Snowshoeing in Allegany State Park, New York

Photo by Paul Crawford

Allegany State Park is located in the beautiful southern tier of New York. The park has some of the best cross-country ski trails and snowshoe trails in Western New York, and the trails vary in skill level from easy to difficult. The trails are very well marked and easy to follow. Maps are available at the Red House Administrator Building and the Summit Hut/ski shop.

In the winter, there is no entrance fee for Allegany State Park. After Memorial Day, you can purchase a day pass or a long term (annual, multi-year, lifetime) New York State Park pass, the Empire Pass. This pass provides unlimited day entry to most facilities operated by the park. Please note, only certain roads in the park are plowed in the winter, so please be prepared. Trails are not affected by the road closures.

Snowshoe Specific Trails

Photo by Jo Ann Dombeck

The Bear Paw Trail is a 2.5 mile trail designed for hiking and snowshoeing. It is located in the Summit Area, which is in the northeastern corner of Allegany State Park. The rolling Bear Paw trail takes you through various education sites and points of interest in the Summit Area of Allegany State Park. A written guide is available and coordinates with marked locations along the trail. The trail was added to the Allegany State Park system for snowshoers in the winter months, but is just as enjoyable to visit any time of the year. Parking is located near the Art Roscoe Trail System.

The Hemlock Trail, I believe, is the newest trail in the park. It’s a 4 mile out and back trail located at the entrance of the Red House Area. The trail is perfect for snowshoeing. It has considerable elevation gain, but is a wide, well marked trail. The Hemlock trail intersects the Conservation Trail at the top. If you turn left at the crossroads, it will bring out in the back of the Red House Administrator Building. If you turn right, it will intersect with a section of the North Country Trail, and bring you out at Bay State Road. Both end destinations of the trails are somewhat of a distance from where you started, which can be seen on the Allegany State Park map.

Trails For Additional Activities

Photo by Jo Ann Dombeck

The Art Roscoe trails, located northeast of Red House Lake, are all groomed for cross country skiing and mountain biking. Unfortunately, the area is off-limits to snowshoers, but if you’re a skier you should definitely check them out. There is a ski shop located across the street from the trails, where you can rent skis and snowshoes. Also, facilities are available if needed.  At one point, there was a downhill ski resort in the park at the Bova area, and the chairlift poles still exist. There was also a ski jump in the park behind the Red House Administrator building, and you can hike to that location, where a cement stand still exists .

If You Go

I would highly recommend traveling to Allegany State Park when you travel to Western New York State. It is one of my and my father’s favorite places to visit in any season. It always has something to offer. Camping and cabin reservations are available throughout the year. And be sure to stop in Ellicottville afterwards for a beer at the Ellicottville Brewery and have a bite to eat there. It’s only 2 hours driving distance from Buffalo, NY.

About the author

Adam Niziol

Adam lives and works in Erie County, NY. His favorite season is winter and is an avid winter sport enthusiast. He has been snowshoe racing since 2005 and competed in the Empire State Games from 2005-2011. He has competed in multiple sprint, 5k, and 10k races across New York, including running in the U.S. Nationals. In addition to running, Adam enjoys a variety of other sports including hockey, soccer, skiing, biking, swimming, golfing, camping, backpacking, and hiking. He runs several outdoor groups on LinkedIn, Strava, and Facebook.

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  • Adam : The article makes me want to travel back to western NY to experience ASP resources . Great job explaining the specific trails!

  • Excellent article, you captured the spirit of Allegany !! It is a truly magical place that has enchanted generations of families at all times of the year.

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