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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. 

New Bicycle

This past Saturday Bob suggested that we go look at bicycles. My current bicycle is a 26″ Huffy ladies bicycle that we purchased in July 2006.  My agility is not the same as it was 10+ years ago (or even the same as it was a year or two ago!).  I can’t step into my bicycle. I have to swing my leg over the seat to mount and dismount. Doing so causes me hip pain, as I mount and dismount.  I had been looking at low-step step through bicycles online.  I didn’t want to purchase a bicycle on line, though, as I felt it necessary to ride the bicycle to determine whether or not it met my physical limitations and was comfortable to ride.

Our first stop was at Walmart to see what, if any, step through bicycles were available. We found one step through bicycle. The step through portion of the bicycle was still too high off the ground. I couldn’t lift my leg high enough to step through.

Our next stop would be in Jamestown, but we were hungry. We stopped at Sheetz for a light lunch. We each purchased a meat and cheese package with beverage. We ate our lunch, at Sheetz, at an outside table.

After lunch we drove to Hollyloft Ski & Bike, located in Jamestown NY.  Upon arrival at the bike shop, I asked if they had any step through bicycles. The salesman, whose name was Tom, showed us a bicycle manufactured by Specialized.  In the showroom I determined that I could comfortably step through and mount / dismount the bicycle. The salesman suggested that I take the bicycle for a test drive. Tom fitted me for a helmet. I have never worn a helmet, while riding a bicycle. I rode the bicycle, first, in the parking lot. Tom watched. When I completed my ride around the parking lot, Tom adjusted the seat to fit me.

It was time for a longer test drive. There is a dead end street next to the bike shop. I rode the bicycle to the end of that street, changing gears along the way. The bicycle has seven gears, with gear 1 being easier than gear 1 on my current bicycle. I liked how I sat upright on this bicycle, how the gears operated by the click of a lever, and the big tires that seemed to give me more balance.

You guessed it. We purchased a Specialized Low Roll bicycle. We accessorized the bicycle with fenders, rack, mirror and a computer. The computer is about the size of a watch. It records trip statistics–average and maximum speed, time spent on trip, and miles ridden. I now have a clock in front of me, while riding. I can erase each trip’s statistics. The odometer, however, maintains the total miles ridden. Oh, I purchased a bike helmet as well.  We had to return to Warren for the bike carrier. While we were gone, the bike shop installed the accessories and tuned up the bike. Great service all around!

We returned to Hollyloft and picked up the bicycle around 3:30 pm.  We carried Bob’s bicycle with us from Warren.

From Hollyloft we drove to Allegany State Park near Salamanca NY. We entered the park via the Quaker Lake entrance. Our first stop was at the Quaker General Store, where we ate a light dinner. Bob had a BLT wrap; my dinner was a hot dog.

20180804_203216375_iOSOur bicycles at the Quaker General Store

 

After dinner we drove to the Red House Lake Beach parking lot.

20180804_212604299_iOSMy new bicycle

We rode around Red House Lake (a distance of approximately 3 miles).

_LG26700Red House Lake

_LG26701Fishing Pier at Red House Lake

_LG26702Red House Lake

20180804_214222211_iOSIf I have to sit on the ground, I am glad for the scenic view.

I believe the temperature, which was in the mid to upper 80s, the hot sunshine, and what I wore to ride caused me to be grounded a couple times during our ride. I wore jeans and a t-shirt.  I believe I got overheated.  I felt weak, faint.  I was  breathing heavier than normal, finding it difficult to catch my breath. My chest hurt too, although that may have been caused by indigestion.

This wasn’t the best ride, but I do really LOVE my new bicycle!

 

Day 2 Thanksgiving 2017

Yesterday’s blog post detailed how Bob and I spent Thanksgiving Day.  Today’s blog post is about our drive back home from Niagara Falls.

We crossed over the Rainbow Bridge from Canada into New York.  Our first stop was in Niagara Falls, but not at the falls.  We stopped at the Old Stone Chimney.

_LG25239Old Stone Chimney

The Old Stone Chimney is a masonry chimney, which was built as part of a two-story barracks on the site of the French “Fort du Portage,” or “Fort Little Niagara,” by Daniel de Joncaire in 1750.  The Chimney has been repurposed several times since by British and American interests and relocated three times (1902,1942 and 2015).  The Old Stone Chimney is currently located between the Niagara River and the Robert Moses Parkway east of the Adams Slip along the bike path on the river. We have passed by it several times driving to and from Niagara Falls.  This was the first time that we stopped at the Old Stone Chimney.  What a beautiful location!  Standing in front of the Old Stone Chimney, the skyline of Niagara Falls Canada can be seen in the background.

As we did on Thanksgiving Day, we chose not to cross over Grand Island. Our route home took us down the east side of the Niagara River through Tonawanda. We made a couple stops in North Tonawanda. Our first stop was at Fisherman’s Park, where we visited two memorials: a U.S. Marine Corps Memorial  and a U.S. Navy Seabee Veterans Memorial.

_LG25243U.S. Marine Corps Memorial

The next four photographs are pictures of the U.S. Navy Seabee Veterans Memorial.

_LG25250

_LG25244

_LG25249

_LG25247This sculpture is what caught my eye on Thanksgiving Day, as we drove by the park.

It was 11:00 am, when we departed Fishermans Park.

We found the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, but it would not open for another hour.  We hope to visit the museum another time, perhaps with our granddaughters.

Our last stop in North Tonawanda was at the East Hill Foundation.

20171124_161548268_iOS
East Hill Foundation
The lighthouse caught my eye, as we drove through North Tonawanda on Thanksgiving Day.

20171124_161720720_iOSThe gate was locked, so I took pictures through the fence.

20171124_161839931_iOSEast Hill Foundation sits alongside Niagara River.

From North Tonawanda we followed I-290, I-90 and Route 219 through Ellicottville, NY.  We stopped in Springville at Ponderosa for lunch. It had been a while since we ate at Ponderosa, as we do not have that restaurant near to our home.  The buffet food selections were extensive. Everything we ate was delicious, especially the stuffed peppers. I went back for seconds of the stuffed peppers.

We were back on the road at 12:45 pm.

We drove through Ellicottville to Allegany State Park, where we made one photo stop.  We stopped at Bridal Falls.

 20171124_184859913_iOS
It’s a short (~.25 mile) hike to Bridal Falls from the Program Site 62 sign on ASP Route 1.

20171124_190002513_iOS
Bob found these memorial stones near Bridal Falls.

20171124_190419064_iOSOne last parting shot of Bridal Falls

It was around 4:30 pm, when we returned home.  What a wonderful Thanksgiving mini vacation we had!  I hope that your Thanksgiving holiday, was as nice as ours!

Saturday’s Day Trip

This past Friday Bob and I talked about going to Allegany State Park for a Saturday drive. On Saturday morning we decided on a day trip to a different destination.

We departed home shortly before 7:30 am, in search of breakfast. I had hoped to see the sunrise, but it was overcast.  Later in the morning the sky cleared, and the sun came out.  I had to shed my hoodie, too, as the temperature warmed up.

We stopped for breakfast at Sprague’s Maple Farms in Portville NY, on our way to Letchworth State Park – the destination for our day trip. Breakfast was very filling. Bob ordered a western omelette with two buckwheat pancakes. The omelette was made with four eggs and was very fluffy. I ordered what is called The Mainline. It was two eggs scrambled, three slices of thick bacon and two pancakes. I had one pumpkin pancake and one apple cinnamon pancake.

20171014_130248504_iOSThe Mainline

We were asked if we needed more pancakes. You may have as many pancakes as you desire, with breakfast. We neither needed nor wanted any more pancakes.

We were on NYS Route 436, on our way to the Mount Morris entrance for Letchworth State Park, when we noticed a sign for Parade Grounds at Letchworth State Park. We turned in at the parade ground entrance. We drove past the parade grounds and followed what I learned later was East Park Road, wondering where the road would lead. A sign near the Parade Grounds indicated that the road was a dead end. That road went on and on and on. We never did see where the road ended. We turned around (my suggestion), as the road got narrow and bumpy. Looking at a Letchworth State Park trail map, East Park Road connects to several trails and Cabin Area E.

Letchworth State Park trail map

The yellow highlighted road shows our route from Route 19A to NYS Route 436, entering Letchworth State Park via the Parade Grounds entrance and our drive on East Park Road. Later I learned from a cabin information brochure that East Park Road approximates a 3-mile distance, as shower facilities for Cabin Area E are available at Cabin Area D. Cabin Area D is located near Parade Grounds, which is a 3-mile drive.

We double backed on East Park Road to the Parade Grounds. The Parade Grounds is where the First New York Dragoons and 136th New York Volunteer Infantry regiments trained before joining the Civil War. There are a couple Civil War markers and a cannon on the grounds.

DA141738Cannon at entrance to Parade Grounds

The Parade Grounds main use today is for picnics.  There are bathroom facilities, a picnic pavilion, a playground and plenty of green space for a picnic.

Leaving the Parade Grounds we continued our drive to the Mount Morris entrance to Letchworth State Park. I mistakenly had Bob turn into the entrance road to Mount Morris Dam and Visitor Center, thinking it was the entrance to Letchworth State Park. Realizing my mistake, I asked Bob to continue on the road to the Visitor Center. We had never been on this side of the Mount Morris Dam, having seen it only while driving through Letchworth State Park. Before reaching the visitor center there was a pull off for the Hogsback Overlook.

DA141747Hogsback Overlook
(along Visitor Center Road leading to Mount Morris Dam)

At this overlook there is parking for the Letchworth Trail, which is part of the Finger Lakes Trail system. After taking a few pictures at the overlook, we continued our drive to Mount Morris Dam.

DA141756Mount Morris Dam
Mount Morris Dam is the largest dry bed dam east of the Mississippi River.

See the people standing at the overlook on the other side of the dam?  That is the only location from which Bob and I had seen Mount Morris Dam.  It was nice to view the dam from another vantage point.  Free ranger-guided walking tours inside the dam are available at specific times for a limited number of people.  The next tour would not happen for another couple hours on the day we visited Mount Morris Dam.  Some other day we are up this way, I would like to go on a tour of the dam.

We entered Letchworth State Park via the Mount Morris entrance at approximately 12:30 pm. We stopped at the Mount Morris Dam Overlook but did not look at the view. We went into the gift store and purchased a bottle of water. We really need to carry water with us. That 20 fluid ounce bottle of water sold for an exorbitant price of $2.75!

We stopped at only three more overlooks, before exiting the park.

DA141765
Hogsback Overlook

DA141766This overlook was just before the Great Bend Overlook.

DA141769
Great Bend Overlook

We saw a sign, as we approached the Castile exit that informed us of congestion ahead, that this was the last exit to avoid the congestion. Traffic was at a standstill at the Castile entrance, continuing on into the park. We exited the park at Castile, not wanting to put up with the crowds. As we exited, we saw a long line at the gate for people wanting to enter the park. I am glad we didn’t have to pay entrance fee. We used our Empire Passport for entrance.

We stopped for ice cream at a fuel station not far from the Castile entrance. I mentioned how crowded it was at Letchworth State Park and wondered if there was a special event at the park. There was no event at the park. Everyone just wanted to see the Autumn leaves, same as Bob and me.  This fuel station, by the way, had custard soft serve vanilla and chocolate ice cream in addition to hard ice cream.  We ordered two twist custard ice creams in a cup….delicious!

We decided to stop at Allegany State Park on our way home. I think this is the first time that we have visited both Allegany State Park and Letchworth State Park on the same day.

We entered Allegany State Park at 2:45 pm.  Autumn colors seemed much more prevalent at Allegany State Park than at Letchworth State Park.

DA141775Allegany State Park dressed for Autumn

DA141776Allegany State Park Autumn colors

Our second and last stop in Allegany State Park was at the Red House Area Wetlands Boardwalk.

20171014_191336603_iOSWe followed the wetlands boardwalk to this bird blind.
We didn’t see any wildlife through the blind.

Another part of the boardwalk features an observation platform extending into the wetlands.

20171014_191909645_iOSThe view looking across the wetlands was colorful, but we didn’t see any wildlife.

Finally, I found wildlife to photograph….

DA141781A dragonfly was the only wildlife that we spotted, while at the Red House Wetlands area.

Leaving the Red House Area we followed ASP 1 to ASP 2 to ASP 3 and exited the park at Bradford. So, our visit to the Allegany State Park was basically a drive through.

On our way home we stopped at ShurFine in Warren, where we picked up side dishes to go with hamburgers and hot dogs. We also bought a small pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. Bob burned wood in our back yard fire ring and cooked hamburgers and hot dogs over it.

What a wonderful day we had, even though we deviated from our original plans.

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.

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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.

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