Outdoor Travel Destinations in New York State
When people from outside of New York State think of the area, usually two attractions come to mind: New York City and Niagara Falls. But to the local residents, New York is a place full of historic landmarks, beautiful state parks, antique and local shops, quaint B&Bs, and fun attractions the entire family can enjoy. We are going to focus on the region of Upstate New York, showcasing the many sites that have often gone undiscovered by visitors.
Watkins Glen, Finger Lakes
Located on Seneca Lake and widely known for its racetrack, this town has much more to offer beyond racing. To enjoy the lake you can take a boat or schooner ride. If staying on land and enjoying the scenery is more your style, then walking through Watkins State Park will offer trails containing stairs that circle around hundreds of waterfalls, and plenty of areas to relax with your family and friends. During the summer months you can enjoy the light show that highlights the geological history of the park. Instead of four-star hotels as your amenity choices youll find quaint, small-town lodging. Before leaving, make sure to tour some of the many fine wineries that the area has to offer.
Letchworth State Park, Castille, NY
If hiking is your thing then Letchworh is the park for you. It is so large that just driving around the perimeter of the park takes a few hours! But that doesnt mean you have to be stuck in your car the entire time. There are numerous overlooks, parking areas that have access to hiking trails, and various opportunities to stop and enjoy the massive gorge and waterfalls that can be reached by the trails. Camping and swimming areas are available, and cabins can be rented year-round. This state park is in a class all of its own.
If thoroughbred horse racing is for you, then Saratoga Springs has a racetrack that wows. This town is more than a racetrack; it offers museums, an armory that houses a historic military museum (tours available), and many shops located on Broadway.
A huge portion of Upstate New York falls within the area of Adirondack Park, which holds over 6 million acres, making it larger than national parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite and even the Grand Canyon! There are too many hiking and camping areas to mention, but you can check out their website for a more detailed listing of hiking trails in the area. The kids will enjoy an historic train ride through the area (approximately 2 hours), a family-friendly water park, and the many fine eateries in town. Besides the lure of the Adirondack Mountains, there are hundreds of lakes and streams where you can take guided boat tours, drop a canoe, or hike along to enjoy the peace of all the natural surroundings. With nature, mountains, and water comes the wildlife. Fishing is plentiful and bear sightings are a reality, so be sure to follow any precautions that might be posted for your safety. Kick back in an authentic Adirondack chair while eating an ice-cream cone and youll soon see the charm this country living has to offer.
The Thousand Islands
Located where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario, The Thousand Islands is an area that is under a coordinated tourism effort from the surrounding villages and towns. Local shops and restaurants will offer directions and historic information for the tourist looking for stops to add to their itinerary while on vacation. There are many areas to enjoy kayaking, hiking, guided driving and boat tours, and local festivals. This is a place where local residents from areas in the surrounding region come to vacation so there are always people around who can fill you in on other attractions the region has to offer.
For the history buff in the family, a trip to this landmark fort will offer a ton of historic information on how this particular fort played a part in the 1777 defeat of the British in Saratoga. Tours are given where you can learn about the lives of the soldiers and their families, as well as how they survived the harsh winters in the area. The fort and museum are open year-round.
This attraction offers a spectacular geological tour of the caves. Your experience starts with an elevator ride that takes you 156 feet underground. Next, a boat tour will take you through the caverns, explaining all the formations along the way. You have a wonderful chance to see the different rock formations that drape the inside of the caverns, and then can visit the museum and gift shop.
Host to the 1932 and 1980 Olympics, Lake Placid offers something for every season; skiing on Whiteface Mountain in the winter, golfing on one of the oldest golf course in the United States during the summer, and peaceful fishing along the Ausable River.
March 5, 2013 Tuesday at 9:40 pm