With a state this big, you know you'll always have access to some tremendous state parks. New York state is vast and expansive, and the variety of terrain gives access to some amazing locations.
There are many state parks available, and it's hard to know where to begin. This will be a quick look at some popular parks, and if they fit the bill for a day out of activity and enjoyment.
Consider this a starting point if you're looking to find a state park, and they are in no particular order.
Letchworth State Park
Letchworth is a state park that many consider to be one of the very best in New York. This park is all about the incredible natural beauty available within the state.
What makes it stand out are the three different waterfalls. You often think you need to go to exotic locations to find waterfalls--but there are some great ones in your own backyard.
This park is located in the northwestern part of New York state near Livingstone and Wyoming county. There are inns and restaurants nearby making it a convenient place to visit.
Besides the waterfalls, there are cliffs and over 66-miles of hiking trails. This is also a place that people come to go river rafting. Letchworth is a truly remarkable state park.
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park is located near the Finger Lakes region, south of Seneca Lake. The landscape here has been described as "surreal." The stunning terrain may make you think you're in an entirely different place.
The park features a gorge and multiple trails that can lead you up and down it. This is another state park that also features waterfalls. Everywhere you turn will offer a stunning new vista.
If you love to hike, Watkins Glen State Park should make you happy. The trails present a challenge, and it's the natural beauty that keeps people coming back.
Chimney Bluffs State Park
A great state park located on Lake Ontario. At Chimney Bluffs State Park, you get access to the beach, and scenic woodlands.
This is the perfect place if you love hiking through woodland trails, but then have access to beach trails, too.
Located in Wayne County, Chimney Bluffs is a nearly 600-acre state park. There is a rocky beach area, and stunning views of the lake and surrounding area.
There are also amenities such as bathrooms and picnic tables if you want to bring something to eat with you. Parking is usually $5 and it can get crowded on weekends. Many like to come during the weekday for a quieter day trip.
Buttermilk Falls State Park
Located in Ithaca, New York, Buttermilk Falls is a very popular state park that is over 800-acres large.
You get the best of many worlds here. There is a lake, waterfalls, and campgrounds. This is a great place for a short vacation with with friends and family.
Since the park is so big, there are many camping spots. This gives you a bit more peace and quiet.
There are many great hiking trails here. There are a few swimming areas, but people seem to love it for the variety of trails. Whether you like to walk, or hike, Buttermilk Falls provides you access to amazing scenery at ever turn.
Stoney Brook State Park
You will find Stoney Brook State Park south of Dansville, NY. This is the state park to go to if you love big green spaces.
You will also find a gorge and many rock formations. The trails in Stoney Brook follow along the gorge and give you amazing scenic lookouts on your hike.
As you hike, you will also come across all the rugged beauty and some waterfalls. There are also places to camp so you have somewhere to turn in after a day of hiking.
There is access to both tent and trailer campsites, so you can have varying levels of comfort if you decide to bring a tent or trailer.
Evangola State Park
Many people may not know of Evangola State Park, but this 733-acre park is very popular. Located in Irving, NY, this place offers a lot.
It is a great place to hike and swim. You can enjoy the athletic fields, and stay to camp. There is a beach here, and people love the water.
There are bathrooms available for easy convenience. If you choose to camp, each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring. Campsite are also closeby to the beach.
There's also a pond to fish at, frisbee golf, and a playground making it the perfect place for people of all ages.
Wrapping it Up
This list only scratches the surface. Since New York state is so large, it's impossible to cover everything. This should give you a quick snapshot at some of the options available.
Whether you want a day out, or a longer camping trip, the state parks of New York have a lot to offer.
Hopefully, you'll keep researching other state parks, but this list may give you a good place to start.
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