When you think of Autumn, what comes to mind? Perhaps the start of another school year, crisp days with cool nights, festivals that boast the change of season … probably the most treasured aspect of Fall is the bright, vibrant colors that paint our hillsides. You may not know it, but Cattaraugus County is home to some of the most beautiful places to take in the colors as you enjoy the last warm days before the long winter. To help you on your quest for fall peeping, here are a few “must-see” fall foliage destinations!
View the colors by car as you drive the country highways and byways through our Old Order Amish community on New York's Amish Trail. Share the roadways with Amish buggies that go a comfortable speed of 10mph - don't be in a hurry, slow down and appreciate the culture and its scenery. While on tour, stop in at some of the many different Amish owned shops to see what they have to offer. Fill up on delicious baked goods, or browse handmade quilts, furniture and children’s toys that are available for purchase. Traveling the Amish Trail is a great opportunity to stock up on wonderful gifts for the upcoming holiday season. (The holidays will be here before you know it!) Not sure which roads to navigate through Amish country? Call 1-800-331-0543 or visit AmishTrail.com.
The hiking trails of Rock City Park in Olean, NY will lead you through gigantic rock formations left over from the glacial period and over the falling leaves of the trees surrounding these rocks. Experience the view from the treetopsas you make your way to the trail via a route located on the top of one of those large rocks. Relax on the double swing, pose for photos under the arbor, or hold hands with Big Foot. Check out the neat extras in the gift shop as you are educated on different types of rocks and how they come to fruition. Rock enthusiasts will have the chance to view, purchase and learn about rare and common rocks from around the world at the annual Rock City Park Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show during Columbus Day Weekend.
Search through the crisp fall leaves at Griffis Sculpture Park to find sculptures popping up all over the place! Walk the woods of the Mill Valley site and discover an area full of steel sculptures placed perfectly along the edge of the forest, the pond, and in the field. For a grander view, drive up to the second portion of the park, the Rohr Hill site to see giant sculptures that stand as tall as the trees, or hunt for the snake in the lower portion of the woods there. Take a break next to (or in) one of the sculptures and cherish the warmth from the Autumn sun.
Hungry? For a breathtaking view while you eat, head over to Bear Mountain in Salamanca, NY. Enjoy the nice weather while it's still here with some delicious food outside on the restaurant’s deck, also known as "The Ledge." Once you're there, you will see why it rightfully owns that nickname. Located just outside of Allegany State Park, Bear Mountain invites you to grab a bite to eat and enjoy live entertainment at nighttime. Travel along I-86 at Exit 21 to get to Bear Mountain (you will see the huge sign on the hillside). There is a reason our area is called the Enchanted Mountains. You are sure to understand why after traveling this route with forever views of trees and a feeling that can't be beat.
Last but not least is Allegany State Park. Fall is one of the most popular times at the park; campsites are buzzing with families looking to hike, swim, bike ride and enjoy a warm campfire. If you plan on camping, plan ahead of time as families have made this an annual tradition. Or come for just a day to get some fall fishing in, take the horse out for the last time or climb Thunder Rocks and the Stone Tower. The sights at this historic NYS park are spectacular anytime, but they are especially awesome in full color. The friendliness of the staff and the wildlife educational opportunities will make your stay even more pleasurable.
As the season changes, fall whole-heartedly into Autumn here in the Enchanted Mountains of Western New York. To view more information on any