Rolling hills and untamed forests, charming Main Streets and friendly neighbors –Allegany County, known as the Western NY Wilds, is a welcome retreat in the wilderness. Located on the upper Genesee River, bordering Pennsylvania to the south, the Western NY Wilds welcomes visitors seeking to escape their routine and experience life intentionally. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, adventure, or to just enjoy the peace and quiet, the Western NY Wilds offers an abundance of outdoor experiences and invites you to live deliberately on your next visit.
The Western NY Wilds is the perfect place for your next outdoor adventure. Amidst vast open spaces you’ll find miles of trails for hiking, biking, horse-back, and ATV riding. A local favorite for hikers, hunters, and fishermen is Allen Lake State Forest, home to 58-acre Allen Lake and over 2,400 acres of forest land. Enjoy fishing the rich waters of Allen Lake for trout and largemouth bass. Hike the Hidden Falls Trail – an easy-to-moderately difficult 3.4 mile out-and-back marked trail; hikers who stay-the-course are rewarded with access to the secluded, hidden waterfall for which the trail is named. Camping is allowed at Allen Lake State Forest, though no formal campsites exist here. If you’re looking to truly unplug and reconnect with nature, this is the place!
Allen Lake is just one of several bodies of water found in Allegany County, making it an ideal vacation spot for those looking to spend some time on the water. In fact, visitors have access to multiple free, public boat launches, making it easy to explore all the Western NY Wilds waterways. Families will enjoy living the ‘lake life’ for a long-weekend at Cuba Lake; reserve your kayak, paddleboard, or pontoon rental at Cuba Lake Marina. Ambitious visitors will find adventure in a kayak or canoe on the mighty Genesee River, which snakes its way across 62 miles of the Western NY Wilds. 11 river access sites allow you to easily stop to set-up camp or enjoy the amenities of the towns and villages along the way.
Thrill seekers are invited to bring their ATVs or side-by-sides and elevate their Fresh Air Adventure at Tall Pines ATV Park. Tall Pines is the premier ATV Park on the East Coast with over 90 miles of trails to explore. Trails range from beginner through advanced with field roads, dirt bike trails, mud holes, an obstacle course, and even a MotoX track. After a day of riding, gather with friends around the fire at Kent Beer Company, Kent Farm's on-site, authentic farm-to-table brewery. With cabins and campsites available, stay and spend the weekend on this working, family-owned farm to immerse yourself in country life.
Come to experience the Western NY Wilds’ wildly beautiful outdoors, but don’t leave without visiting Allegany County’s charming, classically-American Main Streets. Cuba’s Main Street Historic District offers architectural treasures, retail shopping for antiques and home interiors, and showcases local culture at the beautifully restored Palmer Opera House. Built in 1867 the original building was destroyed by a fire in 1871, then restored in 1874. Years passed and time took its toll on this historic gem until a group of passionate citizens lovingly began the work of restoring this historic landmark to its former glory in 2006. Today the Palmer Opera House regularly features yoga, lectures, workshops, and musical acts. It’s also home to the Cuba Cheese Museum, North America’s biggest cheese museum, and Sweet Meredith’s Fudgery.
The Western NY Wilds offers a variety of accommodations for visitors, whether you prefer the comfort of a king-sized bed or to sleep under a canopy of stars.
Vacation rentals and Airbnb’s can be found on the shores of Cuba and Rushford Lakes, in the middle of the woods, and everywhere in between. Stay secluded amidst the trees, but only minutes from Letchworth State Park, at this cozy upscale cabin in the woods.
If luxurious accommodations are more your style, check out the Saxon Inn, located on Alfred University’s scenic campus. This small, boutique hotel features 25 rooms and is open to the general public. Guests of the Inn also enjoy access to the campus Fitness Center and swimming pool. Enjoy complimentary breakfast at the Inn before heading out to explore the Alfred University campus (don’t miss the Ceramic Art Museum) and the village of Alfred.
For a quaint B&B experience, head over to The Inn at 28, located in downtown Cuba. Built in 1852 and showcasing exceptional 19th century architecture, including period details in all the rooms, large fireplaces, and a wraparound porch for your morning coffee, the Inn also provides all the modern amenities that make your stay exceptionally comfortable. Just five rooms ensures that you receive unmatched attention and service with your stay. Traveling with your four-legged companion? Good boys and girls are welcome too! The Inn at 28 redefines “pet-friendly” with a one-of-a-kind country hospitality for you and your furry friends. Find a dog-friendly beer garden at the neighboring Old Grey Hound Pub and Eatery for more fun with Fido.
When you’re ready to grab a bite, just anywhere won’t do. Skip the fast-food chains and dive into the local culinary scene.
Moonwinks Restaurant and Lounge has been a local staple for over 20 years, offering both fine dining and a relaxed lounge atmosphere. Try their mouthwatering Cuba Cheese Poutine, a juicy Lobster Tail, or a filet that cuts like butter. With a menu full of classic favorites and local twists on staple dishes, you can’t go wrong.
Serving up the best beef since 1978, the appropriately-named Beef Haus offers guests custom cocktails and delicious menu fare. Stop by the carving station for a slice of Top Round cooked to perfection or try one of their other menu offerings including pasta, chicken and seafood. Decorated with local antiques and photos, a visit to the Beef Haus is a step back in an Allegany County time capsule.
No tour of the Western NY Wilds is complete without a stop at the Texas Hot of Wellsville, celebrating its 100th anniversary year in 2021. A world-famous Texas Hot, fries with gravy, and thick chocolate milkshake are menu staples that will keep you coming back for more! Enjoy old-fashioned service in a classic diner atmosphere at their location on Main Street in Wellsville.
Discover all the adventurous things you can see and do in the Fresh Air Adventures region. Then bring your travel packet with you to use while you're visiting destinations in the area.