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in Allegany State Park

Allegany State Park is renowned for its trees


Allegany Park is renowned for trees, and has one of the few old-growth forests in the state.

by Christopher Jon Peterson

We drove past the lake and swingsets and the recreational area on purpose. There were big rocks and the roots of huge trees and most of all, there was water to play in. Strikingly cold, beautifully clear water.

Sophia, my daughter, loved it. She started out jumping from rock to rock in one of Allegany State Park's rivulets and finished up sitting in it up to her armpits. It was April and this was snowmelt water; not exactly what most would call water fit for a dip.

But that's what's great about this 65,000-acre park. It has something for everyone: A large lake full of fish, swamps for bird watchers, and of course, the more traditional park amenities like campgrounds, nature trails, playgrounds and cabins.

Today we wanted away from the crowd, so we spent the entire afternoon along a little-used area near a brook. Juncos, sparrow-like snowbirds with grey backs and white bellies, flitted from tree to tree.

Allegany Park is renowned for trees, and has one of the few old-growth forests in the state. It's a great place for either an afternoon or an entire vacation.
For the sportsman, hunting for both big and small game is allowed in portions of the park, though a special permit is needed. Fishing also abounds in sleepy beaver ponds sporting bass, small brook trout streams and Red House Lake. A special permit is needed to fish in the park, as well.

Allegany offers a variety of winter activities, including more than 45 kilometers of cross country skiing trails.

If you go: Allegany State Park. From Buffalo, take state Route 17 east to Exit 19. From Rochester access state Route 17 west to Exit 19.
·Cabin rentals at the park (380 cabins available) range from $30.50 (no electric) a night to $66.25, with a two-night minimum. For info call 716-354-9101. For reservations, 1-800-456-CAMP.
·Restaurant, sports bar and grill, two sand beaches, two camp stores, three separate campgrounds.

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