New York's amazing outdoors practically scream, "Come out and play!" From thundering Niagara Falls to pristine lakes, and from majestic mountains to amazing state parks, all-season fun and adventures await, including plenty of LGBT-exclusive and LGBT-friendly places and gatherings.
Meet new friends - or bring your own tribe - for hiking in the Catskills, kayaking and fishing in the Adirondacks or biking in the Hamptons or Hudson Valley. Take a ferry to Governor's Island to explore, or climb Mount Beacon for stunning vistas. Sundance Outdoor, Gay Outdoors and CampOut organize social meet-ups, trips and events for LGBT outdoorsy types. Hit the slopes, grab those skates and snowshoes, or cuddle up by the fireside: New York Gay Ski Club offers year-round outdoor adventures.
If you're passionate about camping, check out LGBT focused or friendly spots across the state. Too rustic? New York's upscale, four-season resorts offer miles of hiking and skiing trails - followed by a luxurious dinner or soothing massage - and some are near water parks, amusement parks and ziplines for extra fun!
You'll find many places where the LGBT community congregates to cool off at NYS beaches and waterfalls: Jones Beach's popular gay section and East Hampton's Two Mile Hollow Beach are just two go-to-destinations for fun in the sun. Fire Island pulses with seaside gorgeousness, flare and can't-miss annual events like Invasion of the Pines by Cherry Grove's drag queens (July 4) and Stonewall Swim (August).
Fast and Fab, NYC's LGBT bike club, holds weekly rides and social events, and Front Runners New York pounds the pavement of all five boroughs. Village Dive Club members share a love for scuba diving trips and travel, and KSA-NYC members sail, socialize and host events and trainings. Blaze welcomes gay men who love backpacking and backcountry camping. In September, Cycle for the Cause Bike Ride from Boston to NYC benefits The Center's HIV/AIDS Related programs.
Lesbians who enjoy socializing in outdoor pursuits commune with Women About Community, which hosts Catskills camping retreats, weekly outings to Coney Island and hiking trips.
In the lower Hudson Valley, the LOFT hosts Out Walking events, family trips and recreational programs. If heights thrill you, CRUX Climbing hosts rock- and ice-climbing events in the Gunks, Catskills and Adirondacks for LGBTQ youth and adults, and Out in the Catskills pinpoints LGBT-friendly places to visit.
If outdoor pursuits in the vast 9,000 square miles of the Finger Lakes are appealing, why not combine your visit with a wine country tour,particular beautiful when paired with fall leaf peeping? Many other areas of the states have wine and beverage trails as well.
Rochester's Gay Alliance hosts an annual 5K Color Run (May) and Ride For Pride (June); volleyball games; women's hiking and fishing groups; and Empire Bears and men's sporting events. Buffalo's Queen City Softball League games (among western NY's largest LGBTQ sports organizations) and Front Runners/Walkers club reveal a thriving community spirit.
Blaze - NYC
Knickerbocker Sailing Association (KSA-NYC)
New York City Region
The Center (NYC's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center) - Cycle for the Cause Bike Ride
Village Dive Club (VDC)
Camp Gay USA - camping
Empire Bears - chapters in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hadley, NYC, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, South Farmingdale
Fast and Fabulous Cycling Club
Front Runners New York (FRNY)
New York Gay Ski Club
Women About Community