Allegany State Park is New York’s largest state park covering over 65,000 acres and 100 square miles. There is something for everyone at Allegany State Park including the Allegany trails, hiking, skiing, wildlife watching and is perfect for nature lovers in general.
There are some incredible Allegany trails to be discovered, here we will look at 10 hiking trails you can explore.
Beehunter: Red House Lake Area Trail
The bee-hunter trail is a 5.8-mile moderate hike that loops near Salamanca. It is appropriate for avid walkers and you can take your dog which is a bonus! The trail is beautiful with many activities that you are able to take advantage of including fishing and camping. There are also a number of log cabins near the Red House Beach area where you can rent for a night’s sleep and picnic areas for lunch. The bee-hunter trail is very family-friendly. You will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘Beehunter’.
The most scenic views are in the Red House Lake and Red House Beach area. Make sure you stop at the lodge providing a brief history into the area. There is also a restaurant if you forgot to pack lunch.
Be sure to take your long pants with you as areas of these hiking trails are slightly overgrown and you may encounter some prickly bushes and plants. Watch out for flooding during the wet season. This is one of the best hiking trails in Allegany State Park for lakes and picnic spots.
Distance: 5.7 miles
Mount Tuscarora Trail
If you like wildflowers then look no further than the Mount Tuscarora Trail near Salamanca, New York. This beautiful light-moderate hike is 9.4 miles of gorgeous scenery with plenty of things to do along the way. The best time to hike the Mount Tuscarora Trail is May until October. You will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘Mount Tuscarora’.
This Allegany State Park trail is well marked throughout with good opportunities to spot wildlife such as deer, chipmunks, coyote, porcupine, and toads. There are bears in the area so take all necessary precautions. Certain areas of the trail are steep so be prepared with good walking boots and lots of energy inducing snacks at the ready.
Most people like the ridge walk once you are up the initial steep slope. The best opportunities for photos on this trail are the old fire tower, animals mentioned above and the photos at the top of the ridge. This is one of the best hiking trails in Allegany State Park for scenery and wildflowers.
Distance: 9.4 miles
Three Sisters is a 2.5 mile lightly moderate out and back trail near Salamanca. It’s a great option for those new to hiking or those wishing to hike with teens or small children. The trail itself is well marked and quite simple to follow. You will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘Three Sisters’.
On this Allegany State Park trail, be sure to look out for Manardam or also known as Oswego Tea. It should be visible along some of the drainage areas along the trail during the summer months. You will see a cluster of red tubular flowers, this is the Oswego. It is named after the natives that once brewed this plant. Look out for red elderberry bushes too! In fact, this is one of the best hiking trails in Allegany State Park for wildflowers and trees.
This trail is usually open year-round, be careful during rainy season as some areas can get quite muddy and slippery.
Distance: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Wander through an enchanted forest of maple, oak and hemlock trees on this incredible 4.2-mile hike. There are a few options with this trail, you can take a hike to the caves or if with small children or elderly you can drive most of the way to the caves with a short 1-mile hike thereafter. You can also hike from the caves all the way to Mt. Seneca for those with a bit more hiking experience. You will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘Bear Caves’.
There is little scenery on this hike but there is a lot of beautiful dense and fairytale-like forest to explore. You may want to bring your flashlights with you for the caves as they are boulder-strewn and can be difficult to navigate.
Distance: 4.2 miles
Black Snake Mountain
This Allegany State Park trail is perfect for new hikers or those with small children. It is a 2.6 mile lightly trafficked looped trail. This trail also has a lot of history, it was first mapped out in 1933 from the professors of ‘The Allegany School of Natural History’. The trail itself was originally named ‘The Nature Trail Hiking Trail’ but was changed to ‘The Black Snake Mountain Trail’ in 1980. You will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘Black Snake Mountain Trail’.
Along the way, don’t miss the old dynamite shack not far from where the trail starts (veer right). There are also plenty of stone bridges and walkways too making you feel like you have traveled back in time to an older version of rural America. A good time to visit is April and May for the many wonderful colors of Spring.
Distance: 2.6 miles
This is one of the best hiking trails in Allegany State Park for snowshoeing. The trail is a more moderate hike covering over 1.8 miles with some great scenery to be discovered. A very popular trail for avid hikers, nature trips and snowshoeing. The trail will lead you through a forest and meadow providing you with a number of wildlife and plant spotting opportunities. Some of the plant species here have existed since the dinosaurs roamed these lands. You will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘Bearpaw’.
As mentioned, snowshoeing is quite popular here. The bear paw trail offers snowshoers of all ability to give it a go. The trail takes you through a number of educational sites and points of interest. The trail takes around 60-90 minutes to complete depending on the fitness of the hiker or snowshoer.
Be sure to check out the iconic stone tower at the end of the trail. It was built in 1933 and is a great photo opportunity. The Bearpaw trail is known to provide a great sunset too, in fact, you can arrange to go on a sunset snowshoe experience.
Distance: 1.8 miles
Osgood is a moderate 2.8-mile trail that mostly features a forest setting. This is a quiet and peaceful hike for those who want to disconnect from modern life and get back to nature. Expect to see a plethora of beautiful wildflowers, moss and fern trees. There is very little scenery with just a few opportunities to see a view through broken areas of trees. This trail is more about the forest than anything else. You will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘Osgood’. Also, Allegany State Park trail has a steep incline which most people can handle but it can sometimes be difficult when wet and muddy.
Distance: 2.8 miles
North Country Trail
This trail is for more experienced hikers and goes on for a total of 18 miles. There is a stunning scenic view just 4 miles south of the Red House Beach Campground that should not be missed. The route is mostly through the forest made up of maple, ash, hemlock and red elderberry bushes (July). You will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘North Country’.
As you walk through this forest you may feel like you’ve just walked into a fairytale land. The forest is quite stunning and keen photographers should take their cameras. Additionally, the trail is extremely well marked so there is no chance of getting lost on this one and it’s not too busy either so you should find it quite peaceful. Watch out for the bears!
Distance: 18 miles
Rimrock Trail Loop
Another moderate to experienced trail covering a distance of 9 miles. The main feature of the Rimrock Trail Loop is the impressive lake and scenery. From the overlook, you will see the Allegheny Reservoir and hillsides. You can camp at the Allegheny Reservoir for just $12 a night. Also, you will have the chance to explore the giant sandstone boulders, crevasses, and rocky outcrops. Additionally, you will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘Rimrock Loop’.
A large area of this Allegany State Park trail is covered by epic oak trees that provide all the surrounding wildlife with food. So, keep your eyes peeled and you may just spot any number of animals living here including bear, deer, grouse, and turkey! There are also a number of small waterfalls to be seen along the entire trail. There are some larger waterfalls to be discovered along the creek in the northern portion of the loop.
Distance: 8.1 miles
Tracy Ridge Trail
This river hike near Bradford, Pennsylvania covers 8.6 miles and is rated as moderate. This trail is rated good for groups and first-time hikers. There are some amazing views to be seen along the way and you have the chance to camp at a number of stops including the reservoir and Handsome lake. There are also some campsites with large fire pits which are great for group gatherings and cooking s’mores. You will find most trail maps list this hike as ‘Tracy Ridge’.
Along this trail, you will also find some beautiful flora and fauna. The area is great for those who enjoy different species of trees and flowers. Most people enjoy the walk through the forest areas as there are some beautiful untouched areas of natural beauty to be discovered here.
Distance: 8.6 miles