Stretch Your Muscles

 

   The wait is over.  Snow shovels have been tucked away into the darkest corner of the shed, and Saturday morning wake-up calls now consist of soothing melodies courtesy our feathered friends, followed by the not-so-soothing sound of your neighbor’s lawnmower.  The smell of freshly cut grass is in full force … and it feels so good.
   Welcome to spring.  Better yet, welcome to spring in the Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County, NY.    The warming temps offer unlimited opportunities to get out and enjoy all that Mother Nature had blanketed in snow for what seemed an eternity over the winter months.   It’s a new season … your adventure awaits!
 
STRETCH YOUR MUSCLES
 
   Take in the sights and sounds of spring with a hike through Rock City Park, located on Route 16 in Olean, NY.  Often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, Rock City Park attracts thousands of visitors yearly.  Its prehistoric ocean floor is the world’s largest exposure of quartz conglomerate (also called ocean spar or puddingstone), and is clearly evident upon entry to the park.
   Rock City Park features a three quarter-mile natural trail consisting of various steps and paths under, over and through gigantic boulders measuring several stories high.  The land is believed to have been a fortress for the Seneca Indians at one time.  “Three Sisters”, “Balancing Rock” and “Indian Face” are just some of the natural rock formations found along the park’s scenic trails.  From “Signal Rock”, once used as a signaling point by Indians, visitors can enjoy a 1,000-square mile panoramic view of the Enchanted Mountains.
   A brand new 42,000-square foot building features an expanded museum, souvenir and rock shop, virtual video room, and florescent rock room.  Guests can also utilize Rock City Park’s picnic area and grills, making for a perfect family day trip.  Modern restrooms are available on-site, and parking is free!  Visitors are furnished with a self-guided map, so you can experience the trail at your own pace.
   Each year, Rock City Park hosts an Arts & Crafts Show, spotlighting many talented artists in varying mediums - watercolors, oils, sculptors, photography, jewelry, glass, metals, wood and much more.  Surround yourself with beautiful works of art in a natural setting during this special event, slated for the weekend of May 11-12.
   Rock City Park is located at 505A Rock City Road (Route 16) in Olean, NY 14760, phone 866-404-ROCK.  The park is open May through October, 9am-6pm daily.  For more information, including admission prices, group discounts, and details on this year’s Arts & Crafts Show, log onto www.rockcitypark.com.
   This city of rocks is an adventure you’ll want to repeat!
 
PICK UP THE PACE
 
   Kick off your trail running season in Western New York with the 2013 Allegany Adventure Run, scheduled for Saturday, May 4.  Wild, wicked, hard core and addictively exhausting, trail runners unite in a truly amazing, breathtaking venue on Allegany State Park’s Art Roscoe Trail System in Salamanca, NY. Choose a distance that suits your fitness level: 6K, 13K or 22K. 
   The Art Roscoe Trail System features mile after mile of rolling, wide cross country and multi-use trails.  The clover-leaf pattern of intersecting trails features several climbs and descents and are non-technical in nature but rank high in beauty and vastness.  Water stations will greet runners at several points, and clear course signs will help direct athletes to their proper distance.  A centralized start/finish area with plenty of parking helps round out an amazing day inside one of New York’s most beautiful State Parks.
   Located only 10 minutes from Ellicottville, Allegany State Park features several camping areas, cabins and beautiful State Park facilities to suit your lodging needs.  Stay the weekend or come down for the day!  Pre-register or enter on race day – no one will be turned away!
   Join in on the season kick-off event in Western New York that will surely test every level of trail runner from the first timer through regional champion.  For more information or to pre-register for this year’s Allegany Adventure Run, head over to heartrateup.com.
 
UNCOVER HIDDEN TREASURES
 
   Ever try your skills at geocaching?  For those unfamiliar with the term, geocaching is a real life treasure hunt in which participants use GPS-enabled devices to navigate to a specific set of coordinates in an attempt to find a hidden container (known as a geocache, or cache).  Inside this container (most often an ammunitions box or Tupperware container) are little trinkets for trading, as well as a logbook.  The geocacher enters the date they found the cache and signs the log with their geocache code name.  After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where it was found, for the next hunter.
   This newest craze of outdoor recreational activity offers an exciting adventure for all ages, and is growing in popularity worldwide!  It’s a wonderful opportunity for singles, couples, and families to spend time outdoors and connect with others.
   Right here in Cattaraugus County, you’ll find dozens of caches … if you’re skills prove worthy.  You’ll also find the annual “Geobash” event, held each May at Allegany State Park.
   Geobash VIII will take place May 17-19 inside the Park at the Red House Area.  The weekend brings like-minded geocachers together for three days of adventure and camaraderie.   New to geocaching?  No worries!  Beginners are encouraged to participate.  It’s the perfect weekend to gather some insight into what makes this such an intriguing hobby for many.
   Head to www.geocaching.com for the 101 on geocaching.  The site will guide you step-by-step and help you on your way to your first hunt.  You can also visit www.ASPGeobash.com to learn more about Allegany State Park’s upcoming event.
 
HEAD TO THE WATER
 
   Tucked away in the southwest corner of Cattaraugus County, hidden in the rolling hills of the Alleghenies, is one of the area’s best kept secrets … Onoville Marina.
   Located on the 12,000-acre Allegheny Reservoir, the Marina sits just north of the Allegheny National Forest and west of Allegany State Park.  Bald eagles and osprey soar high over the sparkling, pristine waters that reflect the surrounding hills of forest.  What better way to spend a day - or a weekend - than taking in the sun’s rays while floating on the water with friends.
   The Marina, which opens for the season May 3, has eight piers of docks and can berth approximately 400 boats up to 44’ in length.  The Marina is staffed 24/7, and offers a fuel dock, coin-operated showers, and laundry facilities.  There are 70 campsites available for rent, all of which have 30-amp power and water.  Pontoon and fishing boats are also available for rent, through the Bayview Mini Mart.  (Boats are docked at the marina.)
   Fast forward!  One weekend at Onoville Marina you won’t want to miss is OnoFest 2013, slated for Saturday, Aug. 11.  The annual celebration provides a guaranteed good time with live music, food/craft vendors, exhibits, activities for all ages, and fireworks.  Bring your chairs or blankets for the day, or plan your weekend getaway around this always-fun event.  Only $5 a car load (so bring a BIG vehicle and pack it full of friends and family!)
   The Onoville Marina is located at 704 W. Perimeter Road in Steamburg, NY, phone 800-331-0543.  Click over to www.onoville.org to get the scoop on all the Marina has to offer.  Check the site regularly throughout the season as additional details on OnoFest 2013 are released.
 
DISCOVER A SIMPLER WAY OF LIFE
 
   Experience a heritage and culture unlike none other without leaving the county. Bask in the charming countryside on your springtime drive along New York’s Amish Trail and discover a simpler way of life.  From Randolph to Gowanda and beyond, Amish Country is an area must-see.
   On Saturday, June 1 from 10am-5pm, participating businesses along New York’s Amish Trail invite you to a “Sneak Peak” preview Open House to introduce the many unique things to see and foods to enjoy.  Cattaraugus County is home to a large community of Old Order Amish, whose culture and lifestyle is rich in traditions and customs.  The Amish offer a wide variety of homemade crafts, quilts, wood, tin/metal work and baked goods for sale to the public, and the upcoming Open House is the perfect opportunity to explore and learn all about this rather private community.
   More information on New York’s Amish Trail is available at www.amishtrail.com.
 
   The Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County, NY is full of excitement and wonder.  For a complete list of activities, destinations, lodging facilities and more, visit www.enchantedmountains.com or call 800-331-0543 for a free brochure.
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