightly hilly. 27 miles 875 feet of climbing
Beaver Meadows Little Valley - 37 miles with rolling hills with your choice of steep and long uphill finish on Murder Hill, or the gentler Dublin Meadows Rd.
Dutch Hill - a challenging 45 mile ride with 3 big hills, 2000 feet of climbing.

As with any road course riding, use common sense safety rules.

Rusted Windmill