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Winter Wild Roamers: Adventures in Allegany State Park

Winter Wild Roamers: Adventures in Allegany State Park

Winter Wild Roamers: Adventures in Allegany State Park

Open on a fresh blanket of snow tossed atop the earth: Untouched. Pristine. Ephemeral.

Enjoy it while it lasts, Mother Nature, because I know a few creatures eager to tattoo their marks across your blank canvas the second they pull on their snowsuits. 

 Mid-winter dawn at Allegany State Park

Enter the Militello Fun Squad (my husband, three kids and me) as we embark on our annual winter camping weekend with friends at Allegany State Park.  This fan favorite breaks up the cold, gray ennui that creeps in post-holidays.  Plus, it’s been a minute since we’ve spent quality time with friends and we have an appetite for normal-ish social interaction.

The Fun Squad enjoying (minus our youngest) Zoar Valley 

We kicked off our weekend in the woods with a deposit of mammoth-sized snowflakes that begged to be played in.  So, we stopped en route to ASP at Zoar Valley’s Holcomb Pond to break trail.

 Checking in at Holcomb Pond’s trail registry

The kids excitedly pointed out various animal tracks in the fresh accumulation.  Then, my five-year-old declared that we humans couldn’t be tracked in the winter. 

Happy campers in Zoar Valley

“How so?” I asked, half-chuckling because their volume alone makes them easily traceable targets.  

Holcomb Pond via snowshoe, ski, & sled tracks

“Cuz look at my tracks, Mom.” 

Tiny trailblazer snowshoeing around Holcomb Pond 

I observed his tiny snowshoe imprints.  “Daddy’s tracks look way different,” he added as my husband skied ahead.  “And G isn’t even making her own tracks,” he tossed in smugly while side-eying our free-loading four-year-old who opted for a sled ride.

“Moooooom!” her highness whined.  But he was onto something…

In our element: on skis, swinging in snowshoes, snacking on snow

Check us humans out; we really are a species of many tracks.  I relished this insight all weekend.  Though diverse in age, ability and interests, here we were laying our own unique tracks in an area brimming with options.  

Caravan of sledders out on the open ski hill

Pan to ye ole sled hill.  Watching everyone throw themselves recklessly down this hill (on tubes, four to a sled, holding hands on saucers, even riding an inflatable unicorn) set the tone for our bluebird day.  The kids never once complained of the steep trek back up, as they were hellbent on growing their tracks every run.

Lisa, the inflatable unicorn, taking her fifth run down the sledding hill

Back near the cabin, a couple of moms hiked the bike path to the Covered Bridge for sunshine and solitude.

Coniferous views from the bike path adjacent to Butterfly Meadows

Cut to the Art Roscoe cross country ski trails where I took off with some pals sans children for an afternoon of solid cardio with a side of breathtaking mountain vistas. Oh, and did I mention the warming hut? If you are of the Nordic skiing persuasion, this place is a must.

Art Roscoe’s immaculately groomed Nordic ski trails 

Exhausted in all the best ways, we ended our days fireside, swapping tales of our adventures over roasted marshmallows and hot toddies.

Fireside hangs with the kids

The take-away: different strokes for different folks, and different trails for different pals. I cannot encourage you enough to swap out your sad, salt-crusted boots for snowshoes, skis, sleds or any other winter activity beginning with “s.”  You may find that a little bit of Vitamin D and frosty fresh air not only fits your winter aesthetic, but helps you survive this seemingly decade-long season. 

Snowy moonlit tracks 

End scene.  Happy trails, folks!

By: Abby Militello

We are Rusterior –A WNY; Women & LGBTQ Owned; Sustainable; Hand Printed Goods; Ethically Made; Eco-friendly adventure company 

Abby is a part of the Rusterior Wild Roamer Blog. In 2022 you can look forward to meeting a diverse group of Wild Roamers who can’t wait to share their local adventures with you.  We want to offer you wild and roaming ideas and suggestions with varying levels of activity, ability, and family involvement.



Love this ! I’m tuning in ! And Sharing

Love following your adventures! Can’t wait to read more.

Loved your imagery + fun flair!

Vitamin D, long views, staying present— good stuff on a winter day. You’re building wisdom in those kiddos! Thanks for sharing!

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