$6.8-million trail expansion unveiled at Allegany State Park

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New York Construction News staff writer

A new $6.8 million multi-use trail recently completed at Allegany State Park now provides an accessible alternative for bikers, hikers and campers to reach Quaker Lake beach area.

“Allegany State Park is one of the finest wilderness parks in the U.S., and this project will make it easier and safer for visitors to access the Quaker Lake beach from nearby camping areas, hiking trails and recreational areas,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “This project not only helps New York achieve its nation-leading climate goals, but it also reflects the State’s ongoing partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to expand access to outdoor recreation in New York State.”

The new 3.6-mile paved trail extends a 1.6-mile trail section that opened in Fall 2020 to the north side of Route 3 from the Taft Cabin Trail to the Quaker General Store and park rental office. The new extension, which includes eight pedestrian bridges and an elevated boardwalk crossing a wetland, runs westward from the general store to the Quaker Lake beach.

The Quaker Run Area trail extension project also received $2 million in State Parks capital funds, $1.22 million from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, $2.88 million from a transportation alternative program grant and a land and water conservation fund grant.

Located in the southwestern section of the 64,800-acre park, the Quaker Run Area also includes the Mount Tuscarora Fire Tower, many miles of hiking trails, the so named “Bear Caves” rock formation, the Old Quaker Store Museum, and scores of rental cabins and campsites. The Cain Hollow campground is also located on the Quaker Run side of the park.

Route 3 runs east to west from the southern end of Route 2 near the park’s Bradford entrance to state Route 280 at the park’s Quaker Run entrance in Coldspring.

The new multi-use trail runs through woodlands, across streams and other natural features, connecting with trailheads, cabin and cottage trails, and other park amenities along the way to the Quaker Lake beach area.

Founded by Ralph C. Wilson Jr., a co-founder of the American Football League and former owner of Buffalo Bills prior to his death in 2014, the foundation supports recreational projects in western New York State and southeast Michigan.

In October 2018, the foundation launched a $200 million Parks & Trails Initiative — $100 million split between New York and Michigan. That included $50 million for each region to create connections and eliminate gaps in regional trail systems.

In addition to the trail extension, a $4.24 million project to construct three new public restrooms/shower buildings was completed for the summer season. The new facilities are in the Quaker Run Area, at the Kaiser Cabin Trail, Creekside Cabin Trail, and Horseshoe Cabin Trail.

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