State Parks New York City NY

Discover the Natural Beauty of New York: 7 State Parks Near New York City NY

New York City may be famous for its towering skyscrapers and bustling city streets, but just a short drive away lies a world of natural beauty waiting to be explored. With 180 state parks scattered across the state, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the urban jungle and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.

For nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers, these seven state parks near New York City offer a diverse range of breathtaking landscapes and recreational activities. From scenic hiking trails to picturesque waterfalls and serene lakes, these parks are the perfect getaway for those seeking a break from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Embark on an adventure and discover the hidden gems that await you just outside the concrete jungle. Pack your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of New York.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the great outdoors near New York City by visiting these seven state parks.
  • Experience breathtaking waterfalls, serene lakes, and scenic hiking trails.
  • Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility.
  • Discover hidden gems and capture stunning natural landscapes.
  • Create unforgettable memories and explore the diversity of New York’s state parks.

Letchworth State Park: The Grand Canyon of the East

Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park, also known as the Grand Canyon of the East, is a must-visit park for nature enthusiasts. Located a short drive from New York City, this park is home to awe-inspiring cliffs, beautiful forests, and some of the best waterfalls in New York.

The park features three main falls – the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls – each more impressive than the last. Hike along the scenic trails, take a refreshing dip in the pool, or experience the power of the falls up close on the Hurricane Deck.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature photographer, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, Letchworth State Park offers something for everyone. Explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, spot native wildlife, or simply relax and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Upper Falls

The Upper Falls, with a drop of over 70 feet, is the first waterfall along the park’s scenic Genesee River. Its powerful rush and picturesque surroundings make it a favorite spot for photographers and nature lovers alike.

Middle Falls

The Middle Falls is the tallest waterfall in Letchworth State Park, plunging over 100 feet into the gorge below. With its misty spray and impressive cascade, it offers a truly mesmerizing sight.

Lower Falls

The Lower Falls, while smaller in height compared to the Upper and Middle Falls, has its own unique charm. The picturesque setting, surrounded by lush greenery, provides a tranquil spot for picnicking or simply enjoying the beauty of nature.

Comparison of Waterfalls in Letchworth State Park

Waterfall Height Key Features
Upper Falls 70 feet Powerful rush, picturesque surroundings
Middle Falls Over 100 feet Tallest waterfall, misty spray, impressive cascade
Lower Falls Varies Picturesque setting, surrounded by lush greenery

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply an appreciation for nature’s beauty, Letchworth State Park will not disappoint. Visit the Grand Canyon of the East and immerse yourself in the wonders of this New York gem.

Niagara Falls State Park: A Natural Wonder

One of the most famous natural attractions in the world, Niagara Falls, is just a short drive from New York City. Niagara Falls State Park offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Explore the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, visit the Aquarium of Niagara, or take a thrilling journey to the Cave of the Winds. The park provides breathtaking views of the falls from various vantage points, including Prospect Point. Whether you want to feel the power of the falls up close or simply admire the beauty from a distance, Niagara Falls State Park is a must-visit destination.

Attractions at Niagara Falls State Park

  • Discover the fascinating geological history of the Niagara region at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center.
  • Get up close and personal with the falls at the Cave of the Winds, where you will experience the fury of the Bridal Veil Falls firsthand.
  • Visit the Aquarium of Niagara to learn about the diverse marine life found in the Niagara River.
  • Marvel at the panoramic views of the falls from Prospect Point, a popular observation spot.

In addition to these attractions, Niagara Falls State Park offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking along the scenic trails or taking a boat tour on the Niagara River to get a different perspective of the falls. Whether you are seeking adventure or tranquility, Niagara Falls State Park has something for everyone.

Niagara Falls State Park

Comparison of Niagara Falls State Park Attractions

Attraction Description
Niagara Gorge Discovery Center Explore the geological history of the Niagara region and learn about the forces that shaped the falls.
Cave of the Winds Take a thrilling journey to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls, where you will experience the power of the falls up close.
Aquarium of Niagara Discover the diverse marine life found in the Niagara River and learn about the importance of conservation.
Prospect Point Enjoy panoramic views of the falls from this popular observation spot.

Robert H. Treman State Park: A Waterfall Paradise

Nestled in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Robert H. Treman State Park is a waterfall lover’s paradise. With over 1,000 acres of natural beauty, this park is home to 12 impressive waterfalls that will leave you in awe. Be sure to visit the Lower Falls, also known as Enfield Falls, a popular spot for swimming and picnicking during the summer months.

But the real highlight of the park is the magnificent Lucifer Falls, which stands at an impressive 115 feet. Prepare to be mesmerized by the sheer power and beauty of this natural wonder. As you explore the craggy walls of the gorge, hike through dense forests, or simply relax by the water’s edge, you’ll find yourself immersed in nature’s breathtaking beauty.

Robert H. Treman State Park

Robert H. Treman State Park is not only a sanctuary for waterfall enthusiasts but also a peaceful escape from the city. Located in the picturesque Finger Lakes region, this park offers a tranquil respite where you can reconnect with nature.

Experience the Enfield Glen Trail

One of the most popular trails in the park is the Enfield Glen Trail. This scenic trail takes you through the heart of the park, offering stunning views of the waterfalls, lush greenery, and vibrant wildflowers along the way. It’s the perfect opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of nature as you meander through the gorge.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re planning a visit to Robert H. Treman State Park, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Bring sturdy hiking boots and comfortable clothing, as some trails can be steep and rocky.
  • Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water.
  • Consider bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy by the waterfalls.
Park Information Contact Details
Location Finger Lakes region, New York
Address 105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone (607) 273-3440
Website Visit Official Website

Hudson River Valley: A Scenic Escape

The Hudson River Valley is a picturesque region that stretches along the Hudson River from Albany to New York City. This beautiful area is renowned for its stunning landscapes, charming small towns, and rich history. With the Catskill and Shawangunk mountains rising majestically in the background, the Hudson River Valley offers a breathtaking backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

One of the highlights of the Hudson River Valley is its abundance of Victorian mansions. These architectural gems, dating back to the 19th century, showcase intricate details and elegant designs. Visitors can step back in time and explore these historic homes, getting a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of the past.

The region is also home to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, located in Hyde Park. As the first presidential library in the country, it holds an extensive collection of documents, photographs, and artifacts related to the life and presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Visitors can delve into the history of one of America’s most influential leaders and gain a deeper understanding of this transformative era.

When it comes to dining, the Hudson River Valley excels in farm-to-table cuisine. With its fertile land and commitment to sustainable agriculture, the region boasts a thriving culinary scene. Visitors can savor locally sourced ingredients and seasonal dishes at the numerous farm-to-table restaurants scattered throughout the valley.

The Hudson River Valley has long been an inspiration to artists, and it gave birth to the renowned Hudson River School, America’s first art movement. The breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty of the area continue to captivate artists and visitors alike. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, exploring the Hudson River Valley is a truly enriching experience.

Catskill State Park: Outdoor Adventures Await

Catskill State Park, also known as Catskill Park, is a sprawling natural paradise spanning New York and Delaware. With over 300,000 acres of untamed forests, meadows, lakes, and waterfalls, this park offers an endless array of outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking vibrant fall colors, exhilarating hiking trails, or thrilling skiing slopes, the Catskills have it all.

Exploring the Catskill Forest Preserve

At the heart of Catskill State Park lies the Catskill Forest Preserve, a protected region of unmatched beauty. This preserve serves as a haven for wildlife and a sanctuary for those seeking peace and tranquility amidst nature’s embrace. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a journey through winding trails that lead to hidden treasures, such as serene mountain lakes and cascading waterfalls.

In the fall, the Catskills come alive with vivid hues of red, orange, and yellow, creating a breathtaking panorama of fall colors that will leave you awe-inspired. Take in the beauty of the changing seasons as you stroll through the vibrant forests, capturing memories that will last a lifetime.

A Winter Wonderland for Outdoor Enthusiasts

When winter arrives, the Catskills transform into a snowy wonderland, enticing outdoor enthusiasts with thrilling winter sports. Strap on your skis or snowboard and hit the slopes at one of the many renowned ski resorts in the area. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you glide down powdery trails, surrounded by pristine white landscapes.

If skiing isn’t your cup of tea, embrace the tranquility of the wintry scenery as you embark on a peaceful snowshoeing or cross-country skiing excursion. The Catskills offer a multitude of trails with varying difficulty levels, ensuring that every adventurer can enjoy the beauty of the park at their own pace.

Outdoor Activities in Catskill State Park Season
Hiking All year round
Skiing and snowboarding Winter
Fishing All year round
Canoeing and kayaking Spring, summer, and fall
Mountain biking All year round

With its diverse range of activities and stunning natural landscapes, Catskill State Park is a true haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re chasing waterfalls, capturing the beauty of fall foliage, or conquering snowy peaks, the Catskills promise an unforgettable adventure.

Gantry Plaza State Park: Urban Oasis with Spectacular Views

If you’re looking for a park with a stunning urban backdrop, look no further than Gantry Plaza State Park. Located in Long Island City, this small but beautiful park offers incredible views of the midtown New York City skyline.

Take a leisurely stroll along the East River, enjoy the park’s gardens, or try your luck at fishing off the pier. The park is named after the two gantries that were used to load and unload cargo ships in the early 1900s, which still stand as a reminder of the area’s industrial past.

Gantry Plaza State Park provides a peaceful oasis in the midst of the city, where you can escape the hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in nature while still enjoying the breathtaking views of the New York City skyline.

Highlights of Gantry Plaza State Park:

  • Unparalleled views of the iconic New York City skyline
  • Stroll along the picturesque East River
  • Explore the park’s beautifully manicured gardens
  • Experience the history of the gantries that once served as the lifeline of the area’s industrial trade

“Gantry Plaza State Park offers a unique blend of natural beauty and urban charm, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike.” – John Smith, Travel Enthusiast

Whether you’re a nature lover seeking tranquility or a photography enthusiast looking for the perfect backdrop, Gantry Plaza State Park is sure to captivate your senses and provide an unforgettable experience.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Nature’s Playground

Situated on the majestic Shawangunk Ridge, Minnewaska State Park Preserve is a haven for nature enthusiasts seeking outdoor adventure and breathtaking scenery. With its expansive 50 miles of hiking trails, this park offers endless opportunities to explore the beauty of the Shawangunk Mountains and its surrounding landscapes.

Unleash your inner explorer as you traverse the park’s diverse trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging paths. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the lush forests, vibrant meadows, and crystal-clear lakes that dot the park.

For those seeking a refreshing escape, take a plunge into one of the pristine lakes nestled within the park. Cool off during the warm summer months and revel in the joy of swimming in nature’s own sanctuary.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve also beckons thrill-seekers with its exhilarating rock climbing opportunities. Challenge yourself as you ascend the vertical cliffs that have made this park a renowned destination for climbing enthusiasts.

As you explore this nature’s playground, be sure to pause and take in the awe-inspiring scenic views from the park’s various lookout points. Marvel at the panoramic vistas that span across the Shawangunk Ridge and beyond, immersing yourself in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, an adventurous rock climber, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat in nature’s embrace, Minnewaska State Park Preserve is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.


How many state parks are there near New York City?

There are seven state parks near New York City.

What is Letchworth State Park known for?

Letchworth State Park is known as the Grand Canyon of the East and is home to some of the best waterfalls in New York.

What are the main waterfalls at Letchworth State Park?

The main waterfalls at Letchworth State Park are the Upper Falls, Middle Falls, and Lower Falls.

Where is Niagara Falls State Park located?

Niagara Falls State Park is located just a short drive from New York City.

What attractions are there at Niagara Falls State Park?

Visitors can explore the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, visit the Aquarium of Niagara, or take a journey to the Cave of the Winds.

How many waterfalls are there at Robert H. Treman State Park?

Robert H. Treman State Park features 12 impressive waterfalls.

What is the Lower Falls at Robert H. Treman State Park known as?

The Lower Falls at Robert H. Treman State Park is also known as Enfield Falls and is a popular spot for swimming and picnicking during the summer months.

What is the Hudson River Valley known for?

The Hudson River Valley is known for its stunning landscapes, historic mansions, and charming small towns.

How vast is Catskill State Park?

Catskill State Park covers over 300,000 acres of wild forest land, meadows, lakes, and waterfalls.

Where is Gantry Plaza State Park located?

Gantry Plaza State Park is located in Long Island City and offers incredible views of the midtown New York City skyline.

What activities can be enjoyed at Minnewaska State Park Preserve?

Visitors to Minnewaska State Park Preserve can enjoy hiking, swimming, and rock climbing, as well as take in the breathtaking scenic views.

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