Hiking & Biking in New York State: Fact Sheet
Published: Feb 26, 2014
| The Adirondack Park is the largest national park in the lower 48, encompassing more than 6,000 acres. More than 2,000 miles of trails lead through spectacular landscapes-along forested paths, around mountain lakes, beside waterfalls and through historic villages. Trails are ideal for bird watching and spotting local wildlife.
The Adirondack High Peaks trails lead to summits with 360-degree views that extend as far as the eye can see. Climbing all of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks is a lofty goal for many hikers.
Built on a former railroad bed, the paved FJ&G Rail Trail runs from Johnstown to Mayfield along a creek through an industrial park and across scenic countryside. Grafton Lakes State Park offers 25 miles of trails to hike or bike. Wildlife viewing along bike routes is popular at Cherry Plain State Park and Schodack Island State Park, which features eight miles of multi-use trails.
Adirondack Mountain Guides - Located in Keene, they offer rock and ice climbing with certified guides, as well as paddling and hiking excursions. Certified by American Mountain Guides Association. Rates depend on the number of climbers in the group.
| Wooded and mountain trails throughout the region are ideal for hiking and biking. Following is a list of places in the region:
In Cambridge, home to the Tour of the Battenkill, the largest single-day bike race in the world, you can bike along country lanes and stroll through covered bridges.
Carters Pond in Greenwich is surrounded by scenic trails.
The Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail is a seven-mile park ideal for hiking and biking that follows an historic canal and towpath.
The Mohawk Hudson bike-hike trail follows the shores of both rivers from Albany to Rotterdam in Schenectady County.
Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area (WMA) consists of about 4500 acres of upland and wetland habitat in Berne, Albany County. There are many options for outdoor recreation including hiking, birding, hunting, trapping, fishing, snowmobiling, skiing and horseback riding.
John Boyd Thacher State Park is situated along the Helderberg Escarpment, one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world. With six miles of limestone cliff-face, rock-strewn slopes, woodland and open fields, the park provides a marvelous panorama of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys and the Adirondack and Green Mountains. There are over 25 miles of trails for summer hiking and mountain biking, and winter cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and snowmobiling.
Albany Pine Bush Preserve is located in the heart of the Capital District Region, the Albany Pine Bush represents one of the best remaining examples of an inland Pine Barrens ecosystem in the world. This gently rolling sand plain is home to a great diversity of rare animals and plants, including 45 wildlife Species of greatest conservation need in New York State. It also provides visitors with an assortment of non-motorized recreational opportunities including bird watching, hiking, jogging, nature study, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking and hunting.
For urban biking, try Troy's Uncle Sam Bike Trail which runs for 3.1 miles.
| Hundreds of miles of multi-use trails lead through spectacular landscapes-up mountain paths, around lakes, beside waterfalls and through historic villages. Climbing the 35 Catskill high peaks is a lofty goal for many hikers. The 19-mile Catskill Scenic Trail, with a gentle grade, is ideal for hiking, biking or horseback riding. Trails at Sam's Point Preserve, on 5,000 acres in the Shawangunk Mountains near Cragsmoor NY, feature expansive views, waterfalls and ice caves.
Sundown Wild Forest, Catskill Park, covers 30,100 acres in the southeast Catskills in the Sullivan County Town of Neversink and the Ulster County Towns of Denning, Rochester, Wawarsing and Olive. The area has a varied topography including several ridge and 10 mountains over 2,000 feet as well as an impressive mix of natural features - mountains, waterfalls, valleys and rivers - rich with hiking destinations, trout streams hunting opportunities and snowmobile trails. Key places to visit in the Wild Forest are the Kanape Valley and Ashokan High Point, Vernooy Kill Falls, Denman Mountain, Red Hill Fire Tower and the Peekamoose Valley.
Local experts can guide you to some of the most beautiful spots:
Catskill Country Walks offers Walks, hikes and camping trips emphasizing the history and ecology of the Catskills. New York State Licensed Outdoor Guide. Handicap accessible can be arranged. Hours: by appointment and announced/scheduled public hikes and tours. Location: Woodstock, NY
Catskill Outback Adventures has Hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, canoes and kayaks, mountain bikes, rope course and rappelling, team building. Equipment rentals, lessons and guided trips. Location: Big Indian, NY
Peekamoose Adventures is a Catskill Mountain guide service that offers day hikes year-round throughout the Catskills as well as Wine Tours and Maple Tours (seasonal, Jan - March). Location: West Shokan, NY
Central New York
| Landis Arboretum, a 200-acre garden in Esperance, has hiking trails, concerts and classes. Nature lovers can take a walk in the tropics at the Joseph Popp Butterfly Conservatory in Oneonta. Trails on 600 acres at Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne are ideal for bird watching and hiking.
Central New York offers many different paths throughout the region designed for walkers and bicycle enthusiasts.
| Allegany State Park: The largest park in the New York State Park system, Allegany State Park offers miles of paved and natural trails throughout 65,000 acres for hiking, biking and horseback riding. In winter, eighteen trails covering over 35 miles are ideal for snowmobiling and cross country skiing.
Hike amid towering rock formations at Panama Rocks Scenic Park, or follow meandering trails around 250 monumental sculptures at Griffis Sculpture Park, a 400-acre nature preserve.
Alison Wells Ney Trail is part of the Rails to Trails System, this trail has a 5 mile segment beginning at Bliss Road that gently descends the Lake Erie Escarpment, offering vistas of Lake Erie. Location: Mayville, NY
| Waterman Conservation Education Center Nature Trails: Miles of trails meander through 95 acres of upland forest and open meadows with a small gorge. Other sites operated by Waterman include Apalachin Marsh (a 50-acre wetland boasting one of the best birding sites in NY) and Brick Pond (an excellent wildlife-watching site with beavers, muskrats, waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds)
Robert H. Treman State Park: For rustic beauty with breathtaking gorges and winding trails that lead past 12 waterfalls and a natural swimming hole in Ithaca, NY
Summer Hill State Forest: 4,355 acres of dense forest well suited for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hiking, hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing and horseback riding. The Auburn-Fleming Trail follows a two-mile stretch of abandoned railroad bed along a network of streams and wetlands.
Find more information on hiking trails in the Finger Lakes region.
Trails throughout the region let visitors interact with nature.
| Thousands of miles of waterside, wooded and mountain trails throughout the region offer views of stunning landscapes and wildlife such as ducks, beavers, deer and foxes. Special places for hiking in Hudson Valley include
A 35-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail runs through the region near Bear Mountain State Park.
The Mohonk Preserve in Gardiner has 70 miles of carriage roads and multi-use trails on 6,500 acres.
Built on a former railroad bed, the paved 15-mile Harlem Valley Rail Trail begins at the Metro North Railroad Station in Wassaic and Walkway over the Hudson Poughkeepsie.
Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill is now a park with hiking, fishing, and a nationally known mountain biking center.
Belleayre Mountain Pine Hill Lake Day Use Area: Lake, swimming, hiking, boating, rowing/pedal boats and fishing. Open Memorial Day-Labor Day.
Kenneth L. Wilson Campground and Day Use Area offers hiking, nature trails, boat rentals, fishing and launching site as well as tent and RV sites (no electrical hook ups). Located in Mt. Trember, it is open mid-May - Columbus Day.
Sterling Forest State Park comprises 21,935.08 acres of nearly pristine natural refuge, a remarkable piece of woodland, a watershed for millions, and a tremendous outdoor recreation area. This unbroken deep-forest habitat is important for the survival of many resident and migratory species, including black bear, a variety of hawks and songbirds and many rare invertebrates and plants. Hiking, fishing and hunting opportunities are available.|
Let local experts share the beauty of the region:
Barry Knight Interpretive Walks: Easy hike to campsite, tower and views of the Catskill Mountains, Ashokan Reservoir, Mohonk Mountain House, and more. Year-round. Daily, by appointment. Location: West Hurley, NY; 845 331-1214.
Edgewood Consulting & Services: Customized half or full day private guided hikes and snowshoeing excursions in Ulster County's popular and scenic areas for individuals, couples and small groups. Year-round. Location: New Paltz, NY
Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School: Rock and ice climbing school and guide service. Instruction at all levels. Full-service retail tech shop. Year-round. Location: Gardiner, NY
Alpine Endeavors: Professional instruction and custom guided trips: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, snowshoeing, hiking, backpacking, in Shawangunk and Catskill Mountains. AMGA Certified Guides and Accredited Program. All abilities. Year-round by appointment. Based in Rosendale, NY
Four Points: Four Points blends outdoor guiding with therapeutic recreation by connecting all ages and abilities to nature. Typical outings include hiking, kayaking, canoeing, survival skills and snowshoeing. Weekends by appointment. Year-round. Location: West Hurley, NY
Where the Pavement Ends: Offering guided hikes and backpacking trips tailored to individual abilities and interests. Trailhead to trailhead shuttle service. Year-round. Location: Scarawan, NY
Storm King Adventure Tours in Cornwall offers customized hiking trips in Black Rock Forest and on Storm King Mountain.
Mountain Skills Climbing Guides offers guided rock climbing, ice climbing and hiking in the Shawangunk and Catskill Mountains. Fully insured and A.M.G.A. accredited. Location: New Paltz, NY
| Six hundred pristine acres on Wellesley Island include miles of scenic shoreline hiking trails.
Minna Anthony Common Center in Fineview has over 8 miles of trails.
Selkirk Shores State Park in Pulaski offers year-round outdoor recreation
Robert G. Wehle State Park has 1,100 acres, 17,000 linear feet of Lake Ontario shoreline, breathtaking views from cliffs 80 ft above lake level. Miles of hiking, biking & birdwatching trails.
Winona State Forest Recreation Area has 9,233 acres of forest with 31 miles of nature trails.