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Rock City Park

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Rock City Park, located in the Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County, south of Olean, New York on Route 16, is sometimes called one of the Eighth Wonders of the World. This prehistoric ocean floor is the World's largest exposure of quartz conglomerate (also called ocean spar or puddingstone) and attracts thousands of visitors yearly.

Visitors are astounded by gigantic boulders several stories high with huge crevices sometimes referred to as "streets." Rock City Park is believed to have been a fortress for the Seneca Indians at one time. "Three Sisters", "Balancing Rock (a 1000 ton boulder), and "Indian Face" rock are just some of the natural rock formations found along Rock City's scenic trails. From "Signal Rock," once used as a signaling point by Indians, visitors enjoy the 1,000 square mile panoramic view of the Enchanted Mountains.

Rock City Park features a three quarter mile natural trail consisting of various steps and paths necessitating comfortable clothing and good walking shoes. During spring and summer you will see a variety of wildflowers, ferns, moss, Mountain Laurel (which blooms late in June) and of course enjoy the quiet serenity of the forest nestled among this geological wonder. Leaf peepers enjoy Rock City Park's spectacular fall foliage.

A brand new 4,200 square foot building features an expanded museum, souvenir and rock shop, virtual video room, and florescent rock room. Guests can also utilize Rock City Park's picnic area and grills. Modern public restrooms are also available and parking is free. Visitors are furnished with a self-guided map and should allow one hour to complete the trail.

~ It's all Ancient History ~

Rock City Park is a prehistoric ocean floor called ocean spar. Quartz flowed from high mountains through swift rivers to this area and settled in the sand and mud. After millions of years it formed into a natural concrete, which is quartz conglomerate, also called puddingstone. The quartz is estimated to be a half billion years old and the rock three hundred twenty million years old. It extends from here, seventy feet deep, to West Virginia and into Ohio where it is about fourteen hundred feet deep.

During the uplift of the Appalachian Mountain Range and after erosion down to the level of two thousand three hundred fifty feet, this rock was left barren. What makes Rock City Park unique and one of the great scenic wonders of the world is that the glacier did not touch this area making it the largest formation of its type in the world. The uplift, frost, weathering and erosion has broken this giant rock floor into huge monolithic formations three and four stories high.

~ Rock City Park at the Turn of the 20th Century ~

Rock City Park has been an attraction open to the public since 1890. First operated by the traction line, a local rail system, Rock City Park welcomed thousands of visitors by trolley. Rock City Park was also famous for its beautiful Bon Air Hotel and dance pavilion where famous bands such as the John Phillip Sousa played. In addition, guests enjoyed its amusement park consisting of merry go round, box ball alleys, photo houses, rifle range and many other forms of entertainment. All that remains of this era are pictures in the museum. However, the natural rock formations and natural beauty of this area still astound and amaze visitors from around the world.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Mon9:00 AM6:00 PM
Tue9:00 AM6:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM6:00 PM
Thr9:00 AM6:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM6:00 PM
Sat9:00 AM6:00 PM
Sun9:00 AM6:00 PM
Notes: Above Hours For May-October, . Last hiking trail tickets are sold at 5:00PM. Rock City Park is closed during inclement weather.


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