Skip To Content

    The 19 Best Spots In New York State For Anyone Who Loves Hiking, Nature, Or Just Being In The Great Outdoors

    There's so much more to New York than Manhattan.

    Not only does New York state boast tons of hiking trails with stunning views, but it's also home to a number of great outdoor activities that are guaranteed to get you into the fall spirit. Here are some of New York's best spots for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers.

    A hiking path during fall.
    Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    1. Watkins Glen Gorge Trail, Finger Lakes Region

    Watkins Glen Gorge Trail.
    Matt Champlin / Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    If you visit the Finger Lakes region, be sure to hike the Watkins Glen Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park. This moderate and family-friendly 1.5-mile trail takes you past narrow creeks, undulating gorges, and a series of beautiful waterfalls. 

    2. Mount Van Hoevenberg Trail, Lake Placid

    Mount Van Hoevenberg Trail
    Arterra / Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    The Mount Van Hoevenberg Trail is located in North Elba, a village in Lake Placid. While hiking along this 4.4-mile trail, make sure to take a break (and some photos) of the scenic beaver pond, and take in the beautiful views of the Adirondack High Peaks Region. 

    3. Great Camp Sagamore, Raquette Lake

    Great Camp Sagamore.
    Education Images / Jumping Rocks/Education Images / Via Getty Images

    The Sagamore Lake Trail in the Adirondacks is named after the historic Great Camp Sagamore, a former summer home to the Vanderbilt family. The trail is so serene that you won't even realize you're breaking a sweat while walking the 3.7-mile stretch. 

    4. Ausable Chasm, Keeseville

    Ausable Chasm in Upstate NY.
    Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    Ausable Chasm is considered one of the best hikes in Upstate New York. Located near Lake Placid and Saranc Lake, this trail offers a stunning view of a vertical-walled canyon that is made of 500-million-year-old rock.

    5. Indian Head Trail, Keene

    Indian Head Trill in the Adirondacks.
    Gabrielpevide / Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    The Indian Head Trail in the Adirondack Mountains is one of New York's most popular advanced hiking trails during the fall, when the surrounded trees turn gorgeous shades of fiery red and burnt orange. Experienced hikers will adore this 10.8-mile loop that takes about five hours to complete.

    6. Devil’s Path Trail, Catskills

    Devil’s Path Trail, Catskills.
    Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    If you're really up for a hiking challenge, add the Devil's Path Trail in the Catskills to your bucket list. Backpacker Magazine calls this 24.3-mile long trail one of the hardest hikes in the country. It'll take you a few days to backpack across the whole thing, but the gorgeous views of the six mountains you pass along the way make it all worth it. 

    7. Mount Jo, Lake Placid

    Mount Jo Mountain in Lake Placid.

    If you're looking for a leisurely hike in North Elba, look no further than this 1.8-mile trail near the Mount Jo mountain. Once you reach Mount Jo and climb to the top, take in the beautiful views of Heart Lake and the MacIntyre Mountain Range. 

    8. The Cliffs, DUMBO

    The Cliffs at DUMBO in NYC.

    You don't have to leave New York City to mountain climb, thanks to The Cliffs at DUMBO. You don't even need climbing experience to visit this outdoor facility in Brooklyn, which prides itself on being a "warm and welcoming community." Best of all, a two-hour climbing pass only costs $12. 

    9. Natural Stone Bridge & Caves, Pottersville

    The Cave at Natural Stone Bridge

    The Cave at Natural Stone Bridge in the Adirondacks is home to the largest marble cave entrance in the eastern US. While you're there, take a guided tour or explore the famous cave filled with tranquil pools on your own.

    10. Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Basom

    Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Basom

    If you enjoy bird-watching, the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Basom is worth a visit. It's home to several large pools, swamps, meadows, fields, and woodlands, which means you're pretty much guaranteed to see some beautiful birds flying by and nesting in the area. 

    11. Allegany State Park, Salamanca

    Allegany State Park, NY.
    Getty Images

    Leaf peepers, rejoice. Allegany State Park in Salamanca is home to some of New York's most impressive fall foliage. Spend a weekend in a cabin near the park in order to hike, bike, and take in the gorgeous changing leaves.  

    12. Seabreeze Amusement Park, Rochester

    Seabreeze Amusement Park in Rochester N.Y.

    Feel like a kid again when you visit Rochester's historic Seabreeze Amusement Park. Not only is it the nation's fourth-oldest amusement park, but it's also home to some of the most beautiful views of Lake Ontario.

    13. Beaverkill River, The Catskills

    A river in the Catskills.
    Getty Images

    If you've ever thought about trying fly fishing, The Catskills is a great place to start. In fact, it's where fly fishing was born. This fishing method uses an artificial fly, which makes catching fish more of an exciting challenge. There are plenty of ideal fly fishing waters across the region like Beaver Kill River, Upper Delaware River, Neversink River, and Willowemoc Creek.

    14. Inwood Hill Park, The Bronx

    A man looking onto the Hudson River at Inwood Park.
    Getty Images

    If you're looking for a quiet break from the hustle and bustle of city life, visit  Inwood Hill Park in Harlem. The park is a great option for a leisurely nature walk around the Henry Hudson Bridge or a picnic overlooking the river. 

    15. Roaring Brook Ranch, Lake George

    Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George
    Getty Images

    Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George is a family-friendly resort that offers various activities in the great outdoors. Grab the kids or a bunch of friends and spend a weekend horseback riding, fishing, golfing, and hot air ballooning. 

    16. Bear Mountain, Stony Point

    Bear Mountain State Park in Bear Mountain, N.Y.
    Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    Take a trip to the 5,205-acre Bear Mountain State Park in Stony Point that has breathtaking views of the Hudson River. Once you're there, you can choose to bike, hike, go on a scenic run, or even have a picnic. 

    17. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn

    Brooklyn Bridge State Park in Brooklyn N.Y,
    Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    If you are itching for an outdoor adventure but want to stay in the city, visit the scenic Brooklyn Bridge State Park overlooking the East River in Brooklyn. There are tons of free activities at the park including basketball, fishing, volleyball, soccer, and more. It's one of the best places to kick back and relax while taking in the Manhattan skyline. 

    18. Niagara Falls, Western New York

    People looking and photographing the view of Niagara Falls.
    Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    Experience the great outdoors while you check off one iconic spot from your US travel bucket list. Niagara Falls State Park houses different attractions and exhibits, hiking trails, and places to eat. After you're done photographing the stunning views, spend the rest of your day taking advantage of nature. 

    19. Fishkill Farms, Hopewell Junction

    Apples hanging on an apple tree at an orchard.
    Getty Images / Via Getty Images

    Fall is basically synonymous with apple picking, so head to Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction, only 90 minutes outside of New York City. Not only does this massive farm offer apple picking, but visitors can also pick their own pumpkins, herbs, flowers, and more. You'll also find hayrides, an adorable farmers market, and live music. 

    Where is your favorite place in New York state for hiking and experiencing the great outdoors? Tell us in the comments below!

    Sign Up For The Bring Me! Newsletter!

    The latest travel tips, off-the-beaten-path experiences, and inspiration delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form