it is impossible for a couch potato to be a good geographer, here are some...
the Best SHORT WALKS in
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.
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 http://www.albany.org/.
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
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.
to go to see New York Geography
up close and personal.
on the links below!