A new $6.8 million multi-use trail at Allegany State Park has been completed that provides an accessible alternative for bikers, hikers and campers to reach the park’s popular Quaker Lake beach area.
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 is also supported by $2 million in State Parks capital funds as well as $1.22 million from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, $2.88 million from a Transportation Alternative Program grant from the Department of Transportation 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 Junction entrance to state Route 280 at the park’s Quaker Run entrance in Coldspring.
During the last two decades, more than 14.7 million people have visited the Quaker Run Area, which averages approximately 740,000 annual visitors. 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 New York State, the Wilson Foundation has provided millions of dollars to support creation of gateways in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Rochester along the 750-mile Empire State Trail; improvements to the 90-mile Genesee Valley Greenway State Park and the Niagara Shoreline Trail; and the youth recreation Ladders to the Outdoors program in Erie County.
The Wilson Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires in January 2035. This structure reflects Wilson’s desire for the foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit the website.
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.