Sure, New York City isn’t exactly the ideal place for hiking and camping, but the rest of the state is filled with forests and rivers to enjoy. While NYC draws much of the tourism, heading beyond the Big Apple will lead you to hidden gems for camping in New York State.
What’s the Best Time of Year to Go Camping in New York?
Camping in New York tends to follow a fairly traditional season of late spring to early fall. While temperatures will vary depending on where you are, the standard season of late spring to early fall is generally the one to follow when camping in New York.
What Are the Top Outdoor Activities in New York?
New York City has several major urban parks to enjoy, but the best outdoor adventures are in the nearby mountains. Among the plentiful opportunities for hiking and camping in New York, mountain lovers should head for the Adirondacks and Catskills for a worthwhile experience.
What Are the National Parks in New York?
There’s no better beachfront to visit while camping in New York than Fire Island. The dunes at Fire Island National Seashore offer a different outdoor experience from what you’ll find in most of this wooded state. On site is a 300-year-old estate that now is a part of the park’s historic heritage and open to the public.
If you’re driving from Pennsylvania or just visiting the southern section of the state, this is a great option for hiking and camping in New York. Much of the land in this area is privately owned, so check the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River’s website before visiting this section of the Delaware.
This national historic trail makes its way through 10 states and illustrates the journey of French General Rochambeau’s support of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. While it’s not a spot for camping in New York, the significance of this trail can interest any history enthusiast.
This 27,000-acre national recreation area (NRA) spans across New Jersey and New York State. This seemingly endless acreage offers you plenty of room to explore the coast, swim, fish, and enjoy outdoor experiences not afforded to those visiting the urban areas of New York.
What Are Some of the Most Popular State Parks in New York?
This is the oldest state park in the country, as well as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. Visitors to the U.S. side of Niagara Falls can also stop by the aptly-named American Falls, as well as Bridal Veil Falls and a section of Horseshoe Falls.
While you can explore on your own, a boat tour is the best way to experience Niagara Falls. This isn’t a spot for camping in New York, though, so you’ll need to make other accommodations if you plan to spend extended time in the area.
Sure, NYC isn’t the pinnacle of outdoor activities, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave the city to get your steps in. Riverbank State Park is an innovative use of space in a city where acreage is at a premium. The multi-level urban park is actually situated atop a sewage treatment facility with wide-open views of the Hudson River on one level and multiple sports options on the others.
Located downstate on the west bank of the Hudson River is one of New York’s best four-season state parks. Bear Mountain State Park offers year-round activities, including some of the more comfortable options for camping in New York during the summer. With several lodges, you can enjoy all the comforts of home while you visit Bear Mountain.
Watkins Glen State Park is home to some of the state’s best waterfalls. Hiking to see these marvels isn’t too taxing either, as a two-mile hike takes you by 19 of the park’s waterfalls in one trip! While there are several other trails here, the waterfall hike is far and away the most popular.
What Are the Top Attractions in New York?
There’s no New York City park more iconic than Central Park. Located in the upper section of the city, this park spans 843 acres, though it is actually only the fifth-largest in NYC. Public tours are available, but it’s easy to explore and enjoy the park on your own.
Known simply as the Met, this is the premier museum in the city—actually, not just in NYC, but arguably the premier museum in the country. While you can explore the Met in a day, you’re really better off spending extended time in a few sections per visit to properly enjoy the collections here.
Yep, you’ll find park rangers at the Statue of Liberty. You might not be aware, but it’s actually a National Park Service site! The Statue of Liberty holds a spot towards the top of the list of must-do things while in New York. Sure, it’s touristy, but it’s also something you have to do at least once.
Any part of the Adirondack Mountain Range deserves a spot on an itinerary for hiking and camping in New York. The Adirondacks form a circular dome, unlike the standard long line of most mountain ranges.
There are plenty of fun activities in the Adirondacks. For the more adventurous, skiing Whiteface Mountain or hiking Mount Haystack has to be on the bucket list. For something a little more relaxing, visit the Village of Saranac Lake or stop into Tupper Lake’s Raquette River Brewing.
Where’s Some of the Best Food in New York?
Per Se - New York City
For one of the highest-quality dining experiences in the city, visit Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurant, Per Se. This luxurious French restaurant offers views of Central Park complemented by the chef’s nine-course tasting menus available in standard and vegetarian options. As you would expect from a three Michelin-star restaurant, you’ll want to book your reservation well in advance.
This restaurant is often a part of wedding and event receptions, but reservations for small parties of 2 to 6 are available Wednesday through Saturday for dinner. This is another fine dining spot featuring a handcrafted tasting menu of Portuguese Hudson Valley Cuisine. Wine pairings are available separately but are recommended to enhance your dining experience.
You can’t have a trip to New York without a stop into an authentic Italian deli! This deli is in a classic Italian grocery, and, like any good hole-in-the-wall spot, you have to be in the know to appreciate it. You’ll find a varied menu with more sandwich choices than you knew existed. If you want something a bit more hearty, the deli offers several Italian entrée options.
Bánh – New York City
This is the place to be if you’re searching for good Vietnamese food in NYC. This is the tastiest celebration of Vietnamese culture you’ll find, with a wide variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes to enjoy. If you’re stuck, go with the restaurant’s namesake, a classic banh mi.
There’s a whole lot more to New York State than the Big Apple, but that doesn’t mean you want to miss out on the great culinary and cultural experiences offered there. Once you’ve checked off the boxes of must-visit NYC spots, head to the wooded expanses of the rest of the state to find the best hiking and camping in New York.