Top 10 Best National and State Parks in New York

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In addition to the tranquil landscapes and the bubbling Buttermilk Creek, New York is home to many of America's most known sparkling lakes and rocky gorges. It ... read more...

  1. Talk about a great vacation; regardless of how long you want to stay, a visit to Letchworth State Park will boost your mood. This magnificent wonderland, also known as the Grand Canyon of the East, is one of the best locations in New York for photography.


    It is full of natural beauty. It will be hard to tear your eyes away from this captivating location, which is home to some of New York's best waterfalls and impressive cliffs (some of which reach over 600 feet in height). The Genesee River cascades through a sizable gorge bordered by cliffs and woods to form the Genesee River's three main falls, known as the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls. These falls, especially the most impressive, larger Middle Falls, are likely to be heard before being seen. There are many locations to enjoy a close-up view, but Inspiration Point offers the best overall falls vista. Explore some of the 66 miles of trails on foot, cool off in the pool, go white-water rafting or kayaking, or hop in a hot air balloon.

    Letchworth State Park
    Letchworth State Park
    Letchworth State Park
    Letchworth State Park

  2. You absolutely must go to Niagara Falls at least once in your lifetime. The location has been a tourist hotspot ever since Napoleon Bonaparte's brother celebrated his honeymoon here more than 200 years ago. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth even after all these years, and you must experience it for yourself.


    If you've never been to Niagara Falls, be aware that it is situated on the Niagara River between the Canadian province of Ontario and the state of New York. The Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls are on the American side, while the 164-foot Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side. Popular attractions like the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, Aquarium of Niagara, and Cave of the Winds are located in Niagara Falls State Park. Visitors can experience the power of the falls at the latter's Hurricane Deck from a close enough distance that they will feel the vibrations through their core and get a bit wet. Catch a ride on the Discover Niagara Shuttle. From Niagara Falls to Old Fort Niagara, it takes passengers past 15 of the most well-known historical sites. And it's totally free.

    Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls
  3. The magnificent Robert H. Treman State Park is located right in the middle of the Finger Lakes region. The more than 1,000 acres of the park have 12 spectacular waterfalls in addition to the picturesque Enfield Glen. It is understandable why locals in nearby Ithaca love it so much.


    The Lower Falls, often known as Enfield Falls, is a popular summertime destination. It's simple to spend hours diving into the chilly water below the falls from the diving board. There is a lifeguard on duty during the busiest summer hours, so don't worry. When you're not perfecting your swan dive, tie up your shoes and take a trek along one of the park's six paths. They wind through the gorge's rocky cliffs, past more fascinating waterfalls, and into the forested areas. An unrivaled overhead view of Lower Falls is provided by the short Lower Rim Trail. The 115-foot-tall Lucifer Falls, the park's second most magnificent waterfall, is a must-see. It makes sense why this is considered one of the top attractions and things to do in the Finger Lakes Region of New York.

    Robert H. Treman State Park
    Robert H. Treman State Park
    Robert H. Treman State Park
    Robert H. Treman State Park
  4. This breathtakingly beautiful landscape, which technically extends 150 miles along the renowned Hudson River from Albany (in the north) to New York City, is another National Heritage Area, not a state or national park. Designated as a National Heritage Area, the valley is steeped in history, natural beauty, culture, and a burgeoning food and farmer’s market scene


    In addition to breathtaking views, the Shawangunk and Catskill mountains, as well as beautiful lakes, the area is rich in history. It's the ideal location for a city getaway. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the 300-mile-long river served as a significant transport route that benefitted colonies. It was crucial in the American War of Independence as well. The area's historical significance is still obvious today in the preserved Victorian houses originally held by New York's elite (such as the Roosevelts, Vanderbilts, and Rockefellers); as well as in attractions like the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

    Hudson River Valley
    Hudson River Valley
    Hudson River Valley
    Hudson River Valley
  5. Over 1,770 acres of the picturesque landscape are covered by 40 kilometers of trails at Westchester County's Rockefeller State Park Preserve. It provides tranquil rural strolls of all lengths through forested hills and valleys encircling sunlit pastoral fields.


    This gorgeous state park will provide you with a sweet caress of lovely views whether you choose to walk, cycle, jog, or ride a horse there. Every season brings out the beauty of Swan Lake and the Pocantico River, and the beautiful bridges make for great photo opportunities. The 13 Bridges Loop Trail is where you may find them. The Preserve is primarily the hardwood forest dominated by huge oak, tulip poplar, maple, and beech trees. The forests, fields, streams, and wetlands support a high diversity of native species of resident and migratory birds, More than 200 different bird species can be found in the area, so bring your binoculars. In the winter, you can get calmed by the peaceful sound of birds, revived by a dip in the lake (or river), and energized by a snowshoe hike through the forest.

    Rockefeller State Park Preserve
    Rockefeller State Park Preserve
    Rockefeller State Park Preserve
    Rockefeller State Park Preserve
  6. Catskill State Park, sometimes known as Catskill Park, stretches across parts of New York and Delaware. The magnificent Catskill Forest Preserve in New York is a part of this state park. Currently, this state-protected territory spans more than 300,000 acres of untamed beauty.


    This state park has all you might want and more, whether you want wild forest land, flowering meadows, rippling lakes, bubbling springs, rushing waterfalls, breathtaking mountains, or steep cliffs. The Catskill Mountains are one of the biggest and most naturally diverse areas on this side of the country, and they are situated in the state of New York on the East Coast. These picturesque mountains, which have a massive 98 peaks in total, are hidden away in the enormous 705,500 acres of Catskill Park, where winding valleys, forested terrains, rushing rivers and streams, tributaries, and rocky landscapes predominate the large area. No matter what time of year you come, there are countless exciting activities to do in New York with your family thanks to the abundance of nearby natural attractions. Having said that, a vacation to the Catskills in the fall is a sure thing. The kaleidoscope of colors that pop up is breathtaking.

    Catskill State Park
    Catskill State Park
    Catskill State Park
    Catskill State Park
  7. Gantry Plaza State Park is situated in the Queens suburb of Long Island City and is one of the smallest state and national parks on this list. Surprisingly an urban park, this entertaining location provides stunning views of the midtown New York City skyline. You won't even need to squint to see the Empire State Building or the United Nations.


    There are no significant waterfalls or hiking trails in the forest nearby. However, you may temporarily forget you're in a city by taking a stroll along the East River, taking in the sweet scent of the park's gardens, partying at outdoor performances, and fishing off the pier. Most people visit Gantry Plaza to take in the iconic views of Midtown Manhattan, and to stroll along the paved pathways, admiring the historical relics. Keep an eye out for the two enormous gantries, which were placed at the water's edge in the early 1900s to help in loading and unloading cargo ships. These hold the renowned Long Island sign and provided the park's name origin.

    Gantry Plaza State Park
    Gantry Plaza State Park
    Gantry Plaza State Park
    Gantry Plaza State Park
  8. One of the best places to hike in New York is Minnewaska State Park Preserve, a breathtaking highlight tucked away in Ulster County. In this Hudson Valley treasure, winding trails take tourists past waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, lush hardwood forests, and dramatic cliffs. It's difficult to imagine that one attraction could contain so much beauty.


    A trip to Minnewaska could be a leisurely stroll around the lake, or a day-long extravaganza with multiple vistas and mileage reaching double digits, whichever you prefer. This state park is located in the Shawangunk Mountain Range, where you can expect to enjoy breathtaking views from the top of its craggy cliffs. Pack some climbing equipment if you enjoy exploring new places and have previous rock climbing expertise. You can walk, hike, bike, or run your way across a breathtaking variety of landscapes on one of the more than 50 miles of available trails. Those who want to spend even more time exploring this utopia can stay at the Samuel Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, which is located just five minutes from the park's entrance.

    Minnewaska State Park Preserve
    Minnewaska State Park Preserve
    Minnewaska State Park Preserve
    Minnewaska State Park Preserve
  9. Visit Buttermilk Falls State Park if waterfalls are your thing. Its spectacular waterfall, which cascades down the wide valley inside the park's boundaries from bubbling Buttermilk Creek, inspired its naming. This park is a remarkable work of natural beauty and is home to many must-see attractions.


    Buttermilk Falls comes first, which bears the name of the park, is a 165-foot-tall cascade waterfall with numerous levels that emerges from a forested slope like a rock-made waterslide. The most fascinating part of this kid-friendly park is upstream, where sharply curled ravines have formed as a result of the water's constant flow into Cayuga Lake. You won't be able to resist taking pictures of this 165-foot wonder, one of New York's best waterfalls, because it is so stunning. The best place to see wildlife is Larch Meadows, which is the next stop. This tranquil area is one of the best places to visit in New York State and is a wetland graced by a winding nature trail.

    Buttermilk Falls State Park
    Buttermilk Falls State Park
    Buttermilk Falls State Park
    Buttermilk Falls State Park
  10. At Bear Mountain State Park, you'll find an unrivaled, breathtaking vista. This gorgeous park, which is perched high above the Hudson River in a range of untamed mountains, is deserving of a visit and a spot in the list of the greatest state and national parks in New York.


    The park features a large play field, shaded picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, Trailside Museums and Zoo, hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails. The Hudson Highlands is a great place for a family picnic, bike trip, or walk. The Merry-Go-Round in the park and the Trailside Museums & Zoo will earn your admiration. After that, jump into the park's swimming pool to beat the heat of the summer. Try cross-country skiing across the trails during the winter or twirl around the skating rink. Driving to the top of Bear Mountain is the best thing to do while in Bear Mountain State Park. The Perkins Memorial Tower and the most breathtaking panoramic view of the Hudson River, Hudson Highlands, and Harriman State Park are located here.

    Bear Mountain State Park
    Bear Mountain State Park
    Bear Mountain State Park
    Bear Mountain State Park



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