With the change of season and temps on the rise, every day offers the opportunity to get outside, soak up the sun, and discover something new within the Enchanted Mountains. Take advantage of the many great events planned throughout Cattaraugus County, or choose to enjoy nature at your own pace with a visit to one of our area’s parks. Whatever your destination, you’re bound to create memories to last a lifetime … kick off your summer with fun!
A HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY
Expand your knowledge of history when all area town historical societies and museums open their doors to the public FREE on June 8 from 10am-4pm as part of a new initiative called “Path Through History.” What a great opportunity for everyone to see what our museums and historical societies have to offer!
Make sure to include the Cattaraugus County Museum and Research Center on your list of stops. Located at 9824 Route 16 in Machias, the museum is part of the “Stone House,” the sole surviving building of the Cattaraugus County Alms House and Insane Asylum, which was constructed in 1868. An exhibit titled, “War is Cruelty: A Sesquicentennial of the Civil War in its Third Year” is now on display at the museum. Visitors to the County Museum on June 8 will also have the opportunity to attend a discussion about the history and use of the rase knife at 10:15am. And at 12:30pm, “Abe Lincoln” will split rails and demonstrate how to construct a rail fence zigzag design using period tools.
For more information about the County Museum, call 716-353-8200. For a complete list of museums and historical societies, log on to www.cattco.org
GRIFFIS SCULPTURE PARK
Since the early 60’s, the steel sculptures of Larry Griffis, Jr. and other international artists have been residing in the woods, fields and ponds of Griffis Sculpture Park. The 450-acre park, located eight miles from Ellicottville, in Ashford Hollow, NY, is not only a tremendous regional attraction, but it holds the distinction of being one of America’s largest and oldest sculpture parks.
The park features over 250 large-scale sculptures dispersed through miles of hiking trails. Each sculpture was placed with the natural setting in mind, creating a truly unique experience between art and nature.
There are actually two sections to Griffis Sculpture Park: The Rohr Hill area is characterized by towering sculptures set in the fields and woods just off the road. The Mill Valley area features both a smooth walking area, as well as miles of trails through a variety of terrain. Whether you have five minutes or five hours, one can always get a taste of the park. Round up the family, pack a picnic, and discover the beauty of Griffis Sculpture Park, open every day now through October.
Griffis Sculpture Park is also an arts-in-education interactive learning environment where students of all ages experience the arts in a way not found anywhere else. The park offers educational tours, workshops and other programs to visitors each year. Head to www.griffispark.org
ALLEGANY STATE PARK
Located just south of Salamanca, Allegany State Park has treated millions of visitors to nature’s four-season playground since 1921. Away from the bustling crowds, over 70 miles of hiking trails, three lakes, two sandy beaches, and 55 miles of summer equestrian trails entice you to explore the great outdoors.
Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing, sunny day on the sandy beaches of Red House Lake or Quaker Lake. Fish off the dock or rent a paddleboat. Take advantage of the many sports fields and courts. Gather the troops for a rousing game of volleyball or fly a kite high over the treetops. Live concerts and a summer children’s program round out family-friendly entertainment.
Hike miles of trails or put on your helmet and lap the park on rollerblades or your bicycle. Take a family-oriented tour and experience stunning views, forested wildlife habitats and wetlands. Discover waterfalls, salamanders, osprey, wild edibles, beaver ponds, fossil rocks, and the occasional bear. Bring your camera for lots of fun photo ops!
Don’t forget a visit to Thunder Rocks, an impressive bedrock city left behind as glaciers receded. Near the Stone Tower, view the park’s brilliant vistas. Visit the historic Tudor-style Administration Building and Natural History Museum, or check out exhibits at the Old Quaker Store and Museum.
Cycling action is on tap for the weekend of June 29-30 as the Raccoon Rally Cycling Festival returns to Allegany State Park. Heart pounding thrills and a fun, friendly and ultra challenging array of events will entice all levels of cyclists. From road races to trials competitions to mountain bike races for both adults and kids, Allegany State Park turns into a haven of everything “cycling.”
New this year: “King of the Mountain” competition: first genders to the summit water station during Sunday’s cross country race score some amazing swag from event sponsors from each division!
First timer or seasoned pro, the Raccoon Rally has something for everyone! Sign up for the race that suits your style and let it rip! Head to www.heartrateup.com
for complete details and to register.
DON KENT MEMORIAL HORSE PULL
Take a drive out to Hinsdale, NY for a day of exciting horse pulling action! Hinsdale American Legion Post 1434 will bring back a little bit of Hinsdale’s past on Sunday, June 30 when it hosts the 3rd Annual Don Kent Memorial Horse Pull. Don Kent, a lifelong resident of Hinsdale, was known as “the voice of horse pulls” throughout the Southern Tier decades ago.
For those who have never seen a horse pull, this is certainly an event you won’t want to miss! The horse pull will feature both lightweight and heavyweight classes, with some of the highest prize payouts in New York State. Spectators can expect to see some of the top pulling teams from throughout the northeast including NY, PA and Ohio. In addition to the pulling event, the day will offer free activities for children including a bounce house and pony rides, food concessions featuring bison sandwiches from the Maple Ridge Bison Ranch, on-site pig roast, hotdogs, hamburgers and beverages.
Gates will open at 10:30am with the action getting underway at 1pm. Admission is only $8 per person; children under 12 are free! Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Cattaraugus-Allegany Counties Volunteer Veteran’s Van Service, the Wounded Warriors’ Leek Hunting and Mountain Preserve (which offers our disabled veterans opportunities to participate in outdoor recreational activities in a completely accessible and supportive environment), and the Hinsdale American Legion capital improvement fund.
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.