The Adirondack Park forest preserve accounts for nearly a fifth of New York State’s land area. Unlike most preserves, the design of the Adirondack Park meshes wilderness with many towns and farms located within the park itself. The adventurous traveler will find many kayaking, skiing, camping, hunting and mountain climbing opportunities, as well as unique places to just sit and soak up the beauty around you.
This New York forest preserve is smaller than the Adirondacks, but has innumerable trails, rivers and lakes that would take several lifetimes to explore. Fly fishing is exceptionally popular, but there are also plenty of options for rafting, hiking, hunting and winter sports. Since the Catskills are only three hours from New York City, they’re a popular destination for weekend or holiday vacationers. Book accommodations in advance if you’re visiting during the summer.
Bear Mountain State Park
Bear Mountain is a favorite among Boy Scouts, and campers from the city looking for longer trips. The huge park encloses 235 miles of trails, as well as campgrounds, ski jumps, several museums, and Trailside Museums and Zoo. From the forty-foot tower on the peak, the visitor can see four states, as well as the distant Manhattan skyline. The surrounding wilderness is home to large populations of deer, bald eagles and black bears.
The Old Croton Aqueduct
The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail offers a charming and altogether stress-free hiking experience. he trail is largely flat, making it equally suitable by bike or by strollers, and can be accessed from anywhere along the route. New York’s longest and narrowest State Park begins at the highlands above the Croton Dam, winding through forty miles of shaded woodlands and pleasant suburbs before ending at the northern reaches of the Bronx. The trail was originally part of New York City’s water supply, and relics of the nineteenth-century waterworks can be seen through the trail like milestones. The route passes by several stunning vistas of the Hudson River.
Rockefeller State Preserve
Upper Westchester was once the kingdom of the Rockefellers. Luckily, the Hudson River royalty were strong believers in both charity and public parks. The result is an enormous natural preserve less than an hour from downtown Manhattan by car or train. The park sprawls over 1,400 acres of undisturbed woodland, with 55 miles of trails and magnificent riverside views. The preserve is a favorite among nature-lovers and bird-watchers, providing wild habitat for more than 180 species. Fishing, hunting, carriage and horseback-riding are also available, depending on the season.
Niagara Falls State Park
Journey Behind the FallsNiagara Falls, CanadaJust outside Journey behind the Falls Is the best view of Niagara Falls. You can stand just above them where the water plunges over the falls and you really feel the power. #hiking #touristspots #scenicviews #scenic #photo #photography #photoop #canada #waterfall #waterfalls #water
The Niagara Falls actually consist of three huge cataracts, along with a myriad of islands, bridges, and overlooks — the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe falls. Also worthwhile is the Cave of the Winds, a natural cave beneath one of the falls, and the boat tours which bring visitors right up to the falls. It’s well worth visiting the Canadian side as well, so bring your passport.