Spring Into Action: Griffis Sculpture Park

May 23rd, 2012 at 7:29 am by under CW23 Star, Uncategorized

If you’re the type of person that can never decided if you want to go to an art museum or go for a hike through the woods, then I have the place for you. This weekend after putting on several layers of SPF 100 and drinking 10 liters of water (exaggeration on both parts) I headed to  one of my favorite places, Griffis Sculpture Park.

For those that are unaware, Griffis Sculpture Park is located between Ashford Hallow and East Otto New York in Cattaraugus County. Griffis was the first sculpture park in the country and features works by over 100 artists. Pretty Impressive right? Right! Now I know some of you are reading this (and I thank you for that) and saying “No way to I want to walk around a big boring art museum.”  With that said I ask you, have you ever went to see art and ended up climbing on it? Probably not, most art exhibits don’t typically like you mucking up their Picassos with your hiking boots.

And that folks is exactly what you get to do at Griffis Sculpture park. This 425 acre park is one hundred percent interactive, you can go right up the the art and in some cases even climb on it. It’s a family friendly place too,  I remember going as a kid myself, although there are a few very large, very nude  female statues that might cause a little blushing from the younger ones. But don’t let that discourage you, they aren’t very detailed and very tasteful.

On a lighter note, you can also expect to see huge bugs made of metal, brightly colored sculptures pulled straight out of the seventies and even a castle.  Its one of those places great for the photo album, or if you’re like me Instagram, so make sure you grab your camera!

I would also recommend coming prepared to hike, its not a tedious hike but you do go up a pretty large hill, so leave the flippy flops at home and opt for sneakers or hiking boots. Also we went when it was pretty hot and wished we brought more water, there is no store in the park to get H2O so come with it.  I’ve seen so many people suffer from dehydration, so staying hydrated is so important. Its also important to keep in mind that sugary drinks and soda will not help you but hurt you.  If you are sun sensitive bring sunscreen and mayhaps a hat, many of the sculptures are in a big open field and nothing ruins a good trip like a bad sunburn.

Admission is done on an honor system and is five dollars for adults, and three for the kiddos. The tours are self guided but there are easy to read maps placed all over. Like always if you want more information check out their website.

www.griffispark.org

Be safe and be active,

-Matt

 

 

 

 

 


Spring in to Action: Letchworth State Park

May 7th, 2012 at 9:37 am by under CW23 Star

Hey!

With the sun finally out, the weather warming up, and spring in the air I figured it was a good time to throw on the old hiking boots and get outside.  So this Saturday I gathered up a few good friends and headed to Letchworth State Park for some fun in the sun.

Let’s start at the beginning with a mini history lesson. The park is named after William Pryor Letchworth who left roughly 1000 acres to the State of New York thus forming the majority of the park.  In doing this,  Letchworth made arrangements to protect the park from any commercial development that he believed would be harmful to the area.

It took us about an hour and twenty minutes to drive to the park.  The drive itself is a scenic drive, taking you through little towns and rustic farmland (tons of cows to see) , so if your in the passenger seat make sure you put your phone down and enjoy the ride.  I will have to say the coolest part of the drive has to be all the windmills. About halfway through the trip you get to a point where dozens of windmill are scattered across the skyline.

The park itself is about seventeen miles long and has something for everyone. There are over a dozen hiking trails ranging from a half mile to seven plus miles, and if you don’t want to hike at all you can drive right up and park at all the major sights.  The center of the park is comprised of three waterfalls; upper, middle and lower. Each falls is absolutely stunning, you really get the feeling that you far away from home.

Along with the many waterfalls, there are playgrounds, gifts shops, and a museum. The park permits hiking, biking, fishing and hot-air balloon rides when the weather is nice. So if you’re looking for a family friendly adventure, or a get away with friends Letchworth comes highly recommended.

 

I will have to say, while you’re at the park its always good to think safety first.  Remember to stay on the posted trails, bring a buddy, wear sun protection and bring lots of water.  Let’s all make it our goal this spring/summer to stay active and soak in as much sun as possible!

For more information and details check out Letchworth’s website:

www.letchworthpark.com

Good luck and be safe,

Matt

 


World’s Tallest and Stinkiest Flower

May 3rd, 2012 at 7:15 am by under CW23 Star

Hey Guys!

When I first heard the name Titan Arum I assumed what I was hearing was the name of a new sci-fi movie coming out this summer. I was wrong but not completely off, it does have to do with science and  it does seems straight out of a alien movie.

Titan Arum, or as its called in text book speak “Amorphophallus titanum”, is the tallest flower in the world. Now before you call up your local florist and demand to have one sent to your significant other, there’s something you need to know.  When the Titan Arum blooms, which it only does once a year, it smells like rotten meat.

The Tiatan Arum is unique to Western Sumatra where it grows on the rainforest floor. Not only is it smelly but its also incredibly rare, up until 1989 there were only about 21 flowerings in botanical gardens around the world.

This Wednesday I had the opportunity to visit the Niagara Floral Showroom (located in Niagara Falls, Ontario) and see the  Titan Arum for my self.  Sadly it hadn’t bloomed yet but it was still a pretty impressive plant, standing about 6 feet tall. Plus since it hadn’t bloomed I didn’t have to deal with the whole smelling like a dead animal part.

The really neat thing about visiting the Niagara Floral Showroom was I got to meet people from all over the world. You heard me right, people from all over have traveled to see this flower. While I was there I even met a couple from Holland who said that this was one of the most amazing sights they have ever seen.  The Titan Arum is guessed to bloom within the next three days, but there are many other great sights to see while you are there.

For those of you out there that are brave enough to expose themselves to the horrid smell, more information is provided on their website.

www.niagaraparks.com/garden-trail/floral-showhouse.html

Good Luck!

-Matt