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Enchanted Mountains of New York


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    Amish barn wth vegatables and flowers growing around it

    Published  9-1-2018

    Cattaraugus County New York is known as the Enchanted Mountains for good reason. It may be a lesser known destination but there is so much to see and do among those picturesque mountains you will be enchanted.

    Amish quilts and aprons for sale in Cattarargus County ny

    The county is the proverbial melting pot but there are two unique cultures that can best be experienced in this region. You can follow the Amish Trail, on a self-drive or personalized guided tour, and immerse yourself in a simpler way of life as you meander along county roads. The trail features more than 125 family operated venues, identified by latitude and longitude instead of address, and designated with a special sign. Visitors can purchase an amazing array of handcrafted items including quilts, toys, candy, baked goods and furnishings, dine on farm fresh meals or simply take in the passing bucolic scenery. Complete information, including maps, guides and business listings, are available at the sites and online. www.AmishTrail.com/tour

     Amish farmer picking in his field

    New York has also established two Amish Geo Trails (NYAGT). Each trail has 12 caches as well as a trackable Geo Coin. A magnetic geo-button is earned for locating individual caches and the lucky explorers who find 10 of the caches will be gifted a NY Amish Geo Trail Coin. www.AmishTrail.com/Geotrail

     native Seneca dancers

    The earliest culture fostered within these mountains remains as serene and steadfast as the hills themselves.  The sovereign Seneca Nation has lived here for centuries and probably encountered the first Europeans in the 1500s. They call themselves the Onöndowa’ga:’, consist of eight clans, Turtle, Bear, Wolf, Beaver, Snipe, Heron, Deer and Hawk, and were the largest of the nations in the confederacy. They are the “Keepers of the Western Door”, because they were the westernmost of the nations and controlled the land any foreigner had to cross to gain access to the confederacy entering from this direction.

     display about the Seneca people in Senica Cultural Center

    The Great Confederacy was formed in the late 1500s and is credited with being the oldest participatory democracy in the United States. The Sacred Tree of Peace, the Iroquois Constitution, was created to establish peace and promote justice, morality and the rule of civil authority. Decisions made under The Great Law of Peace required a council mandate based on one vote per tribe and absolute agreement. Concepts in the Iroquois Constitution were used as a model for the US Constitution.

     Seneca cultural center

    Just as the Seneca functioned as gatekeepers for the Confederacy they have maintained that role and now serve as guardians of their culture. In September of this year the Deyonöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center campus opened as a 33,000-sq. ft., state-of-the-art museum, cultural center, educational facility, Seneca-Iroquois Living Cultural Village and performance space. Visitors will be able to eat traditional cuisine and purchase native crafts as well as view the more than 85,000 artifacts on display. Tours of the 10 exhibit galleries begin with the traditional welcoming ceremony and cleansing of one’s aura.


    seneca allagany casino and resort

    A guiding principle in the Seneca belief system is that we are all spiritual beings living an earthly existence. Our spirits are renewed in the Seneca-Iroquois Museum and our earthly desires can be fulfilled in the nearby Seneca Alleghany Casino and Resort, whether you are a high roller or a lover of leisure and luxury. Architecturally the resort focuses on the symbols and beliefs of the Seneca culture through use of natural materials, iconic images and indigenous art.

     suite at Seneca Allagahny casino and resort

    The full-service resort is the winner of numerous honors including Best Hotel Rooms,  Best Spa and the AAA Four Diamond designation annually for nine years. Visitors can choose from 413 luxury accommodations with panoramic views of the cultural center and surrounding area, world-class dining venues, live entertainment and a plethora of award-winning gaming options. The spa and salon offer a complete menu of services and feature themed and specialized treatments.


     Salamanca Antique Mall

    Shoppers will be enchanted by the Salamanca Antique Mall. The mall traces its history to 1982, when Bill Guche and Peter Kolokouris began at a plaza in Farmington, NY. As that mall's popularity grew, Peter opened another antique plaza at a mall he owned in Salamanca, NY. The mall grew until today it has over 1000 dealers and is managed by Peter's son, Demitri.

    It's treasure trove. The mall has many of the traditional booths filled with larger items but what is unique are the locked glass cases filled with jewelry and smaller valuable objects. So many that you can easily get lost. Eleni Bechakas, the mall manager, offered me a pencil and pad to write the location of my finds. When you find something you want, you write the clearly marked location number. When you finish, just go to the deck and the cashier calls a friendly worker who unlocks the case and takes out your treasure.


    lake wth swimmers and beach atAllegany State Park

    Nature lovers will fall in love with the Allegany State Park. It's the largest in New Your and third largest in the nation. Allegany State park is an all-season park. In summer you can enjoy hiking and multi use trails. There is a large lake for water sports including kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. In winter it transforms into a ski and snow fun resort.

    Covered bridge at Allegany State Park

    The park is divided into two sections, The Red House Area and the Quaker Run Area. Both have cabins and camping sites. Altogether there are 424 campsites, 375 cabins. There's even a covered bridge, a Stone Tower, a small museum and much more. There's a Tutor style administration building built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) as are most of the cabins. You can dine at the cute restaurant in the park on those days you don't want to venture far.


    There's seasonal fun at Pumpkinville (Go here for a deeper look at Pumpkinville) 

    Even paranormal fans will fall under the spell at the haunted Wildwood Sanitarium. (Go here for a deeper look at Wildwood Sanitarium.)

    Terry Buchwald preforming an Elvis impersonation at Rock and Roll Weekend at Ellicottville

    Ellicottville Rock and Roll Weekend will take you back to the fabulous fifties with antique cars and classic rock and Roll. Even Elvis makes an appearance in the person of Terry Buchwald. Terry Buchwald was inducted into the Buffalo Music Awards Hall of Achievement , awarded Night-Life Life Time Achievement Award from the Buffalo Night-Life Music and Club Awards and others. He is one of the nations top Elvis impersonators however he considers his show "a tribute" rather than an impersonation.

    Antique car at Rock and Roll Weekend at Ellicottville

    The other part of the weekend is the hot cars. I saw ones ranging from early model Fords to the 60s. Judging by the many Mustangs I saw, that seem to be one of the most popular.

    Dog adoption event at Rock and Roll Weekend at Ellicottville

    There are many shops, eateries, a winery and the town museum open to add to the fun. It's dog friendly so you can bring your four legged babies.




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