Allegany State Park

Red EftI love Allegany State Park.  It is an amazing place.  I go there for day hikes in all seasons of the year, for special events, and camping.  I wish I could live there.

It would be ludicrous for me to try to give you any sort of history of the park or information about the park; it is so well documented online.  Just Google it!  But let me just say:  you gotta go there.  It’s fabulous.

Allegany:  What does it mean?
I found the following “Word History” at this website:

The Iroquois who inhabited western Pennsylvania considered the Allegheny to be the upper part of the Ohio River. Iroquois Ohio means “beautiful river” (oh= “river”  io= “good, fine, beautiful”). When the Delaware, an Algonquian people, moved to western Pennsylvania in the 18th century and displaced the Iroquois, they translated Iroquoian Ohio into Delaware, yielding welhik-heny, “most beautiful stream” (welhik= “most beautiful” heny= “stream”). The name Welhik-heny was then anglicized as Allegheny. 

How do you spell it?
I always try to spell things correctly, though I don’t always succeed.  This is complicated.  I even had to put a little sticky note on my desk to remind me which way to spell it, depending on context.

In New York, you have Allegany County which does NOT contain any part of the Allegheny River, though the southwest corner of the county is in the Allegheny River Watershed.  Allegany State Park does contain a bit of the Allegheny River and comprises some of the north end of the watershed.  The park is located in Cattaraugus County, not Allegany County, just to confuse you.  The Allegheny River which is mostly in Pennsylvania, but does flow up into New York just briefly, uses the PA spelling, usually.  Sometimes people have been known to spell the name of the river Allegany for the portion that is in New York.  It’s actually spelled both ways on the Allegany County website.  Go figure…  Again, the river flows through Cattaraugus County, NY and the Allegany State Park, but not through Allegany County, NY.

In Pennsylvania, you have the Allegheny Islands State Park, the Allegheny National Forest, and the Allegheny River.  Pennsylvania has an Allegheny County, too, right where the Allegheny River flows into the Ohio River.

And, just to complicate thing further, Virginia and North Carolina each have an Alleghany County.

Allegheny River MapSo, in short, for your sticky note:

NY = Allegany (except the river, which is like the PA spelling, usually, but not always)
MD = Allegany
PA = Allegheny
VA = Alleghany
NC = Alleghany

Are you less confused now?