Three Sisters Trail is a moderate 2.5 mile loop hike. The trail begins just west of the park's rental office and enters a mixed conifer forest. It crosses a footbridge at .4 miles then travels to an open field encircled by woods. Manarda, also known as Oswego Tea, may be visible along the drainage areas during summer months. It can be identified by its dense head-like cluster of brilliant red tubular flowers. Misty reddish bracts lie beneath the flower heads. Named for the Oswego Indians that brewed this plant, the mint-family species was actually harvested by the white man during the late 1700's when the British Parliament placed duties on America's imported tea.
The trail continues its ascent along a rock-laden path which sometimes is soggy but has been eased by industrious trail workers. Red elderberry bushes line the path as it traverses the ridges rounding out into a grove of beech. West Sister is reached at 1.4 miles. No summit view is offered. The trail then descends on what is sometimes a slippery path during the rainy season. Shortly, it reaches Ranger Trail which is actually a road where several cabins reside. The trail heads back into the mixed conifer forest to reach the trailhead.
Directions: From Junction ASP 1 & ASP 3, The Quaker Area of Allegany State Park is located at the northern edge of Allegany Reservoir off Quaker Run Road. Just west of the junction of ASP 1 and ASP 3 is the rental office. The trailhead begins alongside the office.
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
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Allegany State Park - Quaker Area, New York
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