Treman Gorge Trail GREAT
(but easy)

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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

Fire Island
1. Fire Island
Beach and Dunes

Central Park
2. Springtime in Central Park, midtown Manhattan

Brooklyn Bridge
3. The amazing Brooklyn Bridge, one of the best suspension bridges anywhere!


Old Dutch Cemetery
4. The Old Dutch Church and its colonial cemetery are some of the highlights of the Kingston Stockade.

Roaring Brook Falls
7. Roaring Brook Falls in the Keene Valley

Barnum Trail

8. Barnum Brook Trail at the Adirondack Visitor Center

Moss Island

9. Rock Formations on Moss Island, Little Falls

Red Lake
11. Red Lake in Allegany State Park near Salamanca.

Rapids of Niagara River

12. Rapids on the Niagara River as seen from the Three Sisters Islands.

Since it is impossible for a couch potato to be a good geographer, here are some...

the Best SHORT WALKS in

New York State:

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

OK. So you're not into climbing mountains and running marathons. But you like being outside? Well, we have some great short walks for you! By taking to these walkways and trails, you will learn a lot about the geography of the Empire State. As long as you are in decent shape, none of them should be that strenuous.

The map below shows the best twelve little hikes in New York.

Short Walk Map

Here is a short description of each of the twelve best short walks in New York State:

1. Fire Island: Take the ferry over to Sailor’s Haven. Go early in the day to avoid crowds. Not only will you experience one the Northeast’s best beaches, you can also see a Sunken Forest, of skeleton trees mostly covered by dunes. Of course, you can always cool off afterwards by taking a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Central Park: The centerpiece of Midtown Manhattan is the venerable Central Park, designed by Frederick Olmstead. The park must be explored on foot. This not only allows you to escape from city congestion, but there are also many surprises around every curve. A good way to see both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History on the same day is to walk through the Park. (See the Cultural Section of this website).

3. Brooklyn Bridge: Walking the span of this engineering masterpiece is a unique New York experience, giving you great views of the city’s skyline. This historic Roebling suspension bridge connected Manhattan to Brooklyn, and it has been a popular Sunday walk for the native New Yorkers for over a century. When in the Big Apple, this is an experience that cannot be missed!

4. The Kingston Stockade is one of the most historic places in the state that only can be explored properly on foot. A wall was built under the orders of Gov. Peter Stuyvestant. The stockade is long gone, but the old buildings remain. The Old Dutch Church, the Ulster County Courthouse, and the Senate House are all short distances from each other in this well-maintained community. Visit the Stockade Visitor Center and they will provide you with information and suggested routes.

5.  Kaaterskill Falls Trail: This two-tiered waterfall was the inspiration for the artists of the Hudson School. It is reached by a tricky trail beginning at Route 23A between Palenville and Haines Falls in a deep valley known as the Kaaterskill Clove. Don’t visit the Catskills without taking this hike! It is a stop on the Catskill Trail road trip.

6. The State Capital Historic Walk: Many visitors to Albany go to the Empire Plaza (photo on the left), but there is much more to see in the surrounding neighborhoods. Start with an elevator ride to the top of Corning Tower to get the "lay of the land." If you have plenty of time, visit the New York State Museum and tour the Capitol. Then walk downhill toward the Hudson River. You will be surprised by the interesting architecture of the homes and office buildings. And you definitely should visit St. Peter's Episcopal Church, an Albany landmark since 1715. If you want guided tours, visit

7. Roaring Brook Falls Trail: Located just south of the little Adirondack hamlet of St. Huberts, in the Keene Valley, is a short 1/2 walk through hardwood forest to Roaring Brook Falls. It is a nice easy way to experience "wildnerness." Few hikers return without understanding the importance of preserving the Adirondacks forever wild. More adventurous walkers can take the upper trail to see the falls from above. But the view from below is inspring in its own right.

8. Adirondack Visitor Center Trails: On the other side of the High Peaks is another treasure of the mountains, the Adirondack Visitor Center.  It is located outside Paul Smiths  (on NY 30 northwest of Saranac Lake). There is a nice museum indoors, but the real attraction are the magnificent trails, both short and long, easy and challenging.  The Barnum Brook Trail (photo on the right) is a good introduction to the wilderness experience. Other trails go through forests, bogs, meadows.

9. Moss Island (Little Falls): This small park is wedged between Lock 17 of the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River. Not only can you watch boats locking through, but you can “get lost” on the rocks of the island, including some strange formations made during the end of the Ice Age. What's nice is that you can leave the trails without worrying about getting lost. (This walk is part of the Mohawk Valley Loop road trip.)

10. Robert H. Treman Park: This Finger Lake gorge is located around ten miles south of Ithaca. The best walk is at the Upper Park, featuring the best features of a “hanging valley,” a tributary stream (Enfield Creek) that flows into a deeply glacially-carved valley. The best view is of Lucifer Falls, but there are great vistas around every turn. You can hike along the creek, or take the rim trail. (See photo at top of the page).

11. Red House Lake (Allegany State Park): This small lake is centered in the only region in the state not to be glaciated during the Ice Age. Walking or biking around Red House Lake gives you a nice view of a landscape that seems out of place in New York, since it is angular and there are no troughs like near Ithaca. Make this one of your stops if you take the Lake Erie-Allegany Trail road trip!

12. Three Sisters Islands:  Goat Island is wedged between the two falls of Niagara. Above the falls, on the south side lie the Three Sisters, which extend out into the awesome rapids of the Canadian channel. The islands are connected by bridges designed by Frederick Olmstead, of Central Park fame. The entire island has good walking trails, so you can continue downstream to the falls themselves, if you feel so inclined.

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

Click on the links below!

Best of NY
Road Trips
Scenic Views
History Logo
Living Museums
Best of NY
Road Trips
Scenic Views
Historic NY
Cultural Gems
Living Museums

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