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Longweekends Magazine
Spring/Summer 2011

 

Explore a City of Rocks in New York’s Southerntier

            Like Rocks? Then head to RockCityPark in Olean, New York, located about 90 minutes south of Buffalo. Visitors to this unique 23-acre site can explore gigantic rock formations as they hike through a city of rocks.

            RockCity is the world’s largest exposure of quartz conglomerate, better known as “pudding stone.” This rock, which was formed 320 million years ago on the bottom of an ancient ocean, is of special interest to geologists, as it is ocean bottom rock, not glacial effect rock.

            Begin in the park’s museum, which has photos of the site when it first opened in the early 1900’s. Back then, the park, which was owned by the Booker family, featured an elegant hotel, dancing pavilion, and amusement park.

            Today the park, which is currently run by Cindy and Dale Smith, is a more natural attraction. From Vista View at the beginning of the hiking trail, a popular spot for weddings, you can see over 30 miles on a clear day. Continue down a staircase and push your way through the crevice known as Fat Man’s Squeeze

            Other formations include Dining Hall Pass and Tee Pee Rock, which was once used as part of a fortress by the Seneca Indians. One of the most unique formations is Balancing Rock, which features a mammoth 1,000 ton boulder balancing precariously on another.

            RockCity is nature at its best. In spring you’ll find Mountain Laurel blooming, in summer you’ll see wildflowers and salamanders, and the fall foliage---spectacular.

 

Contact info.

Rock City Park, 505 Rt. 16 South, Olean, NY. 716-372-7790, 1-800-404-ROCK, www.rockcitypark.com May-October 9am-6pm daily.