Tucked into southern Cattaraugus County, along the New York-Pennsylvania border, lies a sprawling wilderness gem, ideal for trail riders. Allegany State Park has 55 miles of trails set aside for equestrian use. They meander about the park’s 65,000 acres, traversing old-growth forest, passing woodland ponds and streams, and crossing by a unique natural treasure known as Thunder Rocks.
The horse trails are “on a series of interconnecting loop trails that utilize gravel park roads, abandoned town roads and abandoned railroad rights-of-way,” according to the website enchantedmountains.com, which is part of Cattauraugus Tourism and includes photos, maps and other useful information. “You will ride
on hillsides, rolling and level trails
(and there is) good footing for horses
throughout woodland settings.”
The park is divided into two
developed areas, Red House and
Quaker Run. The Red House area is
where you’ll find the historic Tudor-style
administration building and natural
history museum; Red House Lake,
with its sandy beach, good fishing and
five miles of paved bike paths; and
Stone Tower, offering forested vistas.
Quaker Run is known for its lakes and hiking trails and restored Quaker store that serves as a museum about the park’s history as the “Wilderness Playground” of Western New York.
Download a printable copy of the horse trails map or pick one up at the park offices.
Accommodations: The Red House area of the park offers a primitive, non-electric site to camp with horses that does include a portable toilet. There are spots for self-contained trailers and three sets of four horse stalls. Water is available for horses and campers. Reservations may be made for the campsites by calling 716-354-9121; stalls are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The charge for camping is $22 a night on Friday and Saturday and $18 a night, Sunday-Thursday. There is a $5 fee for out-of-state campers. The Quaker Area of Allegany offers two primitive cabins on Stoney Trail where horses are permitted to be kept near the cabins.
Just coming for the day? Parking areas are available in the front section of the horse camp and at a lot near the Bradford, PA entrance to the park on ASP Route 2.
Season: Mid-May through October for horse trails and camping. The park is open year-round.
Required papers: Current Coggins and rabies vaccinations are required. Out-of-state horse owners will be required to produce a valid 30-day health certificate.
Natural attractions: The park is known for its primitive, forested valleys and un-glaciated landscape. While you’re out and about, keep an eye open for bald eagles, bluebirds, osprey and great blue herons. White-tailed deer abound, but you may also catch a glimpse of some wilder inhabitants: Black bears, fishers, coyotes and bobcats all call Allegany home. The park has naturalists on staff to offer assistance and answer questions.
Don’t miss this: Thunder Rocks is a unique geologic formation – climb it if you dare. The rocks were formed about 360 million years ago from sediment left when New York was covered by a shallow sea. Frost wedging and gravity nudged the giant boulders into their current position. Glaciers had nothing to do with it. The park is part of a very small area of the state untouched by glaciers.
Promoting Reining in the Northeast
Look for our Summer 2017 issue out now! Subscribe & keep enjoying the ride.
© Copyright. All Rights Reserved
Promoting Dressage and
Combined Training as Art and Sport
By New York Horse Staff
Camping with horses, says Toni Wolf, is a lot like camping with a toddler: “They try to get into trouble, they don’t help out, and you have to bring them food and water.”
But camping can be a great way
to spend time with your horse. What’s'
needed, says Wolf, is a little planning to
make the trip an enjoyable experience
rather than a game of catch-me-if-you-can
in the deep woods.
Before spending any time or
money, start by making an honest
assessment of what your horse is capable of
handling. Ask yourself:
Will my horse stand quietly while tied?
Will my horse load and unload easily?
Will my horse eat and drink well away
“If the answer is yes to all three,
you’re ready to go camping,” says Wolf,
a long-distance and competitive trail
rider from Gasport who has been camping
with horses for nearly a decade at parks across New York, including Otter Creek, Carlton Hill and Allegany. “The next question is, ‘What do I do with my horse?’ “
Let’s start with the one thing not to do: make any changes in their feeding routine. Wolf says she feeds her horses the same
as at home, explaining
“just because they’re being
ridden for an hour extra a
day, doesn’t mean they need
an extra 5 pounds of grain
a day.” Her tip: Pack single
servings of grain in plastic
Next, just as there
are options for people to
camp – from tents and
sleeping bags to luxurious
motor homes – there are
multiple choices for horses.
It all depends, says Wolf, on how much money you want to spend, how much effort you want to put into it and how often you plan to camp. Options include a portable electric corral, portable fence panels, trailer-mount high line, picket line, and tying directly to the trailer. Many people who camp regularly use more than one method, depending on where they’re camping and how long they’re staying.
Each option has its pros and cons, she says:
A portable electric corral is lightweight, needs little storage space and is easy to change size, but it requires a battery or solar charger, takes longer to set up, and is difficult to put in place on rocky ground. Wolf said she typically sets up her pen to measure 15’ by 15’ which she described at WNY Equifest as “enough room to get around, but not enough for your horse to get into trouble.” And speaking of trouble, she cautions there should be only one horse per corral, “even if your horse and his buddy have lived together for years.”
Portable fence panels are sturdy, good for horses that don’t respect electric and quicker to set up, but the cons are that they heavy, more expensive and need lots of storage space. Again, remember: Only one horse per corral.
A trailer-mounted high line is
easy to set up and requires no storage space
but it also limits your location and restricts
the horse’s movement. Wolf says to make
certain the trailer does not have any sharp
metal edges, and suggests installing bucket
hangers and hay hooks to the side of your
trailer for ease of feed and watering.
A picket line needs little storage
space and allows multiple horses to be
kept together, but it also limits location
because the line requires a sturdy anchor
like a tree or post and some places won’t
allow horses to be tied to trees. Wolf says
she always recommends use of a breakaway
halter and making sure there is enough line to allow plenty of space between horses.
Tying to the trailer is inexpensive, very easy to set up and requires no storage space, but only allows for very limited horse movement. For a direct tie to work, Wolf says, “it’s imperative that your horse will stand quietly for long periods of time. And you will need to exercise them every couple of hours when you are not riding.” When choosing a location, also remember that if the ground is soft, your horse will quickly turn it into a mud hole.
Whatever option you pick, practice at home a few times before going out for the first time. “Set up ‘camp’ inside your regular paddock and let them try it out overnight. If you’re using a tent be sure to set that up, too, so the horse gets accustomed to what it looks like and sounds like,” Wolf suggests. Practice at night, in case you have to move for any reason.
No one wants to think about the bad things that could happen, but a Plan B is crucial to have in place before an emergency happens. “What are you willing to do if your horse suffers a life-threatening injury?” Wolf asked. “If something happens to the driver, can someone else take over? If severe weather is headed your way, where will you shelter? If your rig breaks down, can someone come to help?” Pack a head-mounted flashlight to leave your hands free, and get your horse accustomed to seeing the beam at night.
“If you’ve never approached your horse at night with a flashlight, you may be in for a surprise,” she notes. “You must be able to load your horse in the dark.”
If there’s one overriding lesson to take away, it’s this: Camping is a skill your horse needs to learn before you go off for the first time. Bottom line, says Wolf, “Plan to have a good time.”
Remember to bring these items
There are plenty of what-to-pack lists on the internet. Here are some items from Toni Wolf specifically for camping with your horse:
Stories. Advice. Horseplay.
Central New York
NEW YORK HORSE
New York Horse is proud
to display the blue ribbon
from American Horse
Publications, because it
means we were honored
for excellence in their
The contest celebrates the best in equine publishing. The 2017 equine media contest saw 783 entries from 105 AHP members. Held since 1974, the AHP Equine Media Awards recognize the year’s best in print and online publishing in both media and business divisions.