Allegany State Park Is A Great Year Round Destination.
At 66 thousand acres, Allegany State Park is the largest New York park outside of the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains. It is also one of the largest in the Northeast.
The park was established in 1921, and was developed more extensively between 1933 and 1942. That's when the Civilian Conservation Corps, a work relief program begun by Franklin Roosevelt, arrived in the park.
They constructed roads and trails, camping sites and picnic areas, and were also responsible for a number of conservation related projects.
Allegany today is a testament to their hard work and the host of stewards who have served the park over the years. For its visitors, it provides a respite from the daily grind, and a haven to appreciate nature's great beauty.
Darrin Bierfeldt is a Park Forester. "Generally the people we run into have been here...they come back year after year. Some people have been here twenty or thirty years."
Cassie Wright is a Park Recreation Specialist. "You find people here no matter what the weather, the temperature, they're out here enjoying nature at its best. There's a ton of things to do for everybody, and everybody loves it. They come to get away from everyday life, they feel that as soon as they enter the park, they're at a different peace level."
With abundant wildlife, incredible scenery and many miles of trails to explore the park, there's never a lack of interesting things to do in Allegany. The hard part may be deciding on which activity to choose.
But no trip to the park can be complete without visiting "Thunder Rocks", a unique rock city that rises up like a monumental surprise in the quiet green forest.
"I think people think of Allegany State Park as more of a forest, and then they get up to Thunder Rocks, and they realize there's these huge rock formations up there," says Wright. "People of all ages climb them, it's a competition to see who can climb every single rock up there. I think just the beauty of seeing these huge rock formations up there in the middle of all those trees is just amazing for people to go and experience."
There's so much to see in Allegany, many people settle in and stay for awhile, which is not a problem here, the park has accommodations to suit any comfort level.
Wright describes the accommodations. "We have full service cottages where everything you would need daily they have, then we also have the shell cabins where there's nothing inside, its beds and a couple shelves, and that's it. We also have the tent and trailer sites."
Of all the seasons, fall may be the most popular at Allegany, and with the leaves about to reach their peak very soon, it's a perfect time to make the short trip to this magnificent park.
Bierfeldt tells 2 The Outdoors, "It's gorgeous, yes, fall is a very popular season, due to the fact that it's hunting season, and the fall foliage. We have a lot of Maple species, Sugar Maple and hard Maple, so that brings out a lot of color."
"Allegany State Park, to anybody, I mean, pictures are wonderful," says Wright. "But as soon as you get here you get to see your own views and it's just completely different from anything else around."