Ontarians looking for a break from urban life might cast an eye upon the forested rolling hills of Cattaraugus County. Just 250 kilometres from Toronto and 130 km from Niagara Falls, it's an easy jaunt to Western New York's scenic uplands. Here's how to spend a snug weekend in the "Enchanted Mountains."  


Chase thrills then chill out

Cattaraugus County TourismCattaraugus County Tourism

What’s got 140+ platforms, 40-odd zip lines, 13 courses and obstacles galore? Suspended log bridges, lots of ladders, plenty of nets and a Tarzan swing?

Answer: the Aerial Adventure Park inside Cattaraugus County’s Holiday Valley Resort. The harder the course, the higher in the trees you’ll go; the higher you are, the better the view – and more extreme the thrills. It’s the very definition of adventure, with giddiness practically guaranteed.

Cattaraugus County TourismCattaraugus County Tourism

But there’s more to experiencing the largest such park in New York State than making like a monkey and frolicking in the foliage. When you tire of treetops, you can pan for gems or fossils, or buckle into a bobsled-esque car and zoom down the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster. You can book a facial or a massage (hey, climbing is hard work!). The resort draws visitors year-round, but the summer is a particularly special time to visit Holiday Valley and the region at large.

Chase peak adventures

hikingTom LeBlanc

Cattaraugus County – home to The Enchanted Mountains of Western NY – offers golfing, fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle-boarding, swimming, and pretty much every other outdoorsy sport under the sun, as well as culture, craft brews, and community.  

Get cultured

Cattaraugus County TourismCattaraugus County Tourism

Right now, the Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center is featuring an exhibition focused on stereotypes of Indigenous peoples used in advertising from around the world. The museum, which celebrates its first anniversary in August 2019, showcases the history and heritage of the Iroquois, particularly the Seneca, many of whom continue to make their home in the area. Currently on display is a peace pipe-tomahawk gifted to Seneca chief Cornplanter by President George Washington upon the signing of a key treaty in 1792; the valuable item was stolen in the 1940s and was only recently returned to the Seneca Nation. Depending on the day, you might be able to learn some phrases in the Seneca language, take a dance class or attend a thought-provoking lecture.

Art in the park

Griffis Sculpture ParkJoe Cascio

There’s plenty of art on view at Griffis Sculpture Park, much of it climbable. More than 250 large-scale works sprawl across 450 acres. The sculptures, including enormous insects and recumbent nudes, rise up from grasses, emerge from forests and pop up around ponds.

From May through October, you can ponder the man-made and the nature-made from well-maintained trails, or make your way from piece to piece through fields. No security guards telling you to stand back; no roped-off areas. Just you and art and open sky. 

Wine & dine in Ellicottville

Ellicottville ChamberEllicottville Brewing Co.Nearby Ellicottville takes seriously its “Aspen of the East” nickname, boasting some of the best skiing around. But, during the so-called green season, the town transforms into a veritable paradise of balmy fun. The Ellicottville Brewing Co. opens its German-style beer garden, while the Winery of Ellicottville offers tastings of 20+ wines (each made from local berries and grapes) every day of the week.

Ellicottville ChamberEllicottville Chamber

The Ellicottville historic district includes several well-preserved homes dating to the 19th-century and has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. Expect lots of friendly, neighbourly hellos as you stroll flower-lined streets. 

Enchanted Mountains

Cattaraugus County, the Enchanted Mountains, is “Naturally Yours to Enjoy” 
Need a hand planning your getaway?

Cattaraugus County Tourism help will help! 
Visit or call 1-800-331-0543