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New York
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New York

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General Information

Gateway National Recreation Area
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Gateway National Recreation Area
Description - The beautiful state of New York is full of public recreation opportunities. There are 15 national historic preservations, 1 International Park, 7 National Wildlife Refuges, over 170 State Parks and Historic Sites, and the well-known Finger Lakes National Forest. Year-round recreation abounds for all ages and abilities.

Attractions - Contrary to the beliefs of many, there is much more to New York than the metropolitan area. Although, several sights for outdoor recreation do present themselves in the city. A well-developed system of parks provide access to green grass and trees for many urbanites. Within the city of New York visitors can enjoy Gateway National Recreation Area, that encompasses 26,000 acres on Rockaway Inlet. Other sites in the metro area include Castle Clinton National Historic Site and the Statue of Liberty.

When traveling through Long Island you'll notice the lack of suburbia the further east you drive. This area contains Fire Island National Seashore, which encompasses 20,000 acres of beaches, marshes and wetlands. There are no shortages of fishing villages and historic sites in this region of the state.

The Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley lie immediately north and northwest of New York City. Natural areas to note in this region include Harriman State Park, Palisades State Park and Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Catskill Mountain Park lies between Interstate 87 and the New York Thruway and is considerably large. Roscoe, New York, is a Mecca for fly fishing in the region. The small community exists on the Thruway south of Catskill Mountain Park.

West of the Catskill Mountains is the Finger Lake region of New York. This is 'upstate' and sparsely populated as is the northern region of the state. The lakes lie between Interstates 90, 88, 390 and 81. Also in this region is Watkins Glen State Park, Women's Rights National Historical Park and Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Western New York contains many miles of shore line on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Allegheny State Park, the largest in New York, Letchworth State Park, containing the Genesee River Gorge, and Niagara Reservation, on the American side of the falls, lie within this region. This region is rich in history. One unique site of historical interest is the Erie Canal, which leads west/east connecting the Buffalo to Syracuse.

The Adirondack region of New York lies north of Interstate 90, west of Lake Champlain and east of the St. Lawrence River. This region contains the Adirondack Mountains, highest in the state, and Adirondack Forest Preserve. The preserve is a unique conglomerate of public and private lands with various recreation facilities.

Recreation - Recreation in New York is as varied as the terrain. Rock climbers around the nation know the formations of Shawangunk. Fly fishing enthusiasts will enjoy the challenging waters in Roscoe and hikers have their choice of thousands of miles of trail. The state is rich in historical sites as well. Visitors can choose from the Statue of Liberty, Women's Rights National Park and historic homes along the Hudson River.

Climate - New York experiences four distinct seasons, with spring and fall being the most pleasant times to travel through the region. Humidity in the southeastern areas of the state can make summer travel uncomfortable, although many festivals and special events occur during that season. Summer highs in the lower elevations of New York usually don't surpass 90 degrees F. Thunderstorms occur a few times a week and can bring needed relief from the heat.

During the fall and spring humidity levels drop with temperatures and make for pleasantly mild traveling weather. Fall brings brilliant color changes in the leaves and spring bring blooming flowers to all regions of the state.

Winter travel can be hazardous as the western portion of the state receives extreme amounts of snow. Debilitating ice storms hit the southeastern portion of the state as often as snow. Although the major highways are usually clear soon after snow, in time to reach the ski resorts in northern New York.

Location - The state of New York is located in the northeastern region of the United States. It lies along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean with state boundaries that include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. The northern boundary is Quebec, Canada with western areas bordering two of the five great lakes, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Harriman Hikers (Mahwah, NJ)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Harriman State Park, NY- We hike Harriman State Park regularly, year-round as we have for about 30 years. Harriman State Park is HUGE, something like 47,000 acres with a diverse geography so there is something for everybody from kids playgrounds to difficult backcountry trails. (Our hikes are somewhere in the middle of all that; 7-8 miles) There are over 200 miles of marked trails in the park and we have to over 75 destinations in the area over the years. There are a number of lakes in the park and many spectacular vistas of the mountains and valleys in the area as well as the Hudson River. There are quite a few publications in circulation about the park detailing the trails and topography of Harriman State Park. The best books and maps we have found are those published by NY/NJ Trail Conference http://www.nynjtc.org. Nearby Bear Mountain State Park, Black Rock Reservation, Sterling Forest, (in NY) Ramapo Reservation and Wawayanda State Park (in NJ) offer great hiking opportunities as well.

Filed By: Rob (Victor, NY)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Erie canal bike path - we just completed a short section from Fairport to Palmyra, nice fall colors and great path (ranged from hardtop to crushed stone). A friend completed 85 miles from Buffalo to Palmyra, said it was easy, 8 hour trip. The canal is also fine for hiking, although many communities in the Rochester area maintain fantastic hiking trails that are more remote. Shoen Place in Pittsford and the village of Fairport are great places to re-fuel. More info is available - Google Erie Canal, see you out there!

More Information

Contact Information:
New York State Division of Tourism, One Commerce Plaza , Albany, NY, 12245, Phone: 518-474-4116

New York Department of Environmental Conservation - Official Agency Website
New York State Government - New York State Government Official Agency Website


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