Western New York Winter is upon us in The Enchanted Mountains! Here is Cattaraugus County, one day we could be shoveling out two feet of snow and the next dodging raindrops! Never fret, whether you choose to explore the Winter Wonderlands of our natural areas or prefer to celebrate the season by visiting our splendid indoor museums, galleries and theater performances, you are sure to celebrate all of Winter, not just the holidays!
When the snow comes down all fluffy and fast, you can bet your snowy bottom that some of the best adventures are atop a snowmobile. Cascade over the freshly fallen snow laying peacefully on the fields or slow down in our forested areas to look up and glance at the snow lined trees. We have over 450 miles of trails, including those in Allegany State Park. With all those miles and trails that connect into the next county, you will need at least a couple days to pack in all the fun! We have numerous snowmobile-friendly lodging options with easy trail access including cabins in Allegany State Park, Harwood Haven, Mystic Water Resort and The Woods at Bear Creek … plus plenty of B&B's, house rentals and more! Call 1-800-331-0543 for your Free Trail Map and Brochure which lists these places and more, including restaurants, snowmobile rentals, snowmobile service stops and gas stations along the trail.
Here is just one example of the day of fun that awaits you this winter! Stay at The Inn at One Bank Street in Randolph, which has restaurants and gas within a half a block from your guest room. Walk over to Vern's Place in the morning for an affordable, delicious meal to give you the energy to be out in the cold all day. Head back to the room, gear up and take your sled over to Arrowmart to gas up before you go, again just a half block away! Now you're ready for an adventure - but don't forget your trail map! It is very important to respect the landowners that allow the trails to go over their property. And remember, just because you see a trail doesn't mean it is for your use. It is your responsibility to know the trails and stick to them! Head up to Little Valley, then over the back hills of Ellicottville through the McCarty Hill Forest, then over to the quaint town of Franklinville. Check out The Woods at Bear Creek for dinner and and a warm-up. The Woods at Bear Creek offers a view of the pristine snow over their lake that can be seen from the restaurant. Once you’ve thawed out, head south through Ischua and down towards Portville. If you didn't grab a bite to eat at The Woods at Bear Creek, then give Sprague's Maple Farms a try. Almost everything on the menu has maple syrup in it! Refuel at Kwik Fill or the Halfway Inn Bar & Grill, then make your way back to Randolph through Allegany State Park to start scoping out a location for next year's snowmobile vacation.
For those who harbor a little less enthusiasm for winter, ease into it with ice skating at the William O. Smith Rec Center in Olean. This is the perfect compromise. You get to enjoy a great winter sport, but can step off the ice to warm up at any time. Plus, what makes a better date night than ice skating? (Hint hint.) Afterwards, take that special someone out to a lovely dinner at any of the new restaurants in Olean. Try Woodside Tavern on the Range on River Road for a beautiful setting, or the hip new Ravyn & Robyn Lounge, featuring fine Italian cuisine made from scratch. There's always the tried and true favorites as well - The Beef N Barrel, Brothers Bistro, El Mariachi and Angee’s. Recount the funny happenings of ice skating while you dine together and enjoy the slower pace of winter.
How about those who absolutely can’t stand the thought of cold? Make your way from warm indoor space to the next warm indoor space via our many outstanding museums, galleries and theatrical performances. We have 26 museums in the county which can be viewed in the Heritage Brochure (free if requested as well). Discover a variety of interests including Town and Village histories, history of the county, Seneca Nation culture, themes relating to African American history and the Underground Railroad … and one even has a Mammoth! The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of St. Bonaventure University and offers stunning and important works of art from their collection and others. There are also live performances here from renowned musicians thanks to the group, "Friends of Good Music".
The Theatre is alive and well and as the saying goes, "The Show Must Go On". And that means in the winter too! Spend a delightful evening inside dreaming of other lives lived and hearing the great stories and musicals put on by our fantastic local talent. Olean Community Theatre will be celebrating their 38th season in 2017 with "The Big Meal”, “Assassins", and "9 to 5". The Olean Theatre Workshop has provided family theater for over 34 years; their upcoming performances of The Odd Couple will debut in February. The Ray Evans Seneca Theatre in Salamanca is host to the Cattaraugus County Living Arts Association's performances. "Hair" will be gracing the stage in February and is sure to be the talk of the town for the months surrounding. This one is not to be missed!
So whatever you're idea of winter is - a time to enjoy crisp cool air and fluffy snow or a time to slow down, relax and find special moments indoors - then The Enchanted Mountains of Western NY are where you need to be! Visit us online at EnchantedMountains.com, call us at 1-800-331-0543 or follow us on Facebook!