Did you know that New York is home to 180 state parks?
State parks are the perfect place to learn about local wildlife. However, many Upstate NY parks are forgotten, as visitors are more interested in a trip to Niagra Falls.
While the falls are beautiful, there are so many other stunning locations to discover in Upstate New York! But which ones are worth visiting?
We’re here to help you out. Check out the list below for five places to explore the great outdoors in Upstate New York.
1. Howe Caverns
Howe Caverns is the perfect place to explore if you want to learn more about the geological mysteries of Upstate New York. Standard tours require reservations, but there are also unique options available for the more adventurous.
The Lantern Tour is a great example. The Lantern Tours take visitors in an area unexplored in the standard tours, and visitors are equipped with only natural light—no artificial light guiding the way. It’s a truly authentic cave exploration experience!
2. Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes region offers a variety of activities, whether you visit in the summer or winter. Many use the town of Corning as a home base as they explore the Finger Lakes.
Watkins Glen State Park is a favorite nearby park, as it features 19 waterfalls. Three trails run through the park, where visitors can hike and take in the majesty of the falls. Along with trails, the park offers traditional amenities, such as camping grounds, pavilions, a playground, and more.
The star of the show in the Finger Lakes region though is the lakes themselves. There are 11 lakes to discover, whether you want to swim, boat, or simply enjoy the impressive views from the shore.
3. Ausable Chasm
Ausable Chasm is a canyon found in the Adirondacks that’s home to scenic views no matter the season. Rainbow Falls feeds into the canyon, which gives visitors the chance to go tubing and rafting on the water below.
You’ll also find a variety of trails and riverwalks, along with a collection of historical bridges. For those who love the great outdoors and adrenaline-filled adventures, rock climbing is even available to the public.
4. Griffis Sculpture Park
Looking for a way to explore the great outdoors and enjoy the arts? Griffis Sculpture Park is the perfect combo!
Griffis Sculpture Park was created by the artist Larry W. Griffis in 1966, and it’s open between May and October. The park is home to dozens of sculptures, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy a picnic under the sun.
5. Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is a must-see for bird lovers. This wildlife preserve offers a resting, feeding, and nesting spot for local waterfowl and other migratory birds.
Up to 242 species of birds can be found on the refuge during at least some portion of the year, along with a variety of other critters, such as beavers and foxes.
The reserve has a walking trail, a drive-through trail, and a visitor center. They even have several observation areas to view the bald eagles that live on site.
Exploring the Great Outdoors in Upstate NY
No matter the season, Upstate New York is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors. From breathtaking waterfalls to scenic hiking trails, there’s something for everyone.
Planning your next getaway? Check out the rest of our website for more tips and travel hacks!