Whiteface Mt. GREAT
Scenic Views!

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Geography is not an indoor sport! Get out and explore New York State!


Physical Geography

Human Geography

Economic Geography

Regions of NYS

Tibbits LH
1. Tibbits Lighthouse

Whiteface Summit
2. Whiteface Mountain

Goat Island
3. View from Goat Island

Chimney Bluffs
4. Chimney Bluffs - Sodus Bay


Taughannock Falls
6. Taughannock Falls

Trophy Point
9. Trophy Point
(US Military Academy)

NY Skyline
10. View for Empire State Building (NYC)

Staten Island Ferry
11. Staten Island Ferry

Trip I: Central NY Loop

The picture list of road trips continues in the middle of this page.

The Best Scenic Views in

New York State:

You can't make a mistake in the Empire State!

Many non-New Yorks think that the only view we can enjoy is the Statue of Liberty. Now there's nothing wrong with that view! After all, it was the first thing many of our ancestors saw when they immigrated to this country. But the Empire State has an amazing variety of scenery, some natural and some man-made. There's the New York skyline, but there's also sandy beaches, lakes, rivers, and mountains.
Since geography is not an indoor sport, you must get outside and see what our state has to offer.

To get you started, here are our picks for the top twelve scenic views in New York State:

Scenic View Map

1. Tibbits Lighthouse: Located at the beginning of the St. Lawrence River, around three miles west of Cape Vincent. Nice views of both the river and Lake Ontario. The rock formations here are also very interesting. See also the Thousand Island Loop web page.
2. Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington: The view of the Adirondacks here is one of the jewels of New York State. On a clear day you see Lake Champlain and most of the High Peaks. Also, you can experience a tiny alpine plant community here. This view is one of the high lights of the Adirondack Loop day trip.

3. Goat Island, Niagara Falls: Probably the most famous views in New York are located here. You can get close to both the American  and the Horseshoe Falls. If you take the Cave of the Winds tour, you can see the falls from below. A small walk takes you to the Bridal Veil Falls, next to the American Falls. (See also the Short Walks section).

4. Chimney Bluffs, Sodus Bay: This is an eroded drumlin on the south shore of Lake Ontario. The hard dirt “chimneys” are nearly vertical, and always changing. You can view both from the top and from lake level. Be careful of trying to scale the walls. The traction is not good, and there is little to hang on to for support.

5. Clark Reservation, Jamestown: Just a few miles SE of Syracuse is another Ice Age gift, a deep lake (Green Lake) nearly surrounded by steep cliffs. It is the remains of a huge waterfall that once drained the melting glaciers. Take in at least the views from the rim. A walk down to the lake itself is highly recommended. (See the Central NY Loop section).

6. Taughannock Falls Overlook: Located just off Rte. 89, north of Ithaca. You can a panoramic view of New York’s highest waterfall, and the spectacular gorge below. It is a "hanging valley," a relic of the Ice Age. It is especially impressive in early spring or after heavy rainfalls, but it makes a great photo-op no matter what season you visit. (See the Finger Lakes Loop page).

7. The Noses: This gap along the Mohawk River marks the only near-sealevel route through the Appalachian Plateau. Along this route you find the Thruway, Routes 5 and 5S, the Conrail tracks, and the Erie Canal. This view is part of the Mohawk Trail road trip.

8. Rest Stop I-84 East of Port Jervis: High on the Shawangunk Ridge you can see the confluence of Neversink Creek at the Delaware River, where New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey meet. Another great place to appreciate the power of erosion. You get more nice views of the Delaware Valley by taking the Delaware Trail road trip.

9. Trophy Point, West Point: At this historic location, one of the chain booms was constructed across the Hudson to prevent British invasion. The Highlands here are their most scenic. To visit this spot you will probably have to take the West Point tour, which starts at the south entrance to the Academy.

10. Empire State Building: The view from the top is world-class! Now that the World Trade Center is gone, it is the tallest building in the state. It's location near Midtown adds to the enjoyment. You can see the urban structure of New York and her waterways. The only drawback is its popularity. Expect crowds during peak season, and you might have to push to get a clear view.

11. Staten Island Ferry: This is probably the most famous ferry boat in the world. It is used daily by local commuters, but it is also a favorite of the tourists, since you get a stunning view of New York harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and the skyline of Manhattan. And it's very inexpensive! A night trip is recommended, especially in summer.

12. Montauk Lighthouse: Here you will stand at the New York’s easternmost point. You can see how Long Island’s glacial moraine is being modified by wave erosion. And the lighthouse itself has a noble history, having been commissioned by President Washington. Not to be missed when on The Island! (See the webpage on the Long Island Ocean Trail).

Great places to go to see New York Geography up close and personal. 

Click on the links below!

Best of NY
Road Trips
Historic Places
Cultural Gems
Short Walks
Living Museums
Best of NY
Road Trips
Historic Places
Cultural Gems
Short Walks
Living Museums

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