Adventures in the Enchanted Mountains

When you think of Autumn, chances are you think of trips with the kids to Pumpkinville, warm days with cool nights, and the return of comfy cozy sweaters.  Perhaps the most treasured aspect of Fall is the bright, vibrant colors that paint our hillsides and the sound of crunching leaves beneath your feet.  Cattaraugus County and the Enchanted Mountains are just a short drive from Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Erie, Pittsburgh, and Binghamton, and all roads lead to Autumn elation. 
 
The many Fall Festivals throughout our communities highlight the relaxing feeling of Autumn and the area's colorful costume worn by the hills and valleys.  First off is the Ischua Valley Falling Leaves Regatta, Sept. 11-13.  Spend one last day out on the water, still warm from summertime, and compete against others in this amateur dice run regatta.  The trees will be starting to change and you can witness this along the banks of the beautiful Ischua Creek. 
 
Do you truly believe that "one person's trash is another one's treasure"?  Then Rt. 16 is where you should be Sept. 19-20 for the Rt. 16 Garage Sales and BBQ Stops.  The approximately 40-mile stretch from Knapp Creek up through Yorkshire will set out antiques, lawn, garden and household items and plenty more all waiting to be sold!  Enjoy one of the roadside barbecues or restaurants along the way.  The Hinsdale Historical Society will host a bake sale, and the Hinsdale Fire Hall will have a flea market.  You may just need two days to get through it all! 
 
You can fill up on a delicious pancake breakfast, then take flight at the Fall Fly-In, Drive-In Pancake Breakfast at the Olean Airport on Sept. 20, find German-American food and delicious desserts, a German photo booth, and listen to Live German Music at Olean's Germanfest (Sept. 20) or see Griffis Sculpture Park in a whole new light when Night Lights decorates the paths and sculptures with bright lights (starting Sept. 23).  So visit one of our festivals - as colorful and bright as the Autumn leaves surrounding them!
 
One of the reasons our region is so special is the Fall Foliage.  Many people in these parts call Autumn their favorite season - and you can see why as you drive the country highways and byways.  For the ultimate viewing, travel through our Old Order Amish community on New York's Amish Trail, in a rural setting with open landscapes.  You will come upon Amish buggies that go a comfortable speed of 10mph.  (Don't be in a hurry, slow down and appreciate the golden days of the year.)  Relax in the lazy, hazy days of Autumn as you make stops at the different Amish owned shops.  Fill up on delicious baked goods, buy a handmade quilt and stock up on wonderful gifts all before going home, in preparation of the upcoming holiday season.   Not sure where to go?  Call 1-800-331-0543 or visit AmishTrail.com. 
 
Rock City Park will lead you on hiking trails through gigantic rock formations leftover from the glacial period, and over the falling leaves of the trees surrounding these rocks.  Experience the view from the tree topsas you make your way to the trail via a route on the topof one of those large rocks.  Relax on the double swing, pose for photos under the arbor, or hold hands with Big Foot.  Once you know what the tree tops look like, then follow the trail down to the lower level, where you can walk through the leaves fallen on the ground beside huge rocks (sometimes three stories high!)  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. 
 
And last but not least is Allegany State Park.  Fall is one of the most popular times at the park and the campsites are buzzing with families looking to hike, swim, bike ride and enjoy a warm campfire.  If you plan on camping, plan ahead as families have made this an annual tradition.  Or come for the day to get some fall fishing in, take the horse out for one last time or climb Thunder Rocks and the Stone Tower.  The sights at this Historic NYS park can bebreathtaking anytime, but they are especially awesome in full color.  
 
So fall whole-heartedly into Autumn here in the Enchanted Mountains of Western New York.  To view more information on any of these fall foliage destinations, visit EnchantedMountains.com.  For a FREE Activities Guide call 1-800-331-0543.
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