The charming village of Ellicottville is most well-known as the home of the Holiday Valley ski resort. But there’s much to do for the whole family in the area during the less-crowded “green season” too.
Soar. Holiday Valley’s 4-acre Sky High Adventure Park is a playground in the sky, with 13 aerial courses for all skill levels. Zip lines interspersed throughout the terrain offer an adrenaline jolt. Also, don’t miss the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster that twists and turns down the mountain. Riders control their own speed, making this a fun trip even for those who aren’t coaster people. 716-699-4444, holidayvalley.com
Fish. Steelhead, smallmouth bass, muskie and pike — you’ll find all these angler favorites in the streams, rivers and lakes in Ellicottville’s backyard. Get expert advice and stock up on fishing essentials at Adventure Bound, an Ellicottville shop where you can also sign up for opportunities ranging from fly-fishing class, kids’ clinics and steelhead school. 716-217-4047, adventureboundonthefly.com
Bike. Start on Holiday Valley’s 4.5-mile “race loop.” The more adventurous mountain bikers can detour from the cross country trails to single-track trails that take you to peaks in the region. Venture out from the resort to the 35-plus miles of trails behind Holiday Valley in the Allegany State Park. Don’t have a bike? You can rent one from Holiday Valley or the Ellicottville Bike Shop, both of which also offer trail maps. 716-699-2453, ellicottvillebikeshop.com
Ride. Connect with your inner cowboy by taking part in an outing with Crosspatch (716-938-6313, thecrosspatch.com), a working horse farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Cowpokes are invited to take part in everything from a one-hour ride to an overnight pack trip and chuckwagon dinners (thecrosspatch.com). Another option: the R&R Dude Ranch (716-257-5663, recreationranch.com), a bed-and-breakfast on a working horse farm in nearby Otto, New York, that offers traditional trail rides as well as all-inclusive multi-day summer horse camps for families.
Climb. Bouldering opportunities abound at Rock City State Forest, home of supremely cool rock formations and the world’s largest exposure of quartz conglomerate. For those who want to keep their feet on the ground, check out the family-friendly walking trail at the neighboring Rock City Park that leads over, under and through enormous rocks that were once at home on a prehistoric ocean floor. 866-404-7625, rockcitypark.com
Golf. Take a swing at Holiday Valley’s 18-hole par 70 Double Black Diamond golf course. The course bends around the base of the ski mountain, offering a mix of mountainous and flat terrain to create a challenging fairway — and spectacular views sure to have you reaching for your camera as often as you grab for your putter. 716-699-3939, holidayvalley.com
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