Allegany State Park GeoBash (ASPGB)
Allegany State Park Geobash (ASPGB or ASP Geobash) is a geocaching “Mega Event” held every May at Allegany State Park in Southern New York and is attended by approximately 1,000 geocachers (give or take a few hundred) each year.
Allegany State Park is a state park in western New York State, located in Cattaraugus County just north of Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. The park is divided into two sections: The Red House Area and the Quaker Run Area. It lies within the Allegheny Highlands forests ecoregion.
The Red House Area is the northern half of Allegany State Park. The Red House area’s attractions include Stone Tower, the Summit Fire Tower, Red House Lake, Bridal Falls, and the Art Roscoe Ski Area. This section also contains 5 miles (8.0 km) of paved bike trails and 130 camp sites. The Red House area is the location of the Administration Building for the park.
The Quaker area is the southern section of the park. Its attractions include Quaker Lake, the Mount Tuscarora Fire Tower, hiking trails, Science lake, Bear Caves, Thunder Rocks, the Quaker Amphitheater, and of course several campsites. The Cain Hollow campground is located on the Quaker side of the park.
Allegany State Park was named as a top “Amazing Spot” in the nation in 2007. It is also known as “the wilderness playground of Western New York.”
The 65,000 acres (260 km2), Allegany State Park began on May 2, 1921, when an Act of the New York State Legislature approved the purchase of a 7,000 acres (28 km2) tract of land in the Quaker Run Valley. The land was purchased for $50,000.00 (half of the money was raised locally as per the legislature agreement) on June 18, 1921. It was purchased through the Holland Land Company in the Quaker Run Valley. The park was formally dedicated on July 30, 1921.
Senator Albert T. Fancher was appointed by New York Governor Nathan Lewis Miller to head a 5 member team to develop a vast park that continues to grow to this day. Fancher is known as the “Father of Allegany State Park,” and the seven Fancher Cottages in Allegany State Park are named after him.
A converted schoolhouse (near the present day Quaker Inn) served as the park’s first administration building, and World War I Army Surplus Tents, on 16’x16′ wooden platforms were primarily used during the time between the park’s creation until the completion of the first permanent cabins in 1925.
The first State Park Bond Issue was passed in 1924, and provided funds for the development of the Redhouse Area, including the construction of the Redhouse Administration Building and the building of the Redhouse Dam, which created Redhouse Lake.
Science Lake – In 1926, Science Lake was built and offered the first official swimming area in the park. Adjoining the lake was the Allegany School Of Natural History, a group of 42 cabins, and a main building housing a library, several science laboratories, and an assembly room. The park was developed extensively between 1933 and 1942 when the Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC) took on the project of building roads, bridges, camping areas, trails, and picnic areas. The CCC were also responsible for numerous conservation projects from reforestation to stream bank retention and wildlife improvements.
Through the years, the park was developed further with the addition of Quaker Lake, winterized cabins and full service cottages, hiking and snowmobile trails, picnic and recreation areas, bike and horse paths, and better roads enabling people to access the park.
Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world.
A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook (with a pen or pencil). The geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, such as toys or trinkets, usually of more sentimental worth than financial. Geocaching shares many aspects with benchmarking, trigpointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, letterboxing, and waymarking.
A Mega Event is a regularly held (usually annually, as is the case with ASP Geobash) social gathering of geocachers. To quality as a Mega Event, an event must have at least 500 participants each time that it is held.