- New York
No matter how you choose to explore, wonders await in stunning state parks.
Encompassing rock-studded mountains, verdant valleys and sandy shores, New York State’s 180 unique state parks permit unforgettable outdoor experiences in every season. Discover striking natural features and significant sites as you adventure your way across the state.
Waterfall Wonders Large and Small
New York state parks are home to mountain cascades and world-famous falls to explore in any season. “The Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park includes three large waterfalls in the Genesee River Gorge and many smaller ones throughout the park. Enjoy year-round programs on geology and ecology at the on-site Humphrey Nature Center. The well-known waterfalls of Niagara Falls State Park beckon with accessible paths and viewpoints: The Maid of the Mist boat ride and scenic trolley are fun, family-friendly ways to see the sights. Further east, in the Finger Lakes region, explore Watkins Glen State Park’s Gorge Trail to see 19 waterfalls on a mesmerizing adventure.
Stunning waterfalls abound at Watkins Glen State Park
Sun and Sand on State Park Beaches
Whether you want to splash in the Atlantic Ocean or float in a sparkling woodland lake, you can find your summer bliss in New York state parks. Check out Jones Beach State Park, where you’ll find 10 kilometers of pristine ocean beach. Play in the surf and enjoy a boardwalk, an amphitheater and the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center. Beach wheelchairs are available for accessible navigation. For a taste of lakeside relaxation, head over to the Finger Lakes to enjoy Cayuga Lake State Park’s scenic swimming beach, boat launches and playground. Renowned for fishing, this outdoor getaway is close to charming inns and vineyards. Immerse yourself in the pastoral scenery of the Palisades Region at Harriman State Park, where 31 lakes and reservoirs invite you. Swim in Lake Tiorati, with amenities including a lap swim area and a bath house, and explore the broad, sandy beach along Lake Welch.
Enjoying a sunny day at Jones Beach State Park
Recreational Trails for All Adventurers
From challenging mountain ascents to spacious paved pathways, New York State’s picturesque parks offer excursions for all explorers. Cross the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge at Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, where you can walk, ride or roll over the two kilometers between Poughkeepsie and Highland. Hiking enthusiasts can trek a section of the Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain State Park, where you can also swim in the pool in summer or skate on the outdoor ice rink in winter. Families love the Trailside Zoo and merry-go-round. At Minnewaska State Park Preserve, just a 90-minute drive from New York City, explore over 50 kilometers of old carriage roads. Catch a glimpse of the Gertrude’s Nose rock formation from the Minnewaska Trail; in autumn, see it surrounded by colorful foliage. An annual snowfall of around 75 centimeters makes this park a popular place to cross-country ski.
Overlooking Sam’s Point Preserve in Minnewaska State Park
New York State Park Resources
Prepare for your New York state park adventure with a few helpful tools. Explore the New York State Parks website for up-to-date information on park conditions and hours, as well as tips on eco-friendly exploring and accessibility information. Smartphone users can download the free State Parks Explorer App to access park maps, directions, fees and information from their device.
The Coe Hall Historic House Museum at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park
Fly into John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) or Newark Liberty (EWR) and rent a car to embark on your New York state park adventure.