The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Cattaraugus County NY’

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. 

More Riding

On Sunday, July 5, Bob and I went for a motorcycle ride to the John Luensman Overview Park, located on Thayer Hill Road in Brocton, NY.  The park is located about 45 miles from our house and overlooks Lake Erie.  We had visited the John Luensman Overview Park one time before on June 20th.  It was heavily overcast that day, and we couldn’t see Lake Erie.  We decided then that we would have to make a return trip on a good day.   Unfortunately, on Sunday, when we arrived at the park, we found a hazy view.

We could see Lake Erie, but the view wasn’t as good as it would be on a clear day.  We will have to ride up there another day and try again for a picture perfect view. The John Luensman Overview Park, by the way, reminds me of the Tom Erlandson Overview Park in Frewsburg, NY that we have seen on motorcycle rides with our 2 Scoop CycleTherapy friends.  An Internet search revealed that “many design elements are duplicated here. Or…, perhaps the design elements from here are duplicated there…”

From the Luensman Overview Park we rode to the Allegany State Park for lunch at The Park Restaurant.  The Park Restaurant is located in the Administration Building on the second floor.  The restaurant was renovated last year, and we had not eaten there since its renovation. The restaurant has new decor and a new menu.

The Park Restaurant
the view from our table

Bob ordered a steak salad, and I ordered a fish sandwich with fries. We ordered onion rings, as an appetizer. The service and food were great. Bob said he hadn’t tasted a better steak salad. My fish sandwich and fries were excellent.  The sauce that accompanied the onion rings had a kick and was quite good.

We returned home from Allegany State Park around 4:00 pm.

 

Five NY State Parks in One Weekend: Letchworth State Park

On Sunday, June 28th (the third day of our weekend getaway), we ate breakfast at the hotel and was on our way home by 7:45 am.

On our way home we detoured to Letchworth State Park, using our New York State Empire Passport to gain entrance. We drove through the park from the northern end (Mt. Morris) to the southern end (Portageville), stopping at several overlooks along the way.

Mt. Morris Dam
I can’t recall ever seeing water on this side of the dam, when we have visited the park!

Wolf Creek Falls

Wolf Creek

Great Bend Overlook

Great Bend Overlook

Inspiration Point
Middle and Upper Falls

Middle Falls

Upper Falls

The water was raging from Saturday’s rainfall.

We exited Letchworth State Park at approximately 11:50 am and continued on our way home.  We stopped at Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, NY for lunch at Thunder Mountain Buffet. We played the one-arm bandits, too, losing $20 each.

We left the casino around 2:45 pm and took a scenic way home through Allegany State Park, once again using the Empire Passport for admission to the park.  I counted wrong.  I should have entitled this blog post and the previous two posts as “SIX NY State Parks in One Weekend”!  We made one stop in Allegany State Park.

Bridal Falls

After Saturday’s rain event, we decided to check out Bridal Falls. Although it was a little bit of a soggy walk down to the falls, it wasn’t a bad hike. There was less water falling than we expected; however, we were not disappointed with the water flow. We were very happy with what we found at the falls, or I should say WHO we found at the falls. We came upon a family “down from Buffalo” for the day at the base of the falls. I LOVED the color the raincoats provided for the scene, as well as the intimacy of having people in a photograph. This family was very cooperative. I asked if they would “freeze in place”, while I took a photograph with a slow shutter speed. They listened well! Thank you for the photo op!

We returned home around 6:00 pm.  What a wonderful weekend we had!

 

Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday

On Saturday, May 23, we spent the day riding. We left home at 8:30 am. I had put the liner back in my leather jacket and dressed in layers, as it was only 36 degrees when we left home en route Niagara Falls.

Approaching Peace Bridge

We crossed into Canada via the Peace Bridge. We had no delay crossing into Canada; however, the border crossing guard was a bit brusque. After we (and others) had entered the lane to his booth, he closed the lane.  I believe his brusqueness was due to his desire to take a break or to end his work shift.  The guard had us remove our helmets, not an easy task when one hand is holding passports. He could see I was having a little trouble handling my helmet and handing over the passports to him. He made no effort to help ( e.g. he did not step closer to reach the passports). I had trouble putting my helmet back on.  I was wearing a dew rag that came off, as I removed my helmet.  I needed two hands to put the dew rag back on, so I just put on my helmet.  I stuffed our passports in my jacket pocket.  We stopped soon after getting on Niagara Parkway so that I could put on my helmet properly, with dew rag underneath it. Bob placed our passports in a locked cubicle on the dashboard.

We drove along Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls, enjoying the beautiful views of Niagara River along the way.  We drove through Niagara Falls to Rainbow Bridge.

The crossing into the United States was more hectic than the crossing into Canada. There were cars and people EVERYWHERE! Niagara Falls State Park’s parking Lot 1, located near the Niagara Falls Visitor Center, was full. Niagara Falls State Park’s parking Lot 2, located on Goat Island near the entrance to the Cave of the Winds tour and Top of the Falls Restaurant, was full as well.  We were directed to another parking lot somewhere on Goat Island, but the line was very long entering that parking lot.  We decided not to go for a walk in Niagara Falls this trip.  I much prefer visiting Niagara Falls off season, or at least not on a holiday weekend!

We began our ride back home.  We traveled by way of Route 219.  We made a fuel stop in Springville, NY and ate lunch at the nearby Ponderosa Steakhouse.

Prior to arriving in Ellicottville, NY we stopped at Griffis Sculpture Park–the largest outdoor sculpture park in the United States. For over 42 years, the steel sculptures of Larry Griffis, Jr. and other international artists have been residing in the woods, fields, and even ponds of Griffis Sculpture Park. The 400 acre park is located eight miles outside of Ellicottville near Ashford Hollow, NY (Cattaraugus County). Griffis Sculpture Park is split into two sections, the Rohr Hill Road Site and the Mill Valley Road Site. We visited the Rohr Hill Road Site, where a majority of the sculptures are visible from the road.

We wandered about the meadow and the woods of the Rohr Hill section of the park, while I snapped pictures of some of the sculptures.

Griffis Sculpture Park

Griffis Sculpture Park

Griffis Sculpture Park

Griffis Sculpture Park

Who would have thought that you could find something so beautiful in a meadow in the middle of nowhere!

Rather than take Interstate 86 home, we drove through the Allegany State Park via ASP Route 1.  Our NY State Empire Passport provided free entry to the park.  We made two brief stops, while in the park.

We stopped at the Red House Administration Building, where we purchased a bottle of water at the Gift Shop.

We stopped alongside Quaker Lake.

From Allegany State Park we took Routes 280, 321 and 59 home.

We returned home at 5:45 pm. Our trip odometer indicated that we put approximately 280 miles on the motorcycle.  By the way, it began to reach a comfortable temperature around 3:30 pm!

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