Dayton, New York

The Town of Dayton is on the western border of the Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County.  The Village of South Dayton is located within the town.

Two popular movies were partially filmed in South Dayton;  "The Natural"  in 1984 starring, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall and Glenn Close and  "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"  in 1987 starring Steve Martin, John Candy and Laila Robins.

The first settlers arrived around 1810, believing they were settling in Chautauqua County. The Town of Dayton was founded in 1835, formed from the Town of Perrysburg.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.0 square miles, of which, 35.8 square miles of it is land and 0.3 square miles of it (0.78%) is water.

New York State Route 353 and US Route 62 pass through the town.

Dayton, New York is a village on the original main line of the Erie Railroad, half way between Salamanca and Dunkirk. It was from Dayton on May 15, 1851 that passengers on the first train to traverse the entire length of the Erie caught their first glimpse of Lake Erie in the distance.

It is at Dayton that the Buffalo & Southwestern Railroad, on its way from Buffalo to Jamestown, crossed under the tracks of the Erie. For some unknown reason, the B&SW chose to tunnel through the fill supporting the Erie tracks rather than build a bridge for the Erie rails.

Dayton is served today by the New York and Lake Erie Railroad, a small freight and excursion line headquartered in Gowanda, New York, which occasionally runs excursion trains.



Photo of Dayton Historical Museum

Come view items from 1865 onward. Everything in the museum is from the local area. Items to see include washing machines, family libraries, graduation pins, history of the railyards and more.

You can find genealogical information from this area as well.

Travel Guide

Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County Travel Guide for 2020It's a full 56-page comprehensive guide, highlighting the activities and attractions in our County and it's FREE!!

View the visitor's guide online


request that the Enchanted Mountains guide

be snail mailed to you for FREE!

NYAGT Geocaching Trails

Top 10 site for Steelhead Fishing

Cattaraugus Creek has been listed in the top 10 sites for Steelhead Fishing (rainbow trout fishing) by 2 outdoor magazines. Steelhead Trout AKA Rainbow trout are very similar to Salmon in both taste and habits. Unlike other areas of the United States, our native Rainbow trout (Steelhead Trout) spend a majority of time in Lake Erie a freshwater lake and spawn in the Cattaraugus Creek and other tributaries.

The following is from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation's article "Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries"

Lake Erie's tributary streams, both big and small, receive an annual run of migratory rainbow trout called "steelhead." From October through April, thousands of steelhead ascend New York's Lake Erie tributaries on their mission to spawn. Excellent fishing opportunities await any angler who wishes to try their hand at steelhead fishing. Between the acrobatic leaps, long drag-screaming runs and rod quaking head shakes, the fight of an early run steelhead is a truly exhilarating experience.

Read more about Steelhead/Rainbow fishing on the Cattaraugus Creek

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