Allegany State Park

Canoers on Red House Lake at Allegany State Park

Canoers on Red House Lake at Allegany State Park. Photo courtesy Cattaraugus County Tourism

On July 30, 1921, Allegany State Park was opened to the public. Originally, it was Amasa Stone who bought 7,000 acres - for a whopping $40,000 - in the heavily-wooded area. His ideal vision was to use it as a private hunting ground.

However, in the 1920s, the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences and the Society for the Preservation of Birds, Fish and Game held a joint meeting to discuss what was to be done with the land.  Albert Fancher (remember this name) was the man behind the legislative action to get the ball rolling.

Since then, a lot of things have changed. We can acquire knowledge about anything from anywhere in the world - all from that handheld device in our pockets.

What hasn’t changed, however, is the serenity of the enormous forest that is Allegany State Park. Covering over 65,000 acres, Allegany State Park is the biggest state park in New York. With two main areas to choose from, it is one of the few places left to legitimately escape from everything.

Red House Area

The main area, Red House, has some really cool features including the old administrative building, which was built in the late 1920s. Bright red and perched atop a hill overlooking Red House Lake, the building is home to a natural history museum, restaurant, gift shop and information center. The administrative building is also home to the park’s regional headquarters.

Filled in 1929 by damming the Red House Brook, Red House Lake is one of several large bodies of water around Allegany State Park. With its deepest point being close to 20 feet, the lake’s shoreline is close to 1.8 miles around to complement the 110-acres of water that fill it. Fishing - for all seasons - is allowed, and Red House Lake is home to trout, largemouth bass and panfish. There is also an area roped off for swimming with lifeguards on duty.

The Red House area also offers 130 campsites and 144 cabins (128 of which are winterized.) There are three large campgrounds for larger groups and the individual campsites have power access. If you get sick of hiking or exploring (which may be difficult, seeing as there is so much to see) Red House offers basketball and volleyball courts as well as a playground. Near that area is also an enclosed pavilion for picnics.

Full Moon Beach Party

On Friday, Aug. 10, Red House will host the 6th Annual Full Moon Beach Party. A free, public event, the Beach Party is great for families with youngsters. They offer live music, animal balloons, face painting and a limbo contest. The concession stand will be open for dinner, but the Park also allows people to bring their own food. The event starts around 6pm and goes until 10pm.

Quaker Area

On the other side of Allegany State Park lies the Quaker area. Further west on Route 86 from Salamanca and the Red House entrance, Quaker offers many of the same amenities.

There are two lakes where patrons can swim or fish - there is kayak/canoe access as well as two piers for fishing. The Allegany Reservoir is also accessible for boating enthusiasts through the Friend’s Boat Launch.

Quaker boasts 189 campsites and 230 cabins which visitors can use as a home base to explore the many hiking trails around the area. Remember Albert Fancher? He was the Senator that approved much of the legislation and is known as ‘The Father of Allegany State Park.’ In honor, seven cabins are named after him - fittingly, the Fancher Cabins. For those who want to get outside but don’t want to sleep in a tent, the Fancher Cabins are fully furnished, including showers, electric, countertops and microwaves.

Also at Quaker are horseshoe pits, basketball courts, a beach on one of the lakes and a playground for the kids.

Whether you’re from Little Valley or Toronto, Allegany State Park offers an escape from everyday life into the serenity of our natural surroundings. For more information, head to nysparks.com and download a detailed map of Allegany State Park.

By Mary Heyl

Give back to Allegany State Park during the Nation's largest one-day event. Read more

By Daniella Griesbaum

Allegheny National Forest recognized as the #2 camping destination in the United States. Read more

By Spencer Timkey

ERA Team VP Real Estate takes charge in the fight against ALS with "Agents of Hope" golf tournament. Read more

By Spencer Timkey

With help from the Tony Hawk Foundation, Ellicottville begins effort to build a skatepark. Read more

A photo from a past PaddleFest at Spruce Lake
By Spencer Timkey

Adventure Bound onthefly’s 4th annual Paddle Festival returns to Spruce Lake June 22nd & 23rd. Read more

By Spencer Timkey

After years of intensive planning, exceptional dedication and community support, the Ellicottville Great Valley Trail looks to begin building Read more

By Spencer Timkey

A new event center, exceptional junior programs and some of the best scenery in the county makes Cardinal Hills a WNY golf gem. Read more

By Spencer Timkey

One of the most prominent charitable golf outings in the area returns to The Pennhills Club on Saturday, June 1st. The Zippo Open: Sarah Dorn Blaisdell Memorial raises money for the McKean County SPCA, combining a rich history with generous donations and sponsorships. Started in 1963, the memorial continues to prove successful in the Bradford golf circuit. Read more

By Spencer Timkey

Dan Cass likes to golf. The local entrepreneur and former restaurant owner, realizing the Arcade area was in need of a country club, saw opportunity when Turkey Run went up for sale in 2015. Combining the two things he loved - golf and small business - made the purchase one he doesn’t regret. Now, with a reinvigorated attitude and a brand-new clubhouse, Turkey Run has become a staple in the local golf and restaurant scene. Read more

By Cattaraugus County Tourism

Time to hit the water ... where to go? Read more

Pages