Some of our friends traditionally spend the long weekend of Columbus Day in cabins on the Quaker side of the Allegany State Park, near Salamanca, NY. While we weren’t looking to rent a cabin when we have the bus, we did want to go and spend time for them. Unfortunately, RVs aren’t allowed in the cabin areas, so, we spent the weekend in the Cain Hollow campground.
Compared to the Red House Campground I described from when we spent the week there, the Cain Hollow campground was steeper, and the bathroom facilities were a bit more sparse – though both males and females had a utility sink! But the sites had more trees and bushes (and streams) between them, so they were more secluded than the Red House sites.
Our trip was slowed by an accident (and people not understanding how to efficiently merge), West Valley Fire Department’s “Fill The Boot” roadbock, and Ellicotville’s Fall Festival being set-up. After that, though, the travel was pretty standard, though once we got off of I-86/NY 17 onto NY 280, there was some very nice scenery where the road followed along the banks of the Allegheny River/Kinzua Reservoir on the way to the Quaker Area entrance to the Park. Once we were in the park, which you enter by the edge of Quaker Lake, giving a spectacular view along it’s length, we drove past the campsite area to the Rental Office, only to find that we could have checked in at the entrance to the campgrounds, as it was a Friday evening.
Once there, I watched for signage to get to our site, as it was obvious from our time at the Red House campsite that the signage essentially directed traffic in particular directions to produce one-way travel through the loops. There, it was obvious when someone went the ‘wrong’ way, and often startled pedestrians, and I didn’t want to be that person. Unfortunately, as I was informed later by the camp Captain, the sign that would have nicely directed us efficiently up the hill was missing, so we took a scenic tour of the campground to get to our site. (All this is in the dashcam video.)
The only bad thing that I could find to complain about was the light pollution. Perhaps some of this is due to our site being directly across from a bathroom whose light flooded our site (well, at least where the bus was parked) all night, but one clear evening when I wanted to see the stars, I had to walk all the way out of the campsite and around to Quaker Lake in order to get anything like a clear view of the sky in any of the open places. The area of the grassy field near the entrance to the campground seemed like it would be promising, but the garbage dumping area had a 30′ pole with a big sodium arc light atop it, so the area was flooded with light.
We also found that the Quaker Area is much more spread out than the Red House Area. Even with Red House Lake being in the middle of things, we could bike around to every place we wanted to go, quickly and easily. Quaker was not like this, as to get from the campground to the cabin where our friends were was about 5 miles, and while we brought our bikes, they never really made it out of the bus.
We did cooking both on the stove and on the fire, and as the October nights were getting colder & darker earlier, the seven of us ate in the bus in a slightly unplanned way. We went hiking around Science Lake, and climbed Thunder Rocks. These are great, huge hunks of rock and some are easy to climb unaided, others nearly impossible, and they litter the top of the mountain along through the woods.
Overall, we had a great time!