Beautiful beaches, magnificent mountains, shimmering lakes and wondrous waterfalls. Across New York, discover awesome places to refresh and reconnect. The scenery is breathtaking and the options are unlimited. Swim in a crystal-clear lake, relax on a white-sand beach in the Hamptons, or take in the view from the top of the world after climbing a high peak. Bring your boat, bike, camera, hiking boots, bathing suit, or all of the above, and come out to play in New York’s great outdoors!
New York’s more than 20 state and national scenic byways highlight landmarks, natural wonders, history and a variety of themes, from dude ranches to Olympic sites (see www.nybyways.com).The High Peaks Scenic Byway winds past the Adirondacks’ highest peaks and along picturesque waterways. It’s a fantastic gateway to sites for hiking, boating, biking, rock climbing, fishing and white-water rafting. The Lakes to Locks Passage highlights Lake Champlain—a recreational treasure and a strategic site during historic battles. Scenic Route 90 winds through gorgeous Finger Lakes country: rolling farmland, expansive state parks and wildlife habitats. See lush vineyards and historic sites of the Women’s Rights movement along the Cayuga Lake Byway. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail, named one of the Top 9 Great American Drives by Budget Travel, stretches for 500 miles connecting the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes, and Niagara Falls.
Fun on the Water
From Long Island beaches to Great Lake Erie, water is pure fun in New York. Experience fly-fishing in legendary Catskill trout streams, swimming in pristine Finger Lakes, or thrilling raft rides on the Black River with White-water Challengers in the Thousand Islands- Seaway. Local dive shops provide training and equipment for scuba diving in the clear waters of the St. Lawrence Seaway. In the Adirondacks, kayak on wild rivers or float down the ancient Ausable Chasm. Drop a line in Lake Ontario, world-famous for trophy fishing. Take a relaxing river cruise aboard the Spirit of Hudson in Hudson, the Dutch Apple in Albany, or the Captain JP in Troy. Explore Raquette Lake on the W.W. Durant or Lake George with the Lake George Steamboat Company.
Hiking & Biking
Throughout New York, more than 17,000 miles of multi-use trails lead through spectacular landscapes—up mountain paths, along historic canals, around sparkling lakes, beside waterfalls and through historic villages. Enjoy hiking, biking or horseback riding with mountain vistas along the Catskill Scenic Trail, a 19-mile Rails to Trails project in the western Catskills. The trail’s gentle grade offers an easy trek through stunning scenery. For a more challenging hike try the Utsayantha Trail System that intersects the Catskill Trail at several locations.
B&Bs and other lodging are located close to the trails. Hundreds of campgrounds, both public and private, combine rustic natural beauty with modern amenities. North-South Lake, the biggest and most popular state campground in the Catskill Preserve offers hiking, kayaking and marvellous views.
Ski slopes in the Catskills and Adirondacks become cool mountain bike trails offseason. Ride through miles of shady woods and sun-kissed vineyards in the Finger Lakes. Along New York’s historic canals, miles of former tow paths have been transformed into bike routes. Bike along tree-lined lanes in a Victorian village at the Chautauqua Institution, a summer haven for the arts. The more you bike, the greater the discoveries!
Golfers of all levels enjoy award winning courses across the state, from the four-star Saratoga Spa Golf, in the picturesque state park, and the upscale Saratoga National Golf Club, to the course at Holiday Valley resort in western New York. The New York Golf Trail can help you plan a great golf getaway.
Pump up your getaway with adventure sports like biking down Whiteface Mountain, climbing ancient cliffs in the Shawangunks, hang gliding above the Finger Lakes, or soaring over Letchworth Gorge in a hot-air balloon. Get a lift at Howe Caverns’ new High Adventure Park or the Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course, with giant Tyrolean zip lines, suspended bridges, swings, slides and an aerial surf board. Greek Peak’s new Adventure Centre, in the Finger Lakes, and Holiday Valley’s Sky High Adventure Park, in Ellicottville, feature mountain coasters that zigzag, spiral and whoosh down the mountains. Windham Mountain, a Catskills resort, has an Adventure Park featuring a side by- side racing zip line. On New York Zip line adventure tours at Hunter Mountain, the longest and highest zip line in North America, summit “zips” thrill even the most die-hard adventure seekers. Want a unique aerial experience in Manhattan? Flying lessons with Trapeze School New York, located in Hudson River Park (May-October), include show-stopping views of the Statue of Liberty and the river.
NYSDED-Photo by Darren McGee