Allegany State Park (primarily Quaker/Cain Hollow focused) - LOTS of info!

Discussion in 'New York' started by AlleganyCamper, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. AlleganyCamper

    AlleganyCamper New Member

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    I just answered another user's questions via messaging and I figured I might as well write a review for my favorite park in NY. We've been camping here for generations now and haven't found another place to camp we enjoy more.

    Allegany is a HUGE park--- so if you're used to camping at KOA type campgrounds where everything is in walking distance, this is NOT that kind of place. You definitely need a vehicle to drive around with.

    There's two main sections of the park, Quaker and Red House. You will find that a lot of people tend to be strictly Quaker Campers or strictly Red House campers, lol. We are Quakerites, and, more specifically, Cain Hollow campers--- Cain Hollow is a section of the Quaker area that is only for tent/trailer campers.

    In my opinion, the Quaker area is quieter, more spread out, more isolated. Where we camp in Cain Hollow, Sites 1- 42 are located in what my family calls "the circle", a wide open area that is surrounded by trees on the exterior but there is little tree cover within the camping circle. If you hate the heat or if you don't have A/C in your trailer, I wouldn't recommend camping up there b/c there isn't much shade except for a few of the sites on the exterior parts of the loop and it can get HOT exposed to the sun constantly. Also, there is only one bathroom for the entire loop, and there is a fairly significant inclined hill to walk up depending on what site you are at. If you have a heckuva a poop brewing, that walk can be TORTURE. lol -- that bathroom (or at least as of this past summer) is still the really old style that hasn't been updated in decades. There are stalls and there are a couple showers, but it isn't in the best of condition. A lot of the "big rigs" tend to camp in this area b/c the sites are fairly level and it's easy for them to back in and pull out.

    The other sites (up to 165 I think?) are located behind the "circle" and consist of mostly heavily forest-covered and surrounded sites. We like to camp back here b/c it stays nice and cool- the downside? When it rains, you get residual rain drops falling of the trees and it takes longer to dry out. There's a lot more bathhouses back there and many of them have been torn down and replaced with brand new facilities in the past few years. They include showers and stalls. One of the prior reviews mentioned "the bridge" that rumbles when cars go over it. I wouldn't stay in one of the sites right NEXT to it, but it really just becomes part of the atmosphere once you've gotten used to it. To me, it's just another aspect of the environment of camping in Cain Hollow. Almost comforting. :)

    The other areas of Quaker consist of mostly cabin trails, but I believe Diehl Trail also has room for tents. If you're a trailer camper, your only option in Quaker is in Cain Hollow. If you decide to cabin camp, pay attention to the bathroom situation: many trails only have outhouses and those trails that have actual bathrooms, many DON'T also have showers---- so that means you have to walk a fair distance (or drive) to the larger shower facility that all the cabin trails share.

    I can't tell you too much about Red House b/c we honestly don't camp there. Never have. We will drive through it when spotting for animals. They do have a FABULOUS bike path, that I can say. Their beach tends to be much more crowded than Quaker Beach, and we've visited Red house beach when Quaker happened to be closed. Red House has some nice hiking trails, but so does Quaker as well.

    Things to do:
    ~ Definitely go see "Thunder Rocks" - - the people manning the entrances can give you a map and explain how to get there. It's definitely an impressive site to see. If you like to climb, bring your gear b/c some of the glacier-left boulders are INSANELY big.
    ~ There are a ton of hiking trails in the park and they range in difficulty and length.
    ~ As I mentioned, there are two beaches, one in Quaker, one in Red House. Quaker tends to be less crowded and has more of a "natural" feel, as it's kind of nestled in the hills and you're surrounded by trees.
    ~ Bike path in Red house is fantastic. There's a smaller one in Quaker that isn't as impressive.
    ~ You can fish at both lakes, provided of course that you have a NYS fishing license
    ~ you can canoe and Kayak at both lakes (no inflatables are allowed)
    ~ Red House has a mini golf area, a place to rent paddleboats, etc
    ~ There are tons of creeks, and we like to look for crayfish and minnows so bring your nets/buckets, etc
    ~ We go "spotting" for animals at night--- drive around the park with a spotlight and you will be treated to sights of deer, fox, raccoons, skunks, porcupine, opposum, bobcats (rare), coyotes, and bear roaming the park! One of our favorite family traditions.
    ~ During the summer months, they have activities planned throughout the park, for kids, for adults, learning events and also fun events. There is a hootenany they host weekly. We don't do a lot of these type of things, though, b/c we like a more "natural" form of camping. Luckily, Allegany is plenty big enough to host both types of campers!

    Allegany State Park has general stores in both sections of the park. But if you really need something, I would recommend driving 10 minutes or so outside the park and going into Salamanca to the ParkView Grocery store where there is more selection and their prices are much more reasonable.

    For some other resources:
    Join the Allegany State Park facebook pages (for some reason there are two) and the Allegany State Park historical society facebook page. You will find TONS and TONS of information, pictures, etc there.
    https://www.facebook.com/Allegany
    https://www.facebook.com/alleganystatepark
    https://www.facebook.com/AlleganySPHS


    Whew. That's a lot. I'm sure I missed a bunch. If you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask! The people on the Allegany Facebook pages are AWESOME and if you were hoping for specific pictures of something, more often than not they are able to help you out, too!
     
    XKPin and Hankster like this.
  2. AlleganyCamper

    AlleganyCamper New Member

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    Oh, and regarding Red house for tent trailer campers--- the sites tend to be MUCH closer together and MUCH smaller than those in Quaker/Cain Hollow. There's also a bit more of a party atmosphere over at Red house, so combined with the close proximity to other campers, it can get noisy.

    I know, no one likes to give up their favorite sites for fear someone else will book them when they want them! LOL. Personally, I like a large site that is fairly private where people on the road can't see everything that's going on/what you're hauling/ etc. I also like to be close to the bathrooms. We've stayed on both Site 64 and Site 65 in Cain Hollow---- We were there during a torrential downpour over several days and, though both are great, spacious sites, Site 65 was higher up a bit and stayed much drier and dried out faster than Site 64. Both sites have a bit of an incline to back the trailer up into, but we managed as brand new trailer-towers with the pop up. So it's not THAT bad.

    My sister has a big hardsided 20foot trailer, and she stayed at Site 76 last year, which had less of an incline to back up. She really liked her neighbor's site at Site 75, b/c it had a "bonus" site in the back of it--- they lined the path with solar string lights and put a pop up canopy back there and would gather there to have fun in the evenings. I thought that was pretty neat. Both of those sites are really private as well (a lot of them in the "non circle" part are fairly set back in the trees and private from the road, but there are a few that are more open.)

    Oh, and Cain Hollow just revamped their whole electrical system to the bigger current (I have no clue about this b/c it didn't affect us, but those with the monster RV's that have A/C etc and draw the bigger current were THRILLED about the upgrade)

    The place has been booking up FAST in recent years, so I'd recommend booking as soon as you can if you wanted to go this summer!
     
  3. vagov

    vagov Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the update, may have to check this place out in the near future, only about a 3 hour drive
     
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info .. We haven't yet managed to make to Allegany S.P, but it does sit on our list of NYSP's to visit ..
     
  5. FireROR

    FireROR New Member

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    Great info. Thanks.
     
  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Sorry to bring up an old Post. I plan to visit Allegany state park (well assuming my boss approves my time off). For five nights in August and was curious if someone could update me about this park. I know my site has 50 amps from what it looks like (surprisingly). I am going to be bringing a dog or two with me so also curious how dog friendly are the trails etc. I grabbed what looks like the only site available, so not sure if that was luck or what. I read on reserve America that there was some dam work being done so not sure if that is still going on. Little concerned about that or how much it interferes with the cain hollow area. I will be driving from Northern Virginia on a Thursday unfortunately so kind of dread the traffic I'm going to hit. [XX(]
     
  7. AAAcampers

    AAAcampers New Member

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    It has been a couple years since I stayed there, but I grew up in Salamanca just outside the park (and worked at Parkview Supermarket in high school.) This is one of my favorite parks!

    The trails are really dog friendly. There are LOTS of trails and you can find all different levels of difficulty. The dam work shouldn't affect much, but cannot comment definitively.

    I hope you have a great time!
     
  8. Hawkeye81

    Hawkeye81 New Member

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    Red Rocker from back in the day. This was our big yearly trip when I was growing up. It is also the campground I have the fondest memories of. Bring your bikes
     
  9. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    This is an old thread in which the OP said in 2014 that Cain Hollow was only for "tent/trailer campers" but that's certainly not true now. We've camped in Cain Hollow several times in the last 3 yrs with a travel trailer and everyone has been in a trailer of one size or another. We far prefer Cain Hollow which is MUCH more spacious than Red Rock where one site is nearly on top of the adjacent sites.
     
  10. DrMom836

    DrMom836 New Member

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    Hi, this looks like a pretty old thread but I have a few updates to add!

    My family and I just stayed in Allegany, on Cain Hollow Loop D over Mother's Day weekend (yes, I will choose a camping trip over brunch any day!). We have also stayed in the Red House area in a cabin a few years ago. I agree with previous posters that Quaker Lake side is quieter and has a more secluded feel. The sites on Loop D are wooded and very well-shaded. They feel private even though they are not very far apart. There are new-looking bear boxes at all the sites, which is nice for us pop-up owners. I don't think they have a ton of bear activity here, but we used the boxes anyway. We are sleeping in a tent on wheels, after all.

    I would advise trailer owners to look at prospective sites using the 360 view on ReserveAmerica before you book. Some of the sites, especially those highest up the hill, slope rather steeply up from the road and might be tricky to back into.

    There have been some changes at the park since the OP's 2014 writeup. Notably, the bathhouse at Quaker Lake has been renovated. We did not see inside because it was not yet open when we were there. It looked like a lot of work had been done, though, and I believe it is supposed to open for this summer. For those traveling with younger kids, there is a really nice new playground next to the bathhouse. I am not sure what was there before, but this looks like it was put in within the last year or two. Also, some of the posts above mention not-so-nice bathroom facilities. The bathroom on our loop was clean and looked like it had been redone within the past few years. It is small (only 2 toilets and 2 showers in women's room), so it might be crowded at peak season. I think they are re-doing the bathrooms in stages, because I used a potty on another loop (I forget which one) that looked more run-down.

    Some activities that were not mentioned yet: There is a boat launch <10 min drive from Cain Hollow on Rt 81 where you can park a vehicle for (I think) $5 and easily launch a canoe/kayak/powerboat on the Allegany Reservoir. There is good fishing, I understand, but we just went for a paddle. You can go for miles - it's a huge reservoir.
    Hiking trails - lots! We did not get a chance to try many. I suspect if you're reasonably fit then you may not find them super challenging, despite the ratings the park gives. They said the Black Snake Mountain trail (2.8 mile loop, total elevation gain <400 ft) was "difficult." My husband and I ran it without much difficulty; our kids (4 and 6) could have walked it with some encouragement.

    Overall a beautiful park, we will definitely be back!
     
    HappyTraveler likes this.

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