With so many urban adventures to be had in NYC and beyond, it’s easy to overlook the great outdoors when exploring New York state. We’re here to fix that with these 10 awesome outdoor adventures to try in the Empire State.
Hike Storm King Mountain
Head over to the Hudson Valley for this moderately strenuous hike that serves up some stellar views of the Hudson River and sprawling forestland. You’ll earn those views with a climb of more than 600 feet over the course of this 2.5-mile loop trek near Cornwall-on-Hudson. Expect a few rocky stretches – but nothing too technical – as you make your way toward the top of the 1,340-foot-high Storm King Mountain. Amazingly enough, this outdoor adventure is less than two hours north of New York City.
Surf at Rockaway
Rockaway Beach in Queens offers some of the best surfing in the Northeast. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned surfer, you’ll feel right at home at this immensely popular spot along the Rockaway Peninsula. Grab your board and wetsuit and embark on an epic surf adventure.
Swim Peekamoose Blue Hole
Take a dip at the Peekamoose Blue Hole in Sundown Wild Forest. This emerald blue pool in the heart of the Catskill Forest Preserve is an awesome spot to cool off in the heat of the summer. This epic natural swimming hole, just under three hours north of NYC, was formed by sand and swirling gravel in an ancient whirlpool. It’s definitely a must-visit. You won’t find a more picturesque spot in the state.
Backpack Devil’s Path
Test your mettle with this grueling two- to three-day backpacking trip. Devil’s Path throws a little bit of everything at you – steep ascents, precarious descents, harrowing terrain. When all is said and done, you’ll cover 24 miles and climb more than 8,000 feet. It’s all worth it, though – not only for the sense of accomplishment but for the killer views of the rugged Catskill wilderness. There are plenty of spots to camp along the way, so do your research, plan your route, and, most important, have an awesome time.
Mountain Bike in the Adirondacks
No matter the level of mountain biking adventure you seek, the Adirondack Mountains deliver trails that span the gamut from easy greens to thrill-packed blacks. No matter where you end up, expect plenty of shock-stretching technical descents and quad-busting climbs.
Whitewater Raft the Delaware River
There are endless whitewater adventures to be had along the Delaware River, which in total flows through four states and measures more than 400 miles in length. Unless you’re an expert rafter, you’ll probably want to hook up with a local guiding company for this adventure. Kittatinny, Landers River Trips, and Pocono Whitewater are a few great options.
Windsurf at Lake Champlain
More than 100 miles of beachfront and consistently huge wind gusts, Lake Champlain in Upstate New York is one of the best inland windsurfing destinations around. Some of the top spots include Plattsburgh City Beach, Cumberland Bay, and Ausable Point State Park. Various companies offer rentals and lessons, so you don’t have to be a windsurfing pro to embark on this adventure.
Paddle the Hudson River
Get your nature fix in the big city with a paddle session on the Hudson River. There are countless launch spots strewn about the city, where you can explore scenic waterways. Hudson River Park in Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, Salt Marsh Nature Center & Marine Park in Brooklyn, and Jamaica Bay in Queens are a few phenomenal options – all with shops that rent paddleboards or kayaks.
Explore 1000 Islands
We can’t single out a particular activity for you to partake in here because there is so much to explore at 1000 Islands, an archipelago of 1,864 islands that straddles the New York and Canadian borders on the Saint Lawrence River. You can do it all here. Cycling. Paddling. Boating. Zip lining. Golf. Fishing. Diving. Castles. Yes, castles. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Fish for Trout in Roscoe
Take to the rivers, lakes, and ponds near Roscoe for some of the most epic trout fishing you’ll find in the Northeast. This tiny city in the southwest Catskill Mountains features five of the country’s top trout streams right in its backyard. There’s a reason Roscoe earned the nickname “Trout Town USA.” Go discover why for yourself!
Gear Up & Go
Need a space for all your gear when you’re not out adventuring? Turn to StorQuest Self Storage in Ronkonkoma to create the ultimate gear locker. We also offer a variety of other locations in New York state. Make room and make it happen with StorQuest.