When most people think about New York their minds immediately go to the bright lights and busy streets of the big city. In reality, upstate New York is a sweeping, beautiful state that has much to offer the outdoorsy and adventurous type. If you can believe it, there are over 150 state parks in New York, which provide hundred and thousands of miles of hiking trails and outdoor adventure. If you’re a little over the hustle and bustle of city life and you’re craving the fresh air of a mountain breeze, check out these hiking destinations that are worth the trip outside of the city.
Devil’s Hole State Park
Maybe you’ve been to Niagara Falls, the New York and Canadian side, but there is something here that people tend to miss unless they’re willing to leave the car behind and pull on their hiking boots. Devil’s Hole State Park is actually a park separate from Niagara Falls but it is close enough in distance that you can visit them both in one day. Devil’s Hole is certainly more under the radar than the great, gushing waterfalls. The draw of the outdoors is enough to attract the adventurous type to this trail but the uniquely, circular geographical wonder that formed after the last ice age is what really brings hikers pouring in. There’s even a stone staircase that leads right into the excitement for a closer look. The trails in Devil’s Hole State Park are made up of varying lengths and difficulty, so hikers of all types will find what they’re looking for.
Sam’s Point and Verkeerderkill Falls Trail
This next park is reviewed as difficult and for determined and experienced hikers. That’s not to deter ambitious hikers, though. Located near Pine Bush New York, Sam’s Point and Verkeerderkill Falls Trail is a biting trail full of excitement. The trail will guide hikers through the terrain and past a variety of sights before it leads to Sam’s Point. Sam’s Point is the peak of this trail as the towering rock ledges overhang a breathtaking view. The overlook is not to be missed among the other activities offered throughout the park. Another draw of the trail are the ice caves that, unfortunately, can’t be passed in the winter, but are exciting to see in Spring and Summer. There are several different trails offered here that vary in length from five to eleven miles.
Finger Lakes Trails
Just because this trail is nearly 1,000 miles long doesn’t mean you have to make the whole trek. At least not in one go. Finger Lake Trails spreads all over the state of New York and it is the longest ongoing path in the state. If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of several state park’s this is the trail for you. Finger Lakes Trail passes by eight of New York’s incredible state parks. There are even connections to other popular trails, such as The North Country National Scenic Trail and The Great Easter Trail. Overall, this trail covers all of your bases. There is something here for everyone, from beginning hikers to experienced, long form hikers. Scattered from the beginning to the end of the trail are fresh starting points and entrances so you can determine just how long you’re on the trail.
Affiliate links included below. Thanks for your support!
Find a trail that suits you in this list, but don’t stop here. Upstate New York is covered in thousands of miles of hiking trails that range from smooth gravel paths to obscure footpaths, you just have to pick which one is best for you.