This is for the non-beginner birder or avid hiker.
Pfeiffer Nature Center is privately owned and maintained for the preservation of beauty of nature and wildlife in Cattaraugus County. It is in a bit of a remote area with no personal facilities (so bring your own supplies and make sure you "go" before you go).
Some of the bird species you will see there are:
Vireos, Warblers, Nuthatches, Thrushes and Robins
Turkey Vultures, Harriers and Hawks and sometimes Osprey
Sparrows of many varieties, doves, woodpeckers, sapsuckers
If you are lucky there are also grouse and wild turkey
On the ponds are Geese and ducks.
Don't forget your field glasses and cameras. You might want to have some mosquito repellent and insect lotion and possibly a small first-aid kit just in case.
The park is quite inhospitable in rainy weather and running water makes the trails very slippery.
(Spragues is between Portville and Olean so I put it in both to be sure someone sees it).
It boasts that it has the best pancakes and syrup in New York and i am not going to argue with that. We had pancakes the size of our plates with choice of ever-so-many syrups.
Some of the pancakes are actually stuffed with sausage meat. you can have normal or buckwheat, you can have full size or minicakes. The coffee is great too.
This is not just a restaurant it is a happening. First you drive up to the place and along the parking area are full-size wood carvings of horses and deer and bears. There is a picnic area if you want to eat outdoors. There is a hiking trail where you can build an appetite or burn off the thousands of calories you just ate.
The building is rustic/modern. Inside you will find the restaurant (complete with a bullwinkle-the-moose area for the kids), a syrup/candy/momento gift shop, and during the correct season, an active syrup-making plant.
Outside is the picnic area, a playground and hiking trails.
Favorite Dish: Three plate-sized buckwheat pancakes with butter and maple/cranberry syrup. each forkful melts in your mouth. and there are a lot of forkfulls.
Portville is an accumulation of several individual communities into one township.
Some of these communities are:
Bedford Corners... village on route 305
Carroll... hamlet east of the Allegheny River
a small part of Haydenville... on the westside of town along route 92
Lake View Terrace... on route 79
Main Settlement... very small hamlet on route 417
Mill Grove... on route 305
Toll Gate Corner... intersection of routes 305 and 417
Westons Mills... hamlet on the Allegheny River along route 417
The first week of August is the time that the whole area of the Allegany Plateau area of New York State celebrates their European heritage. The celebration is a three-day event called Heritage Days. Portville will be joining in with its neighbor towns to invite travelers to the region to participate with them in reliving the colonial past.
There will be the arts and crafts tents; the food vendors selling modern and olde-style dishes; historic societies with have tables and booths of local memorabilia to browse.
Parades and carnival rides and tractor pulls and side-show entertainment will be enjoyed.
Costumed characters and battle re-enactments are always part of the celebration.
Night tours of historic parts of the city and the cemetery provide an exciting edge to end the days activities.
Common down and join in the fun.
During the fall and early winter of the year, the whole area around Portville becomes a hunting region. Taking a random hike through the woods without putting on bright colors is one way to get yourself accidently shot.
If you intend to do some birding or hiking while in Portville, then check with the motel staff or the community center to learn where the most likely areas are where the hunters will be. Put on orange vest and cap to be as conspicuous as possible wuring your trek through the hills.
Portville rates in the top 10% of safe places to visit in New York State. The infrequency of crimes and the non-violent nature of the crimes make it very safe to live in Portville. There are only 3 sex offenders in the area.
Enjoy your visit to this quiet Allegany town.