Parks

There are a variety of parks surrounding Ellicottville, NY. There are State Parks that are open year-round, Sculpture parks, State Forest and Adventure Parks that offer a many activites for people of all ages and levels of activities. The New York State forest the Little Rock City area has picnic tables, two awesome trails and plenty of enormous boulders to explore. Just up the road, Griffis Sculpture park has over 250 sculptures on 400 acres. The unique art scupltures are made from wood, steel, cement and other materials. The New York State Park system the Red House and Quaker Run areas that have year round activites; including fishing, mini-golf, tennis, baseball, hiking - mountain biking - cross country ski - showshoe trails, beaches, paddle boats, picnic areas and more. Finally, Sky High Adventure Park at Holiday Valley Resort is the ultimate quest for the thrill seaker; with 3 skill levels of rope, bridget and wire courses with zip lines up to 50 feet in the trees. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the hills surrounding Ellicottville.

Little Rock City Forest Area

Little Rock City is located in the New York State Forest, which has public access. The areas in the NY State forest have maintenance roads to access the various areas. Little Rock City is unique, with the large outcropping of enormous rocks and boulders. There are two blazed trails (white and pink) through the area, that cross throug the large rocks. After a day of exploring, pack a picnic to eat on the picnic benches located near the parking area.


The trailhead for the pink blazed trail is left of the Little Rock City Forest sign (around the 11:00 position). The trail winds around the picnic area. There are other areas around the rocks to explore.

Activities:
Mountain biking
Hiking
Picnic Areas

Note:
Use common sense safty rules when entering the area. There are single trails to mountain bike and hike on. Rangers do not regularly patrol the area and there is not any lights on the roads; so plan ahead when visiting Little Rock City. And always take out what you bring in! Accessable dawn to dusk.

Directions:
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.


Hours:
Dawn to Dusk


Cost:
Free
Website:
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7786.html


New York State Park - Red House Area
 
The Red House are of the New York State Park has over 65,000 acres and 5 miles of paved trails, and countless miles of single track trials to explore. The park also represents one of the largest contiguous areas of publicly accessible wild and stocked trout fishing in the state and has the largest concentration of wild brook trout streams in western New York. Activities are year-round. Many of the mountain bike trails are used for hiking, show shoeing and cross-country skiing. There are additional blazed hiking only trails. The park map can be obtained at the entrance gate or the Administration building. There are activities for everyone, including mini-golf, fishing, hiking, biking, picnics, tennis, baseball and more. Two scenic areas are the Thunder Rocks and the Stone Tower.   During the summer months and weekends in the off season between 9 am to 4 pm there is a $6 or $7 charge. The park is open until dusk, so in the past there was no entrance charge outside those hours.

Mini Golf at Red House Lake
The Administration building is a central place to get information once in the park. The administration offices and park information area has many of the activity maps as well as posted information. Bicycles, cross country skis, snow shoe rentals are availabe from the building. Finally, the gift shop and natural history museum are located in this historic tudor style building.

The miniature golf course is located on the southside of Red House Lake. The 18 hole course is fund and has many challenging hole. Being next to Red House lake, there are some great views as well. Just follow the road out from the Administration building and the course is next to the Boat house on the lake.

Beach at Red House Lake

The Boat house has paddle boats available for rent as well as a snack shop. Take the paddle boats out on the lake for some great water views, exercise and get out on the water. There is a charge for miniture golf and boat rental, but they are inexpensive and fun activities in the park.

While at the park, just relax and get a little sun or go for a swim at the beach. There are great views of the valley and it make for a relaxing day! The area around the beach is a great place to be. The bath house, boat house, mini golf, tennis courts, baseball fields, picnic pavillions and several trailheads are all easily accessed by foot from here.

Fishing at Red House Lake
On the opposite side of Red House lake, there is a fishing pier and boat launch. Motorized boats are not allowed on the lake, but there is pleanty of room for canoes and kayaks. Bring your canoe or kayak and lanch them near the fishing pier, where there is a parking lot. The small inland lake is usally calm and has plenty of areas to explore by water. This area is extremely beautiful any time of year; but is exceptional during the fall when the leaves change color.

There is fishing at Red House lake year round. Red
House Lake receives 1,500 yearling brown trout each spring and an additional 1,000 yearling brown trout in the fall.Trout fishing in Red House Lake is primarily a spring time affair from ice-out into late June. Summer conditions in the lakes are not conducive to trout survival. Red House Lake provides good fishing opportunities for warm-water fish species such as bass and sunfish throughout the spring, summer and fall. In most years, Red House Lake are stocked with surplus breeder trout in October and November, providing good late fall and winter angling for these large trout.The small fishing pier extends a little way off into the lake. Special Park fishing regulations may apply on some of these waters, so check with Allegany State Park Police in the Red House Administration building before fishing.

SCENIC AREAS IN RED HOUSE:
There are two scenic areas to check out at Thunder Rocks and the Stone Tower.  Thunder rocks has a great hiking trail and large outcroppings of rocks to view. At the stone tower, you can see the beautiful vistas and hillsides across the park.

THUNDER ROCKS: Thunder Rocks is a massive outcropping of rocks that  is located about midway between Red House and Quaker Area and can be viewed from the car or you can hike to see the rocks.  From the parking area, you can see the headwatres of Limestore Brook. For a closer look, hike up the gravel road to see Thunder Rocks.

Directions to Thunder Rocks: Take Allegany State Park 2 (ASP 2) passing the developed area of Red House. Travel several miles south turning left onto an unnamed gravel road. Shortly, it will reach an intersection where you will turn left again to reach Thunder Rocks. Alternatively, you may wish to pass the gravel road from ASP 2 and continue to the fork in the road where a scenic overlook presents itself straight ahead. There is parking available here. From the fork, turn left and proceed uphill to Thunder Rocks. The adventurous type choose to park in the scenic area lot and hike up the gravel road to see the rocks up close.

STONE TOWER: The stone tower is an octagonal shape tower formed by walls made from sandstone blocks quarried and cut nearby. The tower was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933-34. On three points of the compass are stone portals that lead to the center room, which has a staircase to the roof observation point. The Stone tower is located high on the Summit mountain ridge (at 2202 ft above sea level), which provides panoramic views of Salamanca to the north and the Camp Allegany valley to the south.

Directions to Stone Tower: The stone tower is located near the summit cabin area and warming hut. If entering the park from exit 21 off of I-86, take ASP 1 from the park entrance. Shortly down the road you will see a driveway on the right hand side for the Summt cabin area and warming hut. Turn here and follow road around to town. There will be a Stone tower sign in the area. If entering the park from exit 19 off of I-86, head north on ASP1 to the Summit cabin area. Turn left into the cabin area and follow the road back to the stone tower.
.
Activities:
hiking
mountain biking
road biking
snow shoeing
cross country skiing
paddle boats
swimming
beach
mini-golf
tennis courts
baseball / softball fields
picnic pavilions
fishing
volleyball
horse shoes

Notes:
There is a small admission charge during some 9-4 during the summer and weekends in the off season (approximately $6-7). Toppography maps are available at the entrance gate with admission or at the Administration building. Rental bicycles, cross country skis and snow shoes are available during the appropriate seasons in the administration building.

Directions:
The Red House area of the Allegany State Park can be accessed from exit 21 and exit 19 off our I-86. From downtown Ellicottville, take route 219 south to I-86, approximagely 15 mintues. Follow signs. When you get close to Salamanca, there are a few turns to get to I-86. 

Hours:
Open Year Round

Swimming Open:
Daily, 6/26/10 - 9/6/10; 11 am - 5:45 pm.


Trailside Museum Hours, Saturday-Sunday 10:00am – 4:30pm.

Cost*:
$6 fee ($7 swimming) charged 9am-4pm seven days a week during the summer; weekends during the off-season. This a vehicle use fee and is charged per vehicle.
Outside the aforementioned hours, there is no entrance charge!

Website:

NY State Park - Quaker Run Area

The Quaker run area has two lakes. The Quaker lake has beautiful areas for hiking and picnicing and the Science lake has two fishing piers. The park represents one of the largest contiguous areas of publicly accessible wild and stocked trout fishing in the state and has the largest concentration of wild brook trout streams in western New York.The park has mixed hemlock /hardwood forest, mountains, rolling hills and meadows, streams, ponds and lakes attract devoted outdoors enthusiasts year-round. Quaker lake is a larger scenic lake located on the western side of the park, while Science like is smaller and located on the eastern side of the park. You can also access Friend's Boat lauch to lauch your boats into the Allegany reseviour. There is also a museum in the Quaker Store, Bear Caves, Thunder Rocks and the Mount Tuscarora Fire Tower. Many programs are offered at the Quaker ampatheter throughout the prime season. Trail maps can be obtained at the Quaker Store, the entrance gate or the Administration building in the Red House area.

Quaker Lake
The old Quaker store has been completely restored and now houses a park museum with exhibits documenting the history of Allegany State Park as "The wilderness Playground of Western New York". The store also had information to orient visitors to the parks unique features and attractions, both past and present.

BEAR CAVES: The Bear Caves can be accessed from the Mount Seneca loop trail, which is 4 miles in lench. This half-day loop trail offers sights of several caves and lichen-covered outcroppings. There are pleanty of things to explore on this hike; including caves, boulders, plant life, maple/oak/hemlock trees and ferns. The cave openings are narrow and a flashlight is recommended to navigate the narrow passages. After traversing the caves, the trail continues over a number of large rocks and then decends alongside boulders. The Slide Hollow area must be crossed on the trail, which can be a challenge during the rainy seasons. The trail summit for Mount Seneca is 2,106 fees. From the summit, most hikers retrace their steps versus following the look trail back.



Directions to the Bear Caves: The Quaker Area of Allegany State Park is located at the northern edge of Allegany Reservoir off Quaker Run Road. Travel 1.4 miles east of the junction of ASP 1 and ASP 3. The trailhead is located along the northern side of the road.

THUNDER ROCKS: Thunder Rocks is a massive outcropping of rocks that  is located about midway between Red House and Quaker Area and can be viewed from the car or you can hike to see the rocks.  From the parking area, you can see the headwatres of Limestore Brook. For a closer look, hike up the gravel road to see Thunder Rocks. Thunder Rocks is located off of ASP2, between the Red House and Quaker Run areas of the park.

Directions to Thunder Rocks: Take Allegany State Park 2 (ASP 2) towards the developed area of Red House. Travel several miles north turning right onto an unnamed gravel road. Shortly, it will reach an intersection where you will turn left again to reach Thunder Rocks. Alternatively, you may wish to take ASP 2 to the fork in the road where a scenic overlook presents itself straight ahead (which is before the gravel road). There is parking available here. From the fork, turn right and proceed uphill to Thunder Rocks. The adventurous type choose to park in the scenic area lot and hike up the gravel road to see the rocks up close.

FISHING: There are two lakes for fishing in the Quaker Run Area; at Quaker Lake and the fishing piers at Science Lake. Quaker Lake is stocked with 8,400 yearling brown trout and 400 two-year-old brown trout each spring. Science Lake is a small impoundment on the upper end of Quaker Run which receives 500 yearling brown trout each spring. Trout fishing in both of these lakes is primarily a spring time affair from ice-out into late June. Summer conditions in the lakes are not conducive to trout survival. Quaker Lake provides good fishing opportunities for warm-water fish species such as bass and sunfish throughout the spring, summer and fall. There is also a popular ice fishery for northern pike on Quaker Lake in the winter. In most years, Quaker Lake are stocked with surplus breeder trout in October and November, providing good late fall and winter angling for these large trout. There are also many streams in the park that are stocked with trout in the spring. Special Park fishing regulations may apply on some of these waters, so check with Allegany State Park Police in the Red House Administration building before fishing.

The Friends boat launch gives you motorized boat access to the Allegany Resevior from a concrete surface ramp with parking for up to 35 cars and trailers. The Allegheny Reservoir is located along the western border of Pennsylvania and New York, and is completely surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania; and in New York by Allegany State Park and the Allegany Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation. The 25-mile long Allegheny Reservoir is a popular location for fishers and boaters; with scenic views of the valley and over 100 miles of forested shoreline. The reservoir was created by the Kinzua Dam. The Kinzua Dam and Big Bend Visitor Center are located 9 miles east of Warren, PA, on PA 59.

Fishing is abundant in the Allegheny Reservoir, with a variety of fish, including walleye, small mouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, channel catfish, brown trout and muskellunge. A Pennsylvania license is required for fishing in the PA portion of the Allegheny Reservoir, except on PA Fish for Free days. In New York, most of the Allegheny Reservoir is under jurisdiction of the Seneca Nation, which requires its own fishing license.
Activities:
hiking
mountain biking
boating
cross country skiing
snow shoeing
fishing
swimming
beach
road biking
mini-golf
tennis courts
baseball / softball fields
basketball courts
picnic pavilions
volleyball
horseshoes

Notes:
There is a small admission charge during some 9-4 during the summer and weekends in the off season (approximately $6-7). Toppography maps are available at the entrance gate with admission or at the Quaker Store in the Quaker Run area.

Directions:
Quaker Run areas of the Allegany State Park can be accessed from exit 18, off of I-86. From downtown Ellicottville take route 219 south, take route 219 south to I-86, approximagely 15 mintues. Follow signs. When you get close to Salamanca, there are a few turns to get to I-86.
Hours:
Open Year Round


Cost*:
$6 fee ($7 swimming) charged 9am-4:30pm seven days a week during the summer; weekends during the off-season. This is a vehicle use fee and is charged per vehicle. Tollgate for picnicing 7am to 10pm.


Friend's Boat Launch - $6 (to lauch motorized boats on Allegany Resevoir)


Outside the aforementioned hours, there is no entrance charge to the park!

Website:
http://www.nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/1/details.aspx

Griffis Sculpture Park
 
Griffis Sculpture Park is America's oldest sculpture park, established in the late 1960's. Larry Griffis Jr and many other interantional artists have sculptures in the park. The artist name and the piece name are listed by most of the scuptures. There are over 250 unique sculptures spread out on 400 acres. There are two areas of the park, ther Rohr Road Site and the Mill Valley Road site. Mill Valley Road is the main entrance. The trial map is located by the entrance. The scuptures are located along trails and there is a fair abount of hiking to get to some of the scuptures. Some areas have some hills to climb or desend. The sculptures are amazing and worth the trip and exercise. There is a small admission fee, and children under 12 are free. Whether you have five minutes or five hours, one can always get a flavor of the park.

Rohr Road site sculptures
Rohr Road Site
The Rohr Hill area is characterized by towering sculptures set in fields and woods just off the road. Many of the sculptures can be viewed from the road out in the fields. The sculptures are impressive and there many groupings along Rohr Road. There is a parking area neer the middle of the park area on Rohr Road. You can park in the lot and hike down the hillside to see the sculptures up close and join a trail in the woods with more sculptures. One of the access points to the wood trail is neer the large steel giraffe. There grade is a little steep to climb back up. Most of the structures in this area are steel and welded iron.
Mill Valley Road Site

Mushroom scupture in Mill Valley Road site
The Mill Valley Road site is the main entrance to the park. The entrance gate and booth are located in the parking area. There are picnic tables located in the fields in front of the park. There are several sculptures in this field. There are two primary trails in the park, a blue and a green trail. The Mill Valley Road Site features both a smooth walk area, as well miles of trails through a variety of terrain. The lower level (blue trail) is relatively flat, with a water sculpture area and items in the woods. The green trail leads to a steep uphill climb through woods to access other areas of the park. This trail heads towards the Rohr Road site trials. There are a variety of structure made of wood, steel welded iron and clay.

Notes:
The admission charge to Griffis Sculpture Park supports the Ashford Hollow foundation. The Ashford Hollow foundation has provided arts in education programming for more than forty years. Using the facilities of the Essex Arts Center, the Griffis Sculpture Park, and going into schools and community centers; the Foundation has had the pleasure to deliver arts programming and opportunities not offered by anyone else. Working with participants varying in age from K through 12 to collegiate students and adults, the Ashford Hollow Foundation has the pleasure of exposing them to new techniques and possibilities.

Directions:
From Buffalo, NY (North):

Take US 90 South (NYS Thruway) to exit 55 – Route 219.  Stay on route 219 South until the highway ends in Springville (approx 30 miles).  Turn RIGHT on Peters Road and then LEFT onto continuation of 219 South. Take the continuation of 219 approximately 8 miles to Ashford Hollow ( NOTE: speed limit  is 45mph). Turn RIGHT onto Ahrens Road (Carsons Ashford House and Park sign on corner). Stay straight and go approximately 2.7 miles to County Road 75 (Mill Valley Rd.). Turn LEFT and go 1.5 miles to Park entrance (on left).


From Ellicottville, NY (South):
Take 219 North to Ashford Hollow (Note speed limit 45 mph in the hollow). Turn LEFT onto Ahrens Road (Carsons Ashford House and Park signs on corner). Stay straight and go approximately. 2.7 miles to County Road 75 (Mill Valley Rd.).Turn LEFT and go 1.5 miles to Park entrance (on left).

Hours:
Open May 1 through October 31
Dawn to Dusk


Cost*:
$5 for adults
$3 for seniors
Kids under 12 are free

Website:
http://www.griffispark.org/


Sky High Adventure Park at Holiday Valley Resort

The Sky High Adventure Park is located by the Tannenbaum area of Holiday Valley Resort with an Aerial Park and mountain coaster. The adventure park is just that! It is for adventgure seekers looking to test their limits.  Do you have what it takes make your way through the aerial course? What is the best way to past an obstile? There is one way to find out ... check out the aerial park. Some of the courses reach as high as 50 feet in the trees! For the less adventurous, the mountain coaster is just the ticket. The coaster has a manual break that you control; that way you can go fast or slowly down the track. Thrill seekers can purchase just the aerial park pass, just the mountain coaster tickets or combination passes. The adventure park opened in June 2011 and is a fantasitc addition to Holiday Valley Resort.

The Aerial Park is a series of platforms and “bridges” built in a 4 acre section of the woods. The platforms are built in the trees and the bridges connect the platforms. The bridge are logs, hanging chunks of wood, ropes or many other options and the challenge is to figure out how to get across to the next platform. Some of the areas have zip lines . There are 3 levels of difficulty on 8 courses. Reservations are required.

The Mountain Coaster will be similar to a roller coaster, but its built on a mountain. Riders will be in a “car” on rails that follow a 4,800 foot path that spirals through turns while also zigzagging down the mountain. There are 15 curves, 12 waves , 1 jump and a huge circlular spiral. The track runs uphill and dowhill and has a vertical rise of 283 fee. Riders will be able to control their speed with brakes on the car. 

Check out this great adventure park that opened in June 2011. Be the some of the first to experience this new thrill at Holiday Valley Resort.

Activities:
3 levels of aerial courses in trees on the mountain side with:
  • zip lines
  • rope bridges
  • wires
A mountain coaster ride


Notes:
You can purchase a package of six or ten sessions and save. Packs may be used Monday through Thursday, non-holidays and are non-transferable. To participate in Sky High Adventure Park, you must sign an assumption of risk form. Anyone under age 18 must have a parent signature. If you are bringing a group, the Assumption of risk form can be downloaded from the Holiday Valley Website (link is below).

Aerial adventure park requirements: Children must be at least 7 years old, and all guests must be able to perform certain physical tasks to participate. There is a weight limit of 250 pounds. Reservations are required! 716-699-HIGH

The mountain coaster ride requirments: Children must be at least 36 inches tall to ride with an adult or 42 inches tall to ride alone. All guests must be able to perform certain physical tasks to participate.
 
(All requirements are provided, maintained and enforced by Holiday Valley Resort and the notes are provided for convenience. Please see their website for all saftey rules, forms and requirements).

Directions:From downtown Ellicottville, take Route 219 South 0.9 miles. Turn right at the next stop light. Drive approximately 1 mile and turn left into the Tannenbaum parking lot to access the Sky High Adventure Park. You will pass the Holiday Valley Resort main lodge on the way.

Hours:

9AM to 6PM
11AM to 6PM for mountain coaster

May 11 to June 10, 2012 open weekends
June 15 to Sept 3, 2012 open daily
Sept 8 to Oct. 8, 2012 open weekends

Costs*:
$45 for a 3 hour aerial adventure course
$38 for a 3 hour aerial adventure course - discounted tickets can be purchased at the Holiday Valley Rental Managment office with an overnight rental of one of their properties

$8 per mountain coaster ride
$65 for a Family 10 pack of mountain coaster rides
$42 all day mountain coaster pass

Other packages that combine aerial park and mountain costers as well as group rate packages are availabe on the Holiday Valley Resort website.

Website:

*All cost for entrance fees or admission charges are maintained by there respective organizations and are subject to change. The amounts were based on February 2012 rates and are posted for your convenience in planning a trip to the area.

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