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“First Camping Experience and I loved it!!!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Allegany State Park Campground

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Allegany State Park Campground
Toronto
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“First Camping Experience and I loved it!!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2010

My husband and I are from Toronto and wanted to go "border shopping" in NY (which we do a couple times a year) and we decided to turn it into a little camping adventure as well. Hey, if you stay over the border 48 hrs, you get $400 each allowance in duty! I looked at a whole bunch of State Parks in upstate New York online (mainly finger lakes region) and I picked ASP because the reviews of it online were unanimous - people love ASP! Now I'm one of them.

I've never been camping at a campground before - just at friend's cottages, etc. I really didn't want some place where you were camping pretty much on top of strangers and didn't have any privacy. I was pleased with ASP.

The park was a 1.5hr drive south of Buffalo, so it was very reasonable as a little side-trip from our "border shopping". The drive was very pretty through the Allegany region - and we went when all the trees were green! I imagine it's stunning when the fall colours come in.

They have 2 main park areas, Quaker and Red House, each with its own lake. Quaker Lake is 2x the size of Red House Lake. Because we wanted space and privacy, we chose Quaker (Red House has more amenities, but is busier). I used the online booking system through the NY State Park website, and I selected a campsite in "Cain Hollow" 3 days in advance of our trip - which was during the weekdays in August. We were not disappointed. The Quaker campsites are significantly more spacious than the Red House sites. The entire Cain Hollow area is a series of looping roads that run around a wooded hill - so many of the sites are tucked into their own little clearing in the woods and are very private. If you are looking to select one of these sites, I recommend checking it out on Google Satellite view because you can see the camping area and get an idea of which sites are wooded vs. out in the open. Just compare what you're seeing on the satellite view against the layout of the campsites on the NY State Park booking site and you can pick a specific site that way.

I had heard from reviews that the washroom and shower facilities at Quaker were "rustic", so I was expecting something in worse repair. However, I found that the washrooms nearest our campsite (at least the women's!) were completely satisfactory. 3 bathroom stalls and 2 shower stalls - kept clean and totally functional. My husband did say that the men's bathroom toilets got clogged and it took them 24hrs to fix them though. I took a shower in the afternoon one day and the water was cold - I guess the hot water had just run out. Showers in the morning were warm - but still not totally hot.

The lakes are beautiful, and there is TONS to keep you occupied at this place. Bring your bikes and rollerblades because there are paved paths for use. Also bring your running shoes because there are jogging & hiking trails, basketball courts. We rented a paddle boat for an hour and paddled around Red House lake one afternoon - it was lovely. There are more activities at the Red House area than at the Quaker area, but you can use the Red House activities even if you're staying at the other campsite. Red House lake is the only one with boat rentals & a mini putt course. Both areas have a general store that is open quite late that has all essentials and staff to help you if you need to talk to someone. During the day, both general stores also scoop ice cream and it was delicious! There is swimming in both lakes, and the water is a great temperature for mid-summer cool offs!

We took one of the hiking trails up around Red House lake one afternoon and climbed up a Forest Fire Lookout - it was pretty cool! There was a Park Ranger at the top that taught us about the history of the park and fire watch methods through the last 100 years.

If you like wildlife, this would be a lovely park for you. During our drives through the park and hikes we saw many white-tailed deer and chipmunks. There is a large bird-watching meadow around Quaker lake - if we were there for a longer period of time, I would have parked a chair in the meadow and sat and watched them in the quiet. It seems that fishing is very popular in the creek that runs off of Quaker lake - but not so busy that you would not be able to find your own little bend of the creek to yourself. They were fishing for trout when we were there. We did not see any bears, but we did our best to thoroughly follow the bear precautions.

I think that's all that I can say for that - just wanted to let the world know that ASP is a great camping experience!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
40 Thank Swartzan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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36 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Williamsville NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2009

Have camped at Allegany and have found it to be a wonderful experience. Its a rich environment with many great trails and places to camp out at or get a cabin at.. The older cabins in Quaker are closer to creeks. The newer ones in Red House have the lake and more updated amenities. Best time to visit is early spring and during the fall when the color of the leaves are magnificent and in spring there is a large variety of animals to be seen if one just looks quietly for it. During the summer months it can get quiet busy and chaotic. The sheer beauty of the park and its trails are breath taking. I would definitely recommend Allegany for anyone who wants to enjoy nature at its finest.

Stayed August 2010
Helpful?
13 Thank Treehugger1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2007

Allegany State park is a place that I have visited since I was a kid. It is flat-out beautiful! It is a series of freshwater lakes nestled in about 65,000 acres of preserved woodland among the western foothills of the Allegheny Mountains

it is located about an hour East of Erie, Pa and about an hour South of Buffalo, NY and is adjacent to I-86 "The Southern Tier Expressway." Conveniently, it is a comfortable day's drive from NYC, and Toronto as well as from DC and Baltimore. so if you livein any of these areas and and are looking for a rustic weekend...trust me, you will not be sorry.

Amenities include everything you would want. There are pull-through sites, tent sites, camper sites and even cabins available for rent. Most of the campsites and all of the cabins have electricity. There are even some group cabins for larger get-to-gethers.

As mentioned, the campsites like the rest of the park is rustic. This is not the "Parking Lot" style campsites where everyone is right on top of each other. There are plenty of sites where you will not even SEE your neighbor.

Wildlife? You want wildlife? You WILL see wildlife at ASP. Ducks, geese and other birds are plentiful. You MIGHT even see a bald eagle or two if you are lucky. Deer are abundant as are racoons porcupine and even the occassional skunk. Squirrels, chipmunks and even otters and beaver can be seen and photographed. Black bear are present too but in far fewer numbers now that the trash collection system has been centralized. (No worries though, none of the animals are tame or even that used to people...so they are all much more scared of you than you will be of them) Black Bears can be startling to see, but are generally not dangerous, The most you can expect if you come upon one is a short little "woof" before they run off. Still....you MUST store food and waste correctly to avoid a "middle of the night" visitor.

What to do. There is plenty to keep both you AND your kids busy at ASP. There are two lakes for swimming, there are paddleboat and canoe rentals and tons of hiking trails. There are even bicycles for rent (including a bicycle built for two) Much of the terrain is relatively flat so riding is an excellent way to see the area. For the kids there are nature talks and walks, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis, kite flying, baseball and soccer area and creeks to splash in and rocks to find crayfish under. (don't know what a crayfish is? you will soon have a "Look mom!" moment)

There is also fishing and hunting - both of which require NYS permits.

Although no power boats are allowed on ASP lakes, the Kinzua Recreation area is right next door and is a very large freshwater lake with plenty of room for power boating, water skiing and "wave-running" At Wolf Run Marina (about 25 minutes away, you can rent speed boats, pontoon boats or even a houseboat that sleeps 4-6!

Tired of Nature? There is a brand new, modern casino about 8 miles from the Redhouse area on the Seneca Reservation (yes a real indian reservation) in Salamanca. Go the other way and you are in Bradford - the home of Zippo Lighters and Birthplace of Opera Star, Marilyn Horne. Probably more importantly after a week of hotdogs and hamburgers - Bradford is also the closest home of a Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut and McDonalds.

Speaking of opera, if you are in need of a little culture, check out the Chataqua Institute near Jamestown (about 30 minutes West on I-86) Action? Great Adventure - Darien Lake is a large amusement park about 60 min North, just East of Buffalo. While you are in Buffalo, drive 20 more minutes and check out Niagara Falls - you'll be amazed.

Rainy Night? Both Bradford and Olean (about 20 minutes east of Salamanca on I-86) have movies and shopping (both have walmarts for those last minute needs) and Olean has BJ's Wholesale Warehouse for that 5 lb bag of hot dogs. (Get Sahlen's)

Cellphone? Hmmmm Not alot of coverage....the office will have to wait. If you NEED to check in though, Bradford or Salamanca have coverage for most carriers.

Weather? You are about about 2000 feet in elevation so summer daytime temps can get warm (by warm I mean mid 80's) but nights are almost always comfortable (low 60's or less) No matter what time of year you visit and no matter what the temperature is where you are now, ALWAYS ALWAYS bring a jacket. Evenin August, you are just one cold front away from highs in the 60's and lows in the 40's and I have seen it snow in every month of the year but August (and my mother has seen it snow in August)

Oh... and you city dwellers....those bright shiny things you see in the sky at night. No they are no planes waiting to land at Laguardia...they are stars! Real honest to goodness stars and LOTS of em (look for the Perseid Meteor shower around the beginning of Aug)

Fall is GLORIOUS. Aim for the last week in September or the first week in October, but this can vary. Frost at night starts usually Mid-Sept and it is not unusual to see flurries by Halloween.

Winter temps can be brutal and snowfall significant so be prepared but the snow hanging off the pine forests is a sight to see. In the winter those trails you hiked in the summer become cross country trails in the winter. Snowmobiling is legal too, but required NYS registration.

So....Dust off that S'more's recipe from Girlscouts, load the kids into the minivan and come on out for a week before school starts. You might find that nature is not the only thing you reconnect with.

Campsite reservations can be made through the Allegany State Park website at [--]

  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
54 Thank xBradfordian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Allegany State Park Campground

Property: Allegany State Park Campground
Address: 2373 Allegany State Park, Rte. 1, Suite 3, Salamanca, NY 14779
Region: United States > New York > Salamanca
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Salamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 144
Also Known As:
Allegany State Park Campground Hotel Salamanca

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