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Allegany State Park is a state park in western New York Statemarker, located in Cattaraugus Countymarker just north of Allegheny National Forestmarker in Pennsylvaniamarker. The park is divided into two sections: The Red House Area and the Quaker Run Area.

The Red House Area is the northern half of Allegany State Park. The Red House area's attractions include Stone Tower, the Summit Fire Tower, Red House Lake, Bridal Falls, and the Art Roscoe Ski Area. This section also contains of paved bike trails and 130 camp sites. The Red House area is the location of the Administration Building for the park.

The Quaker area is the southern section of the park. Its attractions include Quaker Lake, the Mount Tuscarora Fire Tower, hiking trails, Science lake, Bear Caves, Thunder Rocks, the Quaker Amphitheater, and of course several campsites. The Cain Hollow campground is located on the Quaker side of the park.

Allegany State Park was named as a top "Amazing Spot" in the nation in 2007. It is also known as "the wilderness playground of Western New York."
Stone tower near Summit in Red House


History

The 65,000 acre (260 km²), Allegany State Park began on May 2, 1921, when an Act of the New York State Legislature approved the purchase of a 7,000 acre (28 km²) tract of land in the Quaker Run Valley. The land was purchased for $50,000.00 (half of the money was raised locally as per the legislature agreement) on June 18, 1921. It was purchased through the Holland Land Company in the Quaker Run Valley. The park was formally dedicated on July 30, 1921.

Senator Albert T. Fancher was appointed by New York Governor Nathan Lewis Miller to head a 5 member team to develop a vast park that continues to grow to this day. Fancher is known as the "Father of Allegany State Park," and the seven Fancher Cottages in Allegany State Park are named after him.

A converted schoolhouse (near the present day Quaker Inn) served as the park's first administration building, and World War I Army Surplus Tents, on 16'x16' wooden platforms were primarily used during the time between the park's creation until the completion of the first permanent cabin in 1925.

The first State Park Bond Issue was passed in 1924, and provided funds for the development of the Redhouse Area, including the construction of the Redhouse Administration Building and the building of the Redhouse Dam, which created Redhouse Lake.

In 1926, Science Lake was built and offered the first official swimming area in the park. Adjoining the lake was the Allegany School Of Natural History, a group of 42 cabins, and a main building housing a library, several science laboratories, and an assembly room.The park was developed extensively between 1933 and 1942 when the Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC) took on the project of building roads, bridges, camping areas, trails, and picnic areas. The CCC were also responsible for numerous conservation projects from reforestation to stream bank retention and wildlife improvements.

Through the years, the park was developed further with the addition of Quaker Lake, winterized cabins and full service cottages, hiking and snowmobile trails, picnic and recreation areas, bike and horse paths, and better roads enabling people to access the park.

Dance halls

Among some of the park's rich history is the Old Quaker Dance Hall. The dance hall was located off ASP 3 across the creek from the Quaker Inn, near the Brow Cabin Trail and the Quaker Maintenance Area, and was torn down in 2002 due to its poor condition. Many dances occurred here through the Great Depression era into the mid 1900s. Bands would play live music at the hall while scores of people danced on the large dance floor.

The Redhouse Dance Pavilion was located along Redhouse Lake, near the beach parking lot. The old dance hall was built upon the concrete barn floor of a farmer,(John Sharpe), that formerly owned the land.As with the Quaker Dance Hall, weekend dances were held at the Redhouse Dance hall throughout the summer, from the 1920s through the rock & roll era.The Redhouse Dance Pavilion was last used for an Independence Day dance in 1973. The building then housed a game room until it was torn down in 1984. The Redhouse Miniature Golf Course now sits on the same concrete floor.

New Ireland

Also a part of the history is the settlement of New Ireland (Carrollton, New Yorkmarker) which was formed in the early 1900s near Limestone, New Yorkmarker. The village since was incorporated into Limestone, New York, and no longer exists. Ruins of the old village are still visible and are accessible from the Limestone Run Road.

Park fire towers

Due to the danger of forest fires, and the damage caused by them in New York State Parks, three fire lookout towers were constructed. The first; Summit Fire Tower; was completed in 1926. It stands tall. The other fire towers were the Mt. Tuscarora Fire Tower located in the Quaker Area, and the Mt. Irvine Fire Tower, located in the Rice Brook (Limestone) area. The Mt. Tuscarora Fire Tower still stands today, near Quaker Lake. The Mt. Irvine Fire Tower, however, was disassembled by the park and moved near the Bradford, PA entrance. When all the fire towers were abandoned in favor of aerial surveillance in 1971, the Mt. Irvine tower was the only one taken down by park personnel in the early 1970s. It was saved however, when reassembled by a BOCES class in Ellicottville, New York. The Allegany State Park Historical Society has formed a committee which has undertaken the task of restoring and preserving the park's fire towers. Information on the restoration project is available on their website.

Gas lease

Contained within the park off France Brook Road is a large storage pool for natural gas. Formerly a large gas well, the Limestone Storage Pool is operated by National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation. National Fuel leases rights to maintain and operate the 20+ wells it uses to store and regulate the natural gas it stores in the massive underground sandstone deposit. The storage pool is connected to the "K" line, which is a diameter gas pipeline that runs from Buffalo, New Yorkmarker to Eldred, Pennsylvaniamarker. The pool is regulated by equipment located in a compression station situated on the access road near the Bova Ski Area and Camp Allegany. The gas stored in this pool is used by the park (which it receives for free as part of the agreement), and by local industries requiring high-pressure, high-volume gas supply. The rest of the gas is used on the K line for distribution in New York and Pennsylvania.

In 2008, the rising price for natural gas caused concern among environmentalists that increased levels of drilling would damage the park.

Park roads

The park uses a system of three main roads linking the Red House area and the Quaker Run area, and serving as major thoroughfares in the Red House and Quaker Run Areas.
  • Allegany State Park Route 1 (ASP Route 1) runs north-to-south through the middle of the park. ASP Route 1 runs between the park's entrance from exit 21 of the Southern Tier Expressway (Interstate 86 and New York State Route 17) in Salamancamarker, to its intersection with ASP Route 3 in the Quaker Run Area near the Quaker Rental Office. ASP Route 1 also intersects with ASP Route 2 by Redhouse Lake. Winding ASP Route 1 is shut down and used only as a snowmobile trail during the winter. The route becomes New York State Route 951M (an unsigned reference route) at the park's northern border.
  • Allegany State Park Route 2 (ASP Route 2) runs west to east along the northern part of the park and then north to south along the eastern side of the park. ASP Route 2 runs from exit 19 of the Southern Tier Expressway in the town of Red House, New Yorkmarker to its intersection with ASP Route 3 at the Bradford, Pennsylvaniamarker, entrance of the park. ASP Route 2 also intersects with ASP Route 1 by Redhouse Lake. ASP Route 2 to ASP Route 3 is the sole automobile road between Red House and Quaker Run within Allegany State Park during the winter.
  • Allegany State Park Route 3 (ASP Route 3) runs west to east from the southern terminus of ASP Route 2 near the Bradford entrance to New York State Route 280 at the park's Quaker Run entrance in Coldspring. ASP Route 3 to ASP Route 2 is the sole automobile road between Red House and Quaker Run during the winter.


There are also several paved secondary roads in Allegany State Park.
  • Allegany State Park Route 2A (ASP Route 2A) runs along the southern shore of Red House Lake between ASP Route 1 and ASP Route 2.
  • Quaker Lake Road runs from its intersection with ASP Route 3 (about east of the Quaker Entrance) around the North East side of Quaker Lake to just past the Quaker Beach.
  • Cain Hollow Road goes from Quaker Lake Road (just north of ASP Route 3) into the Cain Hollow Campground.
  • Friends Boat Launch Access Road is entered from outside the park, off NY 280, about north of the Quaker Entrance. This road leads to the boat launch onto the Allegheny Reservoir near the site of the old "Tunesassa School" (Indian School).


The park also has many minor access roads. These usually are dirt roads that go unmaintained during winter but otherwise range from good to rough condition.
  • Bay State Road runs from ASP Route 1, about midpoint between Red House Lake and ASP3 past the former Big Basin Ski Area, north into the Town of Red House (near Lonkto and Beck Hollows). This road is gated south of the private residences (south of the intersection with Lonkto Hollow Road) during the summer.
  • France Brook Road runs from ASP Route 2 near Group Camp 10, about south of Red House Lake, to ASP Route 1 near Bay State Road.
  • Ridge Run Road starts at its intersection with ASP Route 2 (about north of the Bradford Entrance) and follows a ridge north to Thunder Rocks. Ridge Run Road is the main entrance to Thunder Rocks.
  • Limestone Run Road goes from its intersection with ASP Route 2 (by France Brook Road) to the village of Limestonemarker on the eastern side of Allegany. About midway this road intersects with Ridge Run Road (the entrance way to Thunder Rocks). Limestone Run Road serves as the eastern entrance to Allegany State Park from Limestone during the summer.
  • Coon Run Road runs south from its intersection with ASP Route 3 (just east of the Quaker Inn) into the state of Pennsylvaniamarker and the Allegheny National Forestmarker. The road is gated at the New York-Pennsylvania border during the summer.
  • Wolf Run Road is entered outside the park from NY 280 (about 1 1/2 miles south of the Quaker Entrance). It follows a southerly course towards the state of Pennsylvania and the Allegheny National Forest, ending about one mile (1.6 km) from the border.
  • Holt Run Road is entered from NY 280 about north of the Quaker Entrance, across from the Friends Boat Launch.
  • Bova Ski Hill Access Road diverges from ASP Route 2 at the fork in the road about 1/2 mile South of Red House Lake (by Camp Allegany) and runs east for about past the former Red House garbage dump to the old Bova Ski Area.
  • Stone Tower Access Road is a loop that runs from ASP Route 1 past the Art Rosco Ski Area (near Summit Cabins) about 1 1/2 miles South of the Salamanca Entrance) around Stone Tower and back to ASP Route 1 (about North of Red House Lake).
  • The roads within the cabin trails (mentioned below), with the exception of the steep Ryan trail, are dirt roads maintained during the winter to allow access to the cabins.


Administration building

The Administration Building in Red House
Built in the Tudor Style during the depression era, this building has been extensively modernized, but still keeps its cozy rustic charm. Otherwise known as the "Admin Building," it houses the Red House Rental Offices, the NYS Park Police Station, the park museum, the Red House Gift Shop, the Red House Restaurant and the Allegany Regional offices for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP).
The bay window overlooking Red House Lake


The Administration Building also has a sitting room with a large bay window overlooking Red House Lake. This room is used for functions and meetings, and is equipped with two wood-burning fireplaces. The gift shop is operated by J-Con Parks, Inc. The rental office, gift shop, museum, and Park Police Station are located on the main level of the building. The restaurant, Allegany Regional Offices of NYSOPRHP, and park offices are located on the upper level of the building. The basement includes offices and storage.

Hiking trails

Allegany State Park offers 18 hiking trails of various lengths and difficulties available for use year round. Six of the trails are part of the Art Roscoe Ski Touring Area. The trails within this system are groomed for cross-country skiing during the winter months, and are unavailable for hiking. The Ridgerun trail, which is part of the system, features a lean-to. The Art Roscoe trails are located near Summit in the Red House Area. In addition to these trails, The Allegheny Highlands Snowmobile and Horse Trail begins in the park off ASP 2. Another unique bragging right the park has is that the famous North Country Trail passes through it. The North Country Trail is a 4000+ mile trail that spans through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and terminates in North Dakota. Allegany State Park's section of the trail includes 4 lean-tos, two in the Quaker Area, and the other two in the Red House area. The Black Snake Mountain trail is also unique due to its direct contact with the Pennsylvania state line. One of the attractions on this trail is a concrete marker shows the exact line where New York and Pennsylvania meet. It is short enough that one could sit on the marker, and be in two states at once. Many other attractions are viewable on or from the trails listed below. In the Quaker Area, the Tornado Trail tours the damage area caused by an F-1 Tornado on August 28, 1990. Though much of the area has regrown, you can still see the path that was cut by the tornado; which was 1 of 4 to occur that day in Western New York. Here is a list of the hiking trails and their lengths:

Listing of hiking trails

Mist on Mt.
Tuscarora, viewed from Camp Turner in 2007.
  • 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) (18.0 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)


Program sites

In addition to the hiking trails, the park has set up 71 program sites which are used to direct park visitors to specific sites where the park naturalist staff conducts walks and other programs. The park publishes a Recreation Activities Bulletin which informs park visitors of the programs taking place in the published time period. The sites are numbered, with numbers corresponding to an attached map. When a program is conducted, park patrons are directed to meet at one of these specific places at the specified time. Examples of activities and their program site include a tour of a Beaver colony- Site 28, bike & hike to Bridal Falls- Site 60, tour of the Bear Caves- Site 42, tour of Thunder Rocks- Site 35, night owl walk- Site 32, etc.

Cabin trails

Cabin Trails are clusters of cabins accessible by dirt roads (see above). Each trail usually has centrally located pit toilets or bathrooms with flush toilets, while shower facilities are more widely separated. All cabin trails in the Red House area, except for Ryan Trail, have a dedicated shower-house within the trail. . The park rents 375 cabins on the trails listed below, 150 of them winterized. The cabin trails are:

RED HOUSE AREA CABIN TRAILS

Anderson

Sugarbush

Mcintosh

Beehunter

Congdon

Ryan

Summit

RED HOUSE AREA CABIN NOTES

RED HOUSE CABIN STYLES:The Red House area of Allegany has, for the most part, newer cabins. Many of these cabins have more than 1 room, although some of the traditional 1 room, 16'x16, "Quaker Style" cabins still exist in the Red House Area. These traditional 1 room cabins are: MacIntosh #'s 1, 3, 5, 20 (2 rooms), 22, 26: Anderson #'s 2, 5, 6, 8 through 14 and 17: Beehunter #'s 6, 7, 31, 32 (2 rooms), 33, 34.

There are some cabins that have 1 room plus a kitchenette in them. These are the cabins on Sugarbush and Congdon Trails.Newer 3 room cabins in the Red House area are located at: all of Summit Trail, Anderson Trail #'s 1, 1A, 7, 15, 16, all of MacIntosh Trail (except those mentioned above). All of Beehunter Trail (except for the #'s mentioned above) are even larger 3 room cottages.There are also older large 4 room cabins with fire places on Ryan Trail

ELECTRICITY:The only cabins in the Red House area of the park that do not have electrical power or refrigerators are MacIntosh #'s 1, 3, 5, 20, 22, 26.

FLUSH TOILETS and SHOWERS:With the exception of the Ryan Cabins, all Cabin Trails in the Red House area have centrally located flush toilets and showers. Ryan Trail has pit toilets, and no shower. Flush toilets are also available in both the Red House and Beehunter Picnic Areas, the Red House Bathhouse, and the Red House Administration Building.

WINTER RENTALS:Most cabins in the Red House Area are available year round, with the exception of MacIntosh #'s 1, 3, 5, 20, 22, 26 and all of Ryan Trail. These cabins are not available in the winter.

QUAKER AREA CABIN TRAILS

Weller

Barton

Ranger

Pinetree

Brow

Ward

Coon

Diehl (also has tents and trailers)

Hamlin

Gypsy (three new cabins built in 2002)

Horseshoe

Reed

Indian

McCabe

Angle (remodeled in 2003)

Fancher Cottage Trail

Buffalo

Parallel (many cabins have been closed or torn down)

Creekside

Kaiser

Taft

Stony (special for campers with horses)

QUAKER AREA CABIN NOTES

QUAKER CABIN STYLES: Although most cabins in the Quaker Area are the standard 1 room, 16'x16', "Quaker Style Cabin", there are other cabins with 2 or more rooms available on this side of Allegany State Park. These cabins are: Weller #'s 13, 15, and 22: Pinetree #'s 1 through 4: Ranger #4: Ward #6: Brow #'s 3, 7 and 11: Gypsy #'s 6, 12,13, 16, and 19: Circle #2: Indian #5: McCabe #1 (4 room): All Francher Cottages (3 rooms and a private bath); Buffalo 13: Creekside #'s 9, 15, and 16: Kaiser #11 (3 room) and 12 (4 rooms). Taft cabin also has multiple rooms and screened-in porches that can be used as bedrooms.

ELECTRICITY: Most cabins in the Quaker Area have electricity and include a refrigerator, however some do not. The cabins without electrical power, or refrigerators, in the Quaker Area are Barton #'s 1 through 13 and #'s 19 through 22: Hamlin #'s 1 thu 8 and #'s 11 and 14:Gypsy #'s 4 through 7 and 12 through 32 (Gypsy #11 has electricity, fridge, and gas heat/stove): Indian #'s 1 through 4: all cabins on Circle, Reed, and Creekside Trails. All other Cabins in the Quaker Area do have electricity and refrigerators.

FLUSH TOILETS: In the Quaker Area of Allegany State Park, there are centrally located flush toilets on Weller, Diehl, Gypsy, and Buffalo Cabin Trails, as well as in the Fancher Bath House, the Quaker Museum, the Quaker Picnic Area, and the Quaker Rental Office. McCabe #1 also has a seasonal flush toilet inside.

SHOWERS: Showers are available in the Fancher Bath House, as well as the bathhouses on Weller, and Deihl Cabin Trails.

WINTER RENTALS: Some cabins in the Quaker Area are available to rent during the winter months. these cabins include Weller #'s 1 through 9: Deihl #'s 1 through 8: Gypsy #'s 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9: Angle #'s 1 through 11: and all of the Fancher Cottages.

COTTAGE NOTESIn addition to the standard cabin trails, the park rents 7 cottages located in the Quaker Run Area. The Fancher Cabins are well appointed with furniture, cookware and utensils, standard kitchen appliances, private bathroom and shower, pillows, and bedding. These cottages are also handicapped accessible. In addition to the above mentioned cottages, the park also offers Pitt Cottage, located next to Congdon Trail in the Red House Area. Pitt Cottage features the same amenities as the Fancher Cottages. All the cottages are available for rental by visiting www.reserveamerica.com.

Tent and trailer areas

In addition to cabin rentals, the park operates and maintains 3 tent and trailer campgrounds.

In the Red House Area there is the Red House Tent and Trailer Area, and in Quaker Area there are the Deihl Tent and Trailer Trail (Also Deihl Cabins), and the Cain Hollow Camping Area. Between the three, 424 sites are available for tent or trailer use.

The Red House Tent and Trailer Area is situated along Stoddard Creek. Its entrance is on ASP1, across from the Redhouse General Store. This campground contains 5 loops; Loops A, B, C & D, and E. Loop A and a few sites on the remaining 4 loops are non electric sites. All of the loops are interconnected by dirt roads.

The Cain Hollow Camping Area is located in Cain Hollow, off Quaker Lake Road, about east of Quaker Entrance to Allegany State Park on ASP 3. This campground has 4 loops; Loops A, B, C, and D. Many sites are equipped with an electrical hookup, and have central bathrooms. Water Taps are located throughout the campground and on the Bathhouses.Cain Hollow loop A is entirely out in the open, and separate from the other 3 Loops, it is set up more for Trailers than Tenting. Loops B, C, and D are mostly Tree'd lots. There is 1 Bathhouse in Loop A, and 4 in Loops B, C and D. All the Bathhouse's have both Toilets/Sinks and Showers. They are quite old, each Bathroom or Shower-room is small separate, with its own door, however there is a Male and Female side. There is one new bathhouse, near Site 81, that is much more updated, and has electric hand dryers.There is a Trailer Dumping station on the main road near Site 55. All Roads are paved, with partial paved/gravel driveways for campsites. All sites are 'back-in' sites, there are no 'pull-thru' sites.Cain Hollow Campground is only open during summer months, from Mid-May until Mid-October.

The Deihl Tent and Trailer Trail sits beside English Creek, running parallel with ASP1 just east of the Quaker Inn. This camping trail also has 8 cabins on it, and is a single loop with 22 non-electric sites and a bath and showerhouse at the trail head.

Gift Cards can also be purchased for camping purposes. Gift cards can be purchased and redeemed at most New York State Parks.

Group camps

The park also has several larger campsites known as Group Camps. These are reserved primarily by large groups or organizations such as Boy Scout troops, church groups, etc. They usually consist of several cabins or dormitories, a kitchen with dining hall, bathroom and shower facilities, and, in some of the larger group camps, classrooms or gathering halls. The largest group camp in Allegany State Park is Camp Allegany. While it is not operated by the park itself, park maintenance crews still are responsible for its upkeep. Camp Turner also is a group camp that is not operated by the park. Camp Turner is used as a summer camp and is operated by the youth department of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Otherwise, the park rents and maintains the other group camps.

Beaches

There are two small bathing beaches in the park: one at Red House Lake and another at Quaker Lake at the end of Quaker Lake Road, past the entrance to Cain Hollow Campground. The swimming areas are staffed by lifeguards, and only open to swimmers from 11am-7pm while lifeguards are present. Both beaches have a Diving Platform, also manned by lifeguards with a diving board and deep water. There are very strict rules in the beach waters, no flotation devices are allowed unless Coastguard Approved. Air mattresses, Tubes, and even Kiddie Water-wings are prohibited. The beaches are often closed due to thunderstorms or other possibly dangerous situations. Both beaches have snack bars and bathrooms near the parking lot.

References

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