From the snowy shores of Lake George to the frozen falls of the Finger Lakes to the spectacular cityscapes of New York City, all corners of the Empire State transform into a winter wonderland. Snowshoe through sprawling state parks, feel the frosty mist of Niagara Falls, stroll through castle grounds, and more. Capture the beauty of the most magical time of year and add some of these wonderful winter photo spots to your next New York State adventure.
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If you’ve never witnessed the 215-foot plunge of Taughannock Falls, winter is the season to visit. The gorge trail offers a breathtaking view of the icy falls surrounded by fresh New York snow. The trail is open year-round, but be sure to call ahead for weather-related closings. Trumansburg; $9 per car.
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Admire the 500-foot descent of Buttermilk Creek as it navigates its way through a series of cascades and rapids covered in ice and snow. While all the trails are closed until April, the view from the lower parking lot area is still an amazing spot for capturing its beauty. Ithaca.
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On the south eastern side of Seneca Lake, lies the third highest waterfall in New York State, Hector Falls. The best part is, you can unlock this beautiful view without leaving your car! From the bridge on Route 414 you can pull over and snap a photo of the creek as it tumbles over a broad expanse of shale and limestone. Hector.
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Located on the northwestern coast of Lake Champlain greeted by snowy Plattsburgh shores, is Point Au Roche State Park which makes for an amazing winter photo spot. Take a walk through the park which is a perfect blend of open and forested areas for even more photo opportunities. Plattsburgh.
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Capture the raw beauty of the Adirondacks beneath the shadow of Whiteface Mountain on a journey through four waterfalls. Watch as the AuSable River cascades over rocks and bends carved billions of years ago from the groomed pathways. Wilmington; $18 for adults, $14 for children.
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If you’ve never witnessed Lake George in the winter, it’s truly a sight to see. Take in the view of the lake surrounded by the mountains from the public dock next to Shepard Park. Afterward, stroll through the village with shop-lined streets and winter magic. Lake George.
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Nestled among the mountains, is the village of Lake Placid with Mirror Lake as its sparkling centerpiece. Admire the spectacular view of the snow-dusted High Peaks as you breathe in that fresh mountain air. Lake Placid.
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What better place for a winter photo than the place known for having some of the state’s most beautiful snowfall, Tug Hill. Literally go “walking in a winter wonderland” and journey along the Northern Edge of the area, where you’ll find trails for walking, hiking, and snowshoeing as well as frozen waterfall views. Snowmobiling, downhill and cross-country skiing, and dog sledding are also popular in this area. Watertown.
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Capture the wintry beauty of Lake Ontario from the 1,100-acre Robert G. Wehle State Park. Explore 16 miles of trails that wind along 17,000 feet of coastline and lookover 80-foot limestone cliffs. Henderson.
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Allegany State Park transforms into a winter wonderland for the season with beautiful lakes, forests, and over 80 miles of trails to traverse. Be sure to follow the trail that leads to the historic covered bridge that makes for a scenic capture. Salamanca.
Gaze out from the peninsula-like point on an icy Lake Chautauqua at Long Point State Park. 360 wooded acres make up this spectacular photo spot which was formed long ago by a retreating glacier. Bemus Point; $7 per car.
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Without a doubt, Niagara Falls makes for an awe-inspiring photo any time of the year. If you have yet to experience it surrounded by the enchanting beauty of winter, you’re missing out! Great lookouts include the two observation decks which are open year-round as well as the Cave of Winds (pictured) where you can immerse yourself in the frosted beauty of the falls. Niagara Falls.
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Show your Instagram followers what a 14,350-acre winter wonderland looks like at Letchworth State Park. Also known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this park has three major waterfalls where the rivers rush through 600-foot cliffs surrounded by a snow-covered forest. Many major viewpoints are accessible by car. For trail access, be sure to call ahead as some close seasonally. Castile.
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Stroll through a nature-lover’s paradise at the 264-acre Tifft Nature Preserve. Discover the perfect photo along nearly two miles of trails that cross boardwalks, and weave through frozen ponds, marshes, and snowy woodlands. Buffalo.
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Scenic trails that weave through pine trees and rocky ridges make for amazing photos year-round at Moreau Lake State Park. After a fresh snowfall, the park becomes a winter’s dream. When the lake completely freezes, ice skating is also available. Gansevoort.
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There’s snow place like this 84-acre Olmsted-designed park in the heart of Albany in winter. Capture the view from the bridge over the lake which is open for ice skating (weather permitting) or take in the scene from the Knox Street Mall (pictured). Albany.
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You’re bound to find that perfect photo among the 2,200 wintry acres at Saratoga Spa State Park. Explore the park via snowshoe on 12 miles of trails and unlock even more photo possibilities. Saratoga.
Admire the beauty of the Hudson Highlands decorated in winter beauty at Harriman State Park. With more than 47,000 acres, the park is the second-largest in the state system and features 200 miles of trail where you’re sure to find that perfect vantage point. Harriman.
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Thought to be one of Frederic Edwin Church’s greatest masterpieces, the 250-acre Olana State Historic Site is surrounded by unrivaled views of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Valley. Snowshoe through the grounds or take in the view from the historic house (pictured) at the summit. Hudson.
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When the colder months roll around, the Mohonk Mountain House grounds turn into a serene winter oasis. Experience it for yourself and purchase a hiking day pass which gives you access to 85 miles of trails. Take the Sky Top Trail up to the tower and admire a wintry Hudson Valley view from 1,500+ feet above. New Paltz; $35 per adult (ages 13+), $30 per child (ages 4 – 12).
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What’s a better photo spot than a 167-foot frozen waterfall that formed 10,000 years ago? While Chittenango Falls’ popular gorge trail is closed during the winter months, you can still see its beauty from other points including the platform in the parking lot. Cazenovia; $5 per car.
Home to the oldest covered bridge in the country, Glimmerglass State Park dazzles in the winter months. Look out at the sparkling lake and explore the 600-acre park dusted in a layer of snow. Cooperstown.
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Whether it’s decorated with festive holiday lights, a dusting of snow, or a beautiful sunset, the Montauk Point Lighthouse is sure to take your breath away. Take in the lighthouse and more from the 800+ acre Montauk Point State Park which features Long Island’s easternmost point and perfect wintry oceanside views. Montauk.
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Located on the Gold Coast, is a magical and historic mansion, waiting to be explored. Experience its timeless beauty for yourself on a guided tour of the estate and formal gardens which are truly a sight to see in the winter time. Huntington; tours are $10-$30/person.
Walk through the 2,000-acre winter wonderland of the Mashomack Preserve. Oak woodlands, tidal creeks, and 10 miles of coastline make up this “Jewel of the Peconic” and prove to be stunning photo opportunities. Shelter Island; trails are open daily year-round except for January, where they are open on weekends only.
Central Park is an iconic winter location for a reason. With 840 wintry acres, the possibilities for beautiful photos are endless. Take a stroll through the park or check out other activities like ice skating at Wollman Rink which also offers superb views of the city skyline. The Mall, North Woods, Conservatory Garden, and Bow Bridge (pictured) offer breathtaking photo opportunities. Manhattan; Bow Bridge is temporarily closed for renovations and will reopen January 2024.
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Capture a tree-filled Midtown oasis from Madison Square Park. At this 6.2-acre park, you’ll get the best of both worlds with landmark architecture surrounded by beautiful sprawling lawns. Oval Field in the center of the park offers the perfect vantage point for photos of the Flatiron building. Manhattan.
Snap a snowy shot of Brooklyn’s East River waterfront and Manhattan skyline from the 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park. Throughout the park, you’ll find no shortage of sweeping vistas with spectacular views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges taking center stage. Brooklyn.
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Go walking through a Windham wonderland along the 1.5-mile Windham Path loop. On your journey through the meadows and woodlands of the Catskill Mountains, be sure to lookout for the picturesque covered bridge that spans the Batavia Kill for a truly breathtaking capture. Windham.
A favorite in the summer months for camping and scenic views, this spot nestled in the Catskill Forest Preserve takes on a calming aura in the winter time. You’ll find beauty around every corner with awe-inspiring vistas and miles of hiking trails. It’s also conveniently located just 10 miles from Hunter Mountain. Tannersville.