The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Allegany State Park’

A Sunny Day Drive

Bob and I went for a drive on the afternoon of February 4th.  We drove around the Allegheny Reservoir and through Allegany State Park near Salamanca, NY. 

We stopped at Science Lake.  

Science Lake at Allegany State Park. Look at that beautiful blue sky and the piles of snow.

On the way home Bob said he wanted to go to Washington Park.  I didn’t want to go to Washington Park because I didn’t want to risk getting stuck in the snow.  The narrow, rutted and gravel entry road is not maintained in the winter.  Bob took us there anyway.  

View of Warren from Washington Park

Bob took this picture of me at Washington Park

This is a dash cam video of our drive to and from Washington Park.  Bob edited the video to add music and a few still images.

I am glad Bob didn’t listen to me (this time LOL).  We didn’t get stuck, and the view of Warren from the park was splendid!

Allegany State Park Day Trip

Well, we made it to Allegany State Park after all the day after our day trip to Letchworth State Park.  (See today’s earlier post about changing our destination, when en route to Allegany State Park.)

Allegany State Park is located near Salamanca, NY.  The park is divided into two sections: the Red House area and the Quaker Run area. The Red House Area is the northern half of Allegany State Park. Its attractions include Stone Tower, Red House Lake, the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge, and the Tudor-style Administration Building. The Quaker Run area is the southern half of the park. Its attractions include Quaker Lake, Science Lake, an Amphitheater, and Thunder Rocks.

Allegany State Park is a frequent destination for Bob and me, as the park is less than an hour’s drive from our house.

With the exception of one weekend camping trip several years ago, our visits to the park last only a few hours. We visit various attractions, which I photograph.  We sometimes shop at the gift store and eat lunch at the Red House Restaurant, both of which are located in the Administration Building. I would like very much to spend a weekend, once again, at Allegany State Park.

We entered Allegany State Park from Interstate 86 and entered the Red House Area on ASP Route 1.  We gained free entry by showing our New York Empire Pass.  It would have cost us $6.00, if we did not have an Empire Pass.

ASP Route 1 Overlook

Red House Lake

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

There is a new trail off ASP Route 3 that goes on the other side of Science Lake.  The trail was opened in late Spring or early Summer this year.  We hiked some of the trail, for the first time, during our visit to Allegany State Park.  I learned afterward that there is a kiosk at the front of Science Lake that provides information about “school in the woods” ruins that can be reached by hiking the Science Lake trail.  We didn’t hike far enough, so we didn’t see the ruins  … next time 🙂

Science Lake Trail Trailhead.  The creek feeds Science Lake.

The trail was well marked. The blue hiking sign indicates that the trail is easy.

Science Lake Trail; Science Lake in the distance.

The people who built this trail did an EXCELLENT job!

Feeding Science Lake

Science Lake, with fishing platform in the distance

Science Lake Trail.  This is another  instance of a well-built trail.

The trail was a bit rocky in places.  Some rocks were strategically placed, though, to keep one out of the mud!

Looking across Science Lake

OH!  I see the kiosk that provides information about the “school in the woods” ruins!

The bridge over Science Dam was fenced off several years ago.

It would be nice, if funds were made available to make repairs to the dam / bridge.  A great loop trail would then be possible around Science Lake.

Bob hiked over to the bridge.  I stayed on the trail.  This is where we ended our hike.  We turned around and returned to the car.

One last parting picture of Science Lake

 

While we were at Letchworth State Park the day before, I remarked often about “so many people” being at the park.  My oft-spoken remark, while at Allegany State Park, was that there were “too many bugs”!  No bugs bothered us, while at Letchworth.  We should have applied bug spray, especially before hiking behind Science Lake.

Leaving Science Lake, we continued on ASP Route 3 past Quaker Lake.  We exited the park onto Interstate 86, just 10 miles south of where we entered the park.

Allegany State Park Deer

We went for a drive yesterday, when Bob came home from work (3:30 pm).  We drove, first, to a dead end street alongside the Allegheny River here in Warren PA.  One of Bob’s coworkers told Bob that he sees an eagle often, sitting in a tree on one of the river islands.  We didn’t see an eagle. 

Leaving the riverside, we drove along the eastern side of the Allegheny Reservoir and through Allegany State Park.  We didn’t see any wildlife, as we drove PA Route 59, PA Route 321, PA Route 346 or NY Route 280.  I am glad that Bob decided to add a drive through Allegany State Park, as we saw 14 deer at various places in the park. 

Sorry deer; there is no entertainment at the amphitheater in the Winter!

Two deer in a field

My new camera did a good job focusing on this deer that had brush all around it.

These deer very near the road.

I stayed inside our car, but the deer feeding very near the road were not afraid of us.

This deer looks like it is talking to me.

Peek-a-boo! I see you!

Deer feeding near the road

 

Leaving Allegany State Park, via the Red House Exit, we took I-86 to the Steamburg NY exit and drove along the western side of the Allegheny Reservoir.  We saw eight more deer, during this portion of the drive.  All total, we saw 19 deer!

We stopped at Arby’s for dinner.  Bob had a salad with a cookie.  I had a beef ‘n cheddar sandwich with curly fries and a mint chocolate shake.  The shake is available only for a limited time each year.  It is a once-a-year treat for me.

We returned home around 7:30 pm.

The End to Cabin Fever

As it was for much of the United States, we experienced cold weather and bitter wind chills at the end of January.  On the morning of February 2nd Pennsylvania’s legendary groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow, which means that Spring is right around the corner.  I hope that Phil is correct in his prediction.  Regardless of whether he is right or wrong, Spring will be here on March 20th.  Here, in Northwestern Pennsylvania, the weather forecast this past Saturday for the next several days makes it look like Spring is on our doorstep.

Spring is knocking on our door!

 

We went for a drive late Sunday morning into the early afternoon. 

A portion of our drive was along the eastern side of the Allegheny Reservoir.  Our first stop was at Big Bend Recreation Area, located just below Kinzua Dam, where we looked for eagles.  We didn’t see any.  

We continued our drive on Pennsylvania Route 59 to Pennsylvania Route 321 past Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir.  We stopped here.

Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir

The “My Two Cents” Snowman at Sugar Bay

Bob built the snowman, while I was taking pictures of the bay.

Continuing our drive on Pennsylvania Route 321 we came to a T-intersection.  We turned left onto Pennsylvania Route 346.  At he New York state line Pennsylvania Route 346 becomes New York State Route 280.  We followed Route 280 to Allegany State Park.  

We drove through Allegany State Park, making only one photo stop.  We drove over a bridge and had gotten a few hundred feet further along the road, when I said to Bob “We have to turn around!  I saw something that I want to photograph!”.  Bob turned around.

A snow and ice sculpture I found in one of the streams at Allegany State Park.

A snow and ice sculpture

Bob said the snow and ice sculpture resembled a porcupine.  I thought it resembled a peacock or turkey, with its feathers fanned out.  

From Allegany State Park we made our way back home.  We returned home around 2:00 pm.  I am glad that we went for a drive.  What a beautiful day it was with blue skies, brilliant sunshine and a high temperature of 52 degrees!  I could feel my cabin fever breaking, as the sunshine beamed down through the moon roof and especially when I stepped out into the pleasantly warm outdoor air. 

Bicycle Ride at Allegany State Park

We went to Allegany State Park yesterday for a bicycle ride. It was our first time riding bicycles in the park, as well as the first time transporting our new folding bicycles to a ride destination.  Both bicycles fit nicely in our back seat.

Allegany State Park is divided into two areas: the Red House Area and the Quaker Run Area. We entered the park via the Quaker Run Area entrance and made our way to the Red House Area. Our ride destination was the Red House Area, where there are 5 miles of paved hike/bike paths.


We rode our bicycles around Red House Lake, a loop trail of 3 miles. Our starting point was at the Red House Boat Rental parking lot. We rode clockwise around the lake.  The bicycle trail was very nice, paved throughout. We rode level with the lake, below the lake (at creek level) and high above the lake. I both rode and walked my bicycle on the trail. Eventually I hope that I am able to ride all the way around the lake.

_XZ30814Red House Lake Bicycle Trail

Across the lake is a bridge.  This is the Red House Lake Dam bridge.  We won’t cross over that bridge.  Instead the bicycle trail takes you below the Red House Lake Dam, across a wooden bridge and back up the other side. On our way to the Red House Lake Dam we passed by the Red House Administration building.

_XZ30815We stopped briefly at the stone fishing pier,
located in a picnic area near the Red House Administration building.

XZ230816Passing by the Red House Administration building

As I mentioned earlier, the bicycle trail takes you below the Red House Lake dam and across a wooden bridge.  The descent below the Red House Lake dam is steep.  It is recommended that you walk your bicycle down the trail.  We rode our bicycles.  I used the brake often!

IMG_20170423_112818Bob took this picture of me on the wooden bridge.

_XZ30819
Wooden Bridge at Red Lake House Dam Spillway

Across from this bridge is the new Red House Nature Boardwalk, which we visited for a short while.

_XZ30820-EditReflective Boardwalk

_XZ30822A bird blind was at the end of the reflective boardwalk.

_XZ30821Red House Nature Boardwalk

_XZ30825There is a large observation platform
at the end of the long boardwalk shown in the preceding photograph.

_XZ30827-Edit
View from Red House Nature Boardwalk
The marshland is beginning to get its Spring colors!

Leaving the Red House Nature Boardwalk we began our ascent to the other side of the Red House Lake dam.

_XZ30831-Edit
The ascent was a bit steep.
I had to walk my bicycle on this part of the trail.

_XZ30830Spring tree blossoms are so pretty!

_XZ30832The bicycle trail took us high above Red House Lake.
Again, I had to walk my bicycle on a portion of this part of the bicycle trail.

A short distance from this point the bicycle trail went through a forested area and down a steep slope.  There was a sign that suggested walking bicycles down the hill.  It didn’t look that steep, though, so we rode our bicycles down the hill.  At the bottom of the hill the bicycle trail crosses over ASP 2.  It isn’t easy to stop at the end of the hill.  I should have respected the “walk your bicycle” sign in this instance.  Thankfully, I was able to stop (barely), and there wasn’t any traffic on ASP 2!

After crossing over ASP 2 we quickly arrived at the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge.

IMG_20170423_121158
Bob took this picture of me at the Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge.

From the covered bridge, we returned to our starting point.  We found a lovely site for a picnic.

_XZ30836What a beautiful spot for a picnic!

After lunch we left Allegany State Park.  Rather than go straight home, we decided to go to Marilla Reservoir (Bradford, PA) — the subject of my next blog post.

Sunday Outing with our Granddaughters

On Sunday we spent the afternoon with our granddaughters, taking them on an outing to Allegany State Park near Salamanca, NY.

We picked up the girls at their house between noon and 12:30 pm and drove to Allegany State Park, entering the park via the Red House Area. Our first stop was at the new Red House Area nature boardwalk.

I first learned about the boardwalk via a YouTube video, captured by Paul Crawford, a few months before the boardwalk was completed. Paul Crawford is the volunteer Administrator, Photographer and Videographer for the Allegany State Park Facebook page.

What a wonderful new feature of Allegany State Park!

Red House Nature Boardwalk

Harper and Juniper took our photograph, once we reached the overlook at the end of the boardwalk.

Juniper took this photograph of Bob, Harper and me.
Good job, Juniper!

Harper took this photograph of Bob, Juniper and me.
Good job, Harper!

In Paul’s video he mentioned a duck blind at the end of the middle section of the boardwalk.

Duck Blind

The boardwalk was nice but will be nicer later in the year, when the plants surrounding the boardwalk spring to life. I am sure there will be lots of waterfowl to see later too. We didn’t see any birds, turtles or waterfowl.

When we left the nature boardwalk, we planned to go to the Quaker Run swimming beach playground. We were very disappointed to find the road to the beach closed. I had talked up the playground to Harper and Juniper, and they were looking forward to playing there.  I hope that the road to the swimming beach opens up much earlier than summer so that we have the opportunity to visit the playground sooner, rather than later!

The girls quickly got over their disappointment, though, when we found another playground on the way home.

Our day outing with Harper and Juniper was wonderful.  All four of us had a GREAT time!

 

 

Thanksgiving Day Drive

I begin this blog post with information that will seem as though it doesn’t apply to the subject at hand.  This information does apply, though, as you will soon find out.

For some time now I have contemplated the purchase of a point-and-shoot camera for everyday photography, especially while riding the motorcycle, bicycling and taking pictures of our granddaughters. After much contemplation, I narrowed my camera choice to one of two cameras: the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4 and the no-longer-manufactured Olympus Stylus XZ-2.  Among my considerations in the purchase of a new camera included the following:

  • camera reviews (some of which compared the TG-4 and the XZ-2);
  • a recommendation by a photography friend; and
  • the back and forth conversation with myself as to how important having GPS and WiFi capabilities, being waterproof and being shockproof were to me (all TG-4 features).

After careful consideration, I hit the buy button this past Sunday for an Olympus XZ-2 camera.  I chose image quality and advanced shooting capabilities over the TG-4 features. My new camera arrived on Tuesday.

Today we went for a drive to and through Allegany State Park, located near Salamanca, New York. We made three stops in the park.  We stopped at Quaker Lake, alongside Red House Lake and at the Thomas L. Kelly covered bridge.

Quaker Lake
Bob stepped into Quaker Lake to see if his boots were really waterproof (they are).

Red House Lake

We have driven through Alleghany State Park many times over the years.  We stopped at this point along Red House Lake for the first time.  You can see the Red House Administration Building across the lake.

Thomas L. Kelly Covered Bridge

I have photographed the Thomas L. Kelly covered bridge many times.  This picture, however, is from a different perspective than pictures I have taken in the past.

I think we would have made more stops had I remembered to insert a memory card into my camera before leaving home. I am thankful that my new camera, which I took to familiarize myself with its use, has internal memory. The internal memory stored five JPEG images.  Oh, yes, now you can see why I began writing this blog post by telling you about my new camera purchase.

On our way back home from Allegany State Park, we stopped at Bent Run Falls for a short hike. Bent Run Falls is located about 15 miles from our home.  Bob purchased two walking sticks earlier this year.  Those walking sticks were a great help on the hike as the entire hillside was littered with wet leaves, wet boulders and wet tree roots.  Here are the last two images that were stored on my camera’s internal memory.

Bob at Bent Run Falls

Bob at Bent Run Falls

I am very happy with my new camera purchase.  I may use my iPhone camera less and this new camera more.  My Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera may see less use for a while too!  I hope not to leave home without a memory card the next time. As soon as we returned home, I placed a spare memory card in my camera pouch!

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