Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 06, 2015

Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

State Parks to Begin $1.5 Million Rehabilitation of Allegany's Red House Lake Dam

Public's patience urged as project begins with tree removal

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) announced that a project to rehabilitate the Red House Lake dam and improve recreational access to Red House Lake in Allegany State Park will begin October 15. The multi-year project is necessary to bring this 1930s structure in Cattaraugus County up to modern safety standards.

"The Red House Lake Dam and its spillway bridge are not only iconic features of Allegany State Park, but they are perhaps the most utilized structures in the park – playing host to thousands of travelers each month," Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "The safety and integrity of the structure is paramount, and we ask for the public's patience as we begin this long-term effort."

The $1.5 million first phase of the project requires completion of an engineering assessment of the dam. To finalize the construction design work and facilitate needed safety improvements, contractors must remove the trees and brush growing on the dam's slopes. In addition to making the earthen dam less prone to erosion, the project will include rehabilitation of the spillway, bridge, and lower retention pool.

Improvements to visitor safety and access to the lake and lower stream are planned for later phases of the project, including a widened roadway over the dam to create a separate pedestrian and bicycle lane, and enhanced recreation space for fishing and picnicking at the bottom of the spillway.

The project underscores Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's commitment to modernizing State Parks and reversing decades of neglect. The Governor's NY Parks 2020 is a multi-year commitment to leverage a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2015-16 State Budget includes $110 million toward this initiative.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 62 million people annually. For more information on any of these areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.