When you think of New York, do you only think of New York City? While that is usually what first comes to mind, New York is more than just a megacity. It is home to some of the best adventures that you can enjoy. Upstate New York is a place of stunning natural beauty, and you can experience this beauty fully by hiking the top trails. From the Adirondack Mountain Range to the several nature parks, there are so many places to go. As winter ends and the warmer months draw closer, hiking becomes a way of spending good time with family and friends. Here are some of the top hiking trails in Upstate New York.
1. Ausable Chasm
As you explore upstate New York, one of the most exciting places you can visit is Ausable Chasm. It is a natural attraction that is locally known as “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks”. This 3.5 mi (5.6 km) trail is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York for folks aged eight and above as the paths are relatively easy and short. It is a beautiful natural formation that opens up options for exploration. Thus, before heading to these locations, chalk out your route. You can take an inner tube, or you can follow the trails that lie around the area.
Address: 2144 U.S. 9, Ausable Chasm, NY 12911, United States
Website: Ausable Chasm
Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)
2. Ice Caves
Ice Caves are so named because of the ice and snows that can be usually seen even in the heat of summer. It is a popular 4 mi (6.4 km) hike and is one of the places you will pass by as you go up to Verkeerder Kill Falls, one of the other popular attractions in the area. Come with your friends and family to enjoy a refreshing hike to Ice Caves. They reopened in 2002 and features a winding footpath, rock formations, narrow crevices, and motion-sensitive lighting that allows you to walk through its calm, dark surroundings.
Address: Sams Point Rd, Pine Bush, NY 12566, United States
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
3. Niagara Gorge Rim Trail and Whirlpool Rapids
Come and explore Niagara Gorge Trail, which consists of several smaller trail sections that lie parallel to Niagara River Gorge. This 3.5-mi (5.6 km) trail provides hikers with one of the best hiking and biking trails in the region. The trails range from easy to challenging. You will encounter steep stairways as well as boulders that you need to jump over. Aside from the challenge, this path is excellent for viewing the lovely river that lies above the falls, as well as birding and fishing.
Niagara Gorge Rim Trail and Whirlpool Rapids
Address: Niagara Scenic Pkwy, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, United States
Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)
4. Breakneck Ridge Trail to South Beacon Mountain
This trail is 8.6-mile (13.8-kilometer) long. Breakneck Ridge Trail to South Beacon Mountain is heavily trafficked out and lies close to Beacon, New York. It isn’t for the weak or faint-hearted as it is a relatively challenging trail. If you have the stamina and strength to hike on this trail, though, you will have a wonderful time. On the trail, you can enjoy several activities. Additionally, if you have dogs, you can also bring them along. You’ll start your hike from Breakneck Ridge which is a scenic mountain with rocky cliffs. You will enjoy picturesque views of the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain across the water.
Breakneck Ridge Trail to South Beacon Mountain
Address: 9D Fair St, Cold Spring, NY 10516-3003
5. Reinstein Dr Victor Woods Nature Preserve
The Reinstein Dr. Victor Woods Nature Preserve is a family-friendly nature preserve that offers hikers several well-kept trails. You will have the opportunity to explore the different flora and native wildlife found in the park. You can walk around the serene pond rife with magenta lilies or go further and follow the trail to see the most massive American beech tree in New York. Hiking here also ensures that the kids have a great time. They can have fun in the play area or learn at the environmental education center.
Reinstein Dr Victor Woods Nature Preserve
Address: 93 Honorine Dr, Depew, NY 14043, United States
Opening hours: Sunrise - Sunset
6. Corbett's Glen Nature Park
Corbett’s Glen Nature Park is a privately owned property that offers the hiker an excellent time. It is a 2.1-miles (3.4 kilometers) hiking trail and is moderately trafficked. The difficulty level is for experts and intermediates, as it is rated moderate. The trail leads up to a waterfall. A pet-friendly hiking trail, you can bring your dog along with you. The park takes hikers around a wetland marsh teeming with water wildlife and a meadow that lies right in the middle. As you hike, you will see plenty of migratory birds that use the park as a resting ground as they journey across the globe.
Corbett's Glen Nature Park
Address: 415 Penfield Rd, Rochester, NY 14625, United States
7. Harriman State Park
Harriman State Park lies near Bear Mountain in Orange County. Hence, it offers hikers a lovely view of the surrounding area. The park features more than 25 lakes and reservoirs, and importantly, it provides more than 200 miles (321.87 kilometers) of hiking trails. It is an excellent place to enjoy an unforgettable hike in lower New York. As you climb up this hiking trail, you will get to see a stunning vista. The view is simply amazing. From the path, you can enjoy an unrivaled view of the Hudson Valley.
Harriman State Park
Address: 800 Kanawauke Rd, Southfields, NY 10975, United States
Website: Harriman State Park
8. Chestnut Ridge Park
Chestnut Ridge is a 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) loop path that lies close to Orchard Park, New York. This hiking trail features beautiful wildflowers and other wildlife. Rated as moderate, it is an excellent trail for folks of all abilities. A beautiful, long hike, Chestnut Ridge Park offers a pleasant experience. Don’t miss hiking the eternal flame trail to get the mesmerizing views. This unique feature draws plenty of hikers; hence, if you’d be setting out on this trail, it would be smart to start early to beat the crowd.
Chestnut Ridge Park
Address: 6121 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Orchard Park, NY 14127, United States
Website: Chestnut Ridge Park
9. The Lemon Squeeze
The Lemon Squeeze hiking trail is a scramble through several rock piles, and you have to ‘squeeze’ your way up to emerge near Sky Top. It is a challenging one, although it is doable by people with different abilities. Get your hiking shoes ready to ensure that you enjoy this highly rewarding hiking trail. Shimmy your way to a ledge from a crack underneath, with the final section of the trail even requiring you to use your arms more than your legs. It might be challenging, but when completed, you will thoroughly enjoy the whole experience.
The Lemon Squeeze
Address: Appalachian Trail, Southfields, NY 10975, United States
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
10. Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Minnewaska State Park Preserve is a stunning park. Enjoy a hike at this clean and spectacular park. It has a lake and several other attractions to explore. The hiking trail is wide enough to accommodate many hikers at once, and it sure welcomes hundreds daily. It overlooks the beautiful Catskill Mountains. Other highlights of this place include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, and even picnicking.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Address: 5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson, NY 12446, United States
Website: Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Enjoy hiking at Upstate New York
From lakes to ponds and gorges, Upstate New York is an attractive location that is home to several scenes of gorgeous natural beauty. As winter will soon be over and the warmer months will draw near, prepare your gears and plan to hike any of these top trails in Upstate New York.
Get Trip101 in your inbox