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Old 01-09-2021, 09:15 PM   #21
hikingandwildex
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Had a really enjoyable day in Allegany State Park and Allegheny National Forest today. The conditions were amazing for this time of year, with the sun shining bright, temps ranging from 15-30F, and minimal wind.

I engaged in a wide array of activities: hiking up a mountain, walking on a frozen lake, exploring abandoned structures, climbing up large boulders, doing some wildlife observation, and of course taking lots of photos.

These were some of my favorite scenes from the New York side:

















If anyone here heading to Allegany State Park this winter, beware that many roads are closed for the season, with the most notable being ASP Route 1 that connects the Red House and Quaker sections with parking areas for Bridal Falls, Tornado Site Area, and other popular trails. I had to alter my plans upon coming across "Road Closure" signs on both ends of the route. ASP Routes 2 & 3 (the other main routes in the park) remain open.
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Old 09-06-2021, 06:25 PM   #22
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First ASP trip report in what seems like forever...

Did some rainy-weather hiking in Allegany State Park & Allegheny National Forest yesterday. Hiked a little under 15 miles on the North County Trail and ASP Trail #1 and didn't see a soul the entire time. The NCT parking lot off Route 346 (PA side) was full of cars with NY plates. Everyone must have crossed the street to the more popular Willow Bay recreation area for hiking and camping, as it was completely deserted north of there.

Designated campsites in ANF -- between the state line and Kinzua Beach area -- were packed the other night. Lots of Ohio plates in the Tracy Ridge lot, in addition to NY and PA plates. The heavy rains that came down like crazy the other night were no deterrent whatsoever! Even the rural highways in Cattaraugus County, NY were busier than I've ever seen them yesterday afternoon (it was also raining then). Not even summer weekends and peak fall foliage weekends were as bad as yesterday was. Just an unexpectedly horrible driving experience on I-86, 219, 242, and other roadways with bumper-to-bumper traffic a good part of the way. It reminded me of the New York State Thruway minus the tolls. Next year, I might just stay home and play video games on holiday weekends.

On the trail, yesterday's morning rains didn't bother me nearly as much as the deplorable trail conditions did. In a few places, I elected to skirt the NCT and bushwhack several feet off to the side to avoid swampy areas, high grassy areas, and blowdown areas. Nothing I'm not used to, but still annoying when I was trying to maintain a steadily brisk pace as part of my training regimen for upcoming trips out east. This same stretch of the NCT was dry as a bone the last time I hiked it, on the vernal equinox when you'd expect it to be a complete slopfest from the melting snow.

I purposely chose a trail with minimal views for my rainy day hike. The most memorable sights were all the wild mushrooms and fungi that I spotted along the way, the orange newts of various sizes that came onto the trail after the rain had finally stopped (some were as small as a paperclip), and the foggy wooded scenes that looked like something out of a fantasy film or RPG video game.



























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Old 09-06-2021, 07:04 PM   #23
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I thought this was interesting...

Someone on a regional Facebook hiking group just posted a photo of the fire tower from the exact same location as my photo -- coincidentally.

What a difference from yesterday!

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid...58051221014812
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:51 PM   #24
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Nice trip report...That 2nd pic is the mother load of chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms!!
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:08 PM   #25
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Nice trip report...That 2nd pic is the mother load of chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms!!
Glad you enjoyed it. I always like re-visiting places like these in different seasons because it feels like I'm exploring a whole new world with only the trail markers and signs providing hints of familiarity.

This was the same trail from this past winter...



No dazzling mushrooms or fungi to be seen then, but the relatively lifeless woods and frosty winter air have their own charm.
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Old 09-08-2021, 11:02 AM   #26
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I don't know what it is, but I really dislike the signage they use. For some reason I love the signage that is used in the Adirondacks, and everything else seems sub-par to me, aesthetically. But from what I've seen, this type of signage is far more common in National forest and public lands in the east.

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Old 09-08-2021, 12:06 PM   #27
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I don't know what it is, but I really dislike the signage they use. For some reason I love the signage that is used in the Adirondacks, and everything else seems sub-par to me, aesthetically. But from what I've seen, this type of signage is far more common in National forest and public lands in the east.
The signs in ASP/ANF certainly aren't as flashy as some of the other ones in the area. I don't mind the "rustic" signs as much. They suit these mostly un-glamorous trails well enough.

There's a wide variety of trail markers in ASP, ranging from simple blazes to more elaborate designs like this one. I'm partial to old-school metal trail markers like these ones on the eastern side of the park. For one, they're a lot less flimsy. I've seen the plastic ones on the ground before.
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Old 09-08-2021, 12:52 PM   #28
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Not so much the markers, just the signs.

These are the type I like:






Something ingrained from my childhood, perhaps, but any other trail signage doesn't look right to me, and I always notice it and it always kind of bothers me a little bit, as strange as that is. Just a weird self-observation.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:06 PM   #29
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That makes sense. Probably the reason those ADK-style signs don't have as much sentimental meaning to me is because I only started hiking in the ADKs five years ago. Before 2016, I just went there two or three times as a kid to visit touristy sights in Lake Placid, Lake George, and Old Forge. Yes, I would say that I was deprived of a normal Upstate NY childhood!

I don't remember seeing those mileage signs anywhere outside of the Adirondacks and Catskills. I feel like I may be forgetting some though. Tinker Falls and Jones Hill in CNY was the first place that came to mind, but the style of their mileage sign is a bit different.

A lot of MUAs and DEC fishing areas, plus a few state forests, have entrance signs in that general style. Entrance and warning signs at Zoar Valley:





I'm guessing the new signage that the DEC is planning to erect there will be consistent with this theme.

Some places like Sugar Hill State Forest are mixed bags...



Those signs below the main DEC sign are among the ugliest I've seen, not to mention susceptible to manipulation by mischiefs

Allegany State Park is managed by a different state entity, so I'm not surprised their signs are different. Other state parks like Letchworth and the ones along the Niagara Gorge have more modern signs like these...



I like those signs and am sure all the tourists who visit those parks do as well.

One of my nearby "training grounds" replaced their old trail markers with the same kind of discs that are found in the Adirondacks. From a motivational standpoint, having reminders of ADK hiking gets me training harder and longer up and down those inclines!

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Old 09-08-2021, 05:08 PM   #30
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Yeah, they are DEC signage. It's common here at trailheads but less commonly do we have the smaller trail distance signage like in the ADKs.

I've tried to remove my product placement brainwashing as much as I can, but I've let those signs persist in my psyche.

It's really weird but the brown and yellow are the only colors that I feel blend in with the surroundings. I'm not sure how the state settled on that design scheme, but I approve.
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