NY - Allegany State Park

Discussion in 'New York' started by themanfromvan, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. themanfromvan

    themanfromvan Van, PA - Near The PA Wilds

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    Jul 31, 2004
    Van, Pennsylvania
    I posted a brief message last night about our 4 day/4 night visit to Allegany State Park near Salamanca, NY, but did not really give any particulars. Now that I've had a day to rest and recover, I'll share my thoughts on the place.

    We camped there from Friday, August 13, 2010 to Tuesday, August 17, 2010. I chose site 163 in the Cain Hollow campground based on a photo I found on the Internet. Here is the link where I got my pictures - http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/554036672bJVyiU. I hope that link doesn't go dead someday and remains for the reference of other.

    First, I want to say one thing about this park. It is HUGE !! I am used to the 4 or 5 PA State Parks where I camp regularly, which range in size of 900 to 1300 acres. Allegany State Park is over 60,000 acres !!! I am used to being able to exit the door of my pop up and walk to the swimming area, the river, the creek, the hiking trails, the playground..... You're not really going to do that here. We visited park attractions like Bear Caves, Red House, the fire tower, the cross country ski area and Thunder Rocks. Most of these place are 4-5 mile drive from one another. So, needless to say, our campsite was basically a base camp and we traveled from there. We burned a lot of gasoline and put more miles on our vehicle than the 111.5 miles we drove to get there from home.

    There are two camping areas in this park. Cain Hollow, which like I said, we stayed at. And the other is Red House. We talked to some people who were camped at Red House and we drove through Red House twice. My recommendation is if you like a little seclusion and shade, Cain Hollow is your choice. To me Red House is more of a privately owned campground atmosphere. The sites were closer together and there was not as much tree cover or privacy.

    Now, if you go to the link I gave you above, you'll find a map of the Cain Hollow campground. Imagine this, if you will. That entire campground is on a sloping hillside with the sites like 159 and 161 being at the top of the hill. Sites 62 and 63 are down in the valley. Besides this, the campsites within any give loop are on opposite sides of the hill. For instance, we were in site 163 and had to back up about a 33 degree grade for about 40 feet where our site was quite level. But, right across from us in say, sites 160 and 162, you backed down the grade into the level site. Many of the sites in that loop had a pretty sharp drop down into the site. A real consideration if your TV is a 'lowrider', like a minivan or something. I could see where tongue jacks and hitch receivers could hit the ground getting in there. Cain Hollow is also more conducive to pop ups and tent campers. Other than a very few sites, there is virtually no way you could ever get a large travel trailer or fifth wheel into the place. Therefore, you are likely to be surrounded by like minded campers, not noisy big rigs.

    Be aware that very few sites in this loop have electric hook ups and ALL the sites that do are only 15A. So, if you have AC, you're probably not going to have enough juice to run it. You are also going to need a 'dog bone' or some type of adapter to convert your 30A plug to 15A. I messed up and reserved a site that I thought was electric. It was our first experience with camping with no hook ups. We had experimented with simulated dry camping in the past, but had 30A right outside our door if we needed it. This time was the REAL DEAL and we went four nights with no problem. We ran the fridge on propane and were a little more conservative with our use of lights and the overhead fan. I will admit that we 'cheated' on one aspect, that being the recharging of batteries for our two digital cameras. What I did there was waited until Sunday night, when the campground pretty much cleared out, and went down the hill to sites 113 and 115 and plugged our battery chargers into the boxes overnight. I told the people on either side of these sites what I was doing and told them if they saw anyone other than me in the boxes in those sites, to boogie up to 163 and tell me !! [LOL] [LOL]

    There are two types of toilet facilities in the Cain Hollow campground. The 'old' bathrooms are nothing more than a series of stalls with a man door on each one. Each contains a flush toilet and a sink. There were no paper towels or hand dryers. They are old and I wouldn't say dirty, but they've seen their use. The other restrooms are very modern facilities with toilets and showers. In the men's side was a 3 bowl vanity, a urinal, one toilet stall, one shower stall and then the big handicap stall which had a shower and a toilet in it. Personally, I think more toilets would have been more practical. I mean, generally there is no urgency to take a shower. But, after a breakfast of greasy bacon or sausage - there can be an urgency to use a toilet !! [LOL]

    One other thing I will warn you about is "The Bridge". Looking back at the campground map, find the playground and/or dumpstation. Right in that general vicinity is a bridge that is decked with wood. Find where we were at, a way up there in site 163. The first night we were at our site and we heard this noise we thought was thunder. We scoped out the skies and there was not a cloud in sight, nothing but twinkling stars !! DW and I looked and each other and shrugged. A little later we heard it again, and again, again..... Finally, we put two and two together and realized the noise we were hearing was cars crossing that wooded decked bridge !! So - the closer the site you choose to that area - the more noise you're going to get from that bridge.

    The last thing I'll say is, for the most part, the people who were there were very well behaved. All sites are open to pets, but the dogs barking was minimal. We were there on Friday the 13th AND it was a full moon that night, so about 3 AM there were some guys down over the hill from us who were fooling around, howling at the moon !! Other than that we did have neighbors for one night with some unruly kids who had pop guns. Thankfully, they left after 24 hours and the place became library quiet. Don't expect to see any park police patrolling the place. We didn't and I let them know what I thought of that on my comment card when I left. It's a good thing that people were self policing or things could have really gotten out of hand.

    All in all, we had an excellent visit to this park. I would recommend it highly to anyone. I have uploaded the many photos we took during our stay there and they can be seen at http://picasaweb.google.com/1themanfromvan/AlleganyStateParkSalamancaNY# I think the pictures will speak for themselves as to the great time we had. So, go ahead and make the trip !! You will not be disappointed. If you plan to visit this park and have question that I may be able to answer, send me a PM. I'll do what I can to help you.
  2. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    Apr 20, 2010
    I could tell from your pictures what a nice camp ground you were staying. Plenty of activities in the area too. Thanks for the trip report.
  3. blue

    blue New Member

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    Jul 26, 2010
    Wow, this looks great!

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