Forests, lakes, mountains, wildlife and ski trails draw visitors to this picturesque part of western New York.
The Allegheny Plateau is part of the Appalachian highlands in the eastern United States. The vast upland area stretches southward for more than 500 miles (805 kilometers) from central New York State, passing through parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Maryland. The region has varied terrain of forests, mountains, lakes and canyons.
Hike through the primitive forested valley of Allegany State Park in New York on trails of various lengths for all ability levels. During the winter some of the routes are used for cross-country skiing. Other park activities include canoeing, ice fishing, swimming and boating across Chautauqua Lake.
For excellent sunset views, walk up to the high bluffs overlooking one of the Great Lakes at Lake Erie State Park. During the day, look for the wildlife that can be seen in and around the lake. In shaded wetlands and pools at the north end of the park look for frogs and salamanders. Venture close to the lake shoreline to have a good chance of photographing raptors and other migratory birds. Look and listen for bald eagles and red-headed woodpeckers.
Stay overnight in a tent or log cabin or alternatively in a hotel in Allegany. The town’s attractions are also well worth a visit. Bike or rollerblade along the Allegheny River Valley Trail, a 5.6-mile (9-kilometer) loop along the river. Stroll the campus of St. Bonaventure University, run by the Franciscans, a Catholic religious order. Reserve a table at a downtown restaurant for lunch or dinner.
Explore more towns and villages to learn about life in the area. Visit East Otto for the Griffis Sculpture Park, a 450-acre (182-hectare) park filled with more than 200 large sculptures. Salamanca lies within an Indian reservation where many members of the Seneca Nation of Indians live. Here you will find plenty of shops, restaurants, museums and a casino.
The Allegheny Plateau is an area of great beauty. Walk on one of the many forested trails, visit fascinating towns and enjoy staggering views.