“Oh, you’re from New York? That’s cool, which part of the city?”
During my thru-hike of the AT, this was the typical response I received from other hikers when I shared that I was from New York.
I really can’t blame them. When the majority of people from all across the world hear ‘New York’, the Manhattan skyline typically comes to mind.
But, there is so much more to the grand state of New York than just the bustling metropolitan New York City region.
Living in the southern Hudson Valley, I have easy access to hundreds of miles of rugged and remote mountain trails right in my backyard. You’d never believe these trails lie justy thirty miles north of NYC.
And, outdoor enthusiasts have surely heard of the Adirondacks before, which run through the northern portion of the state. At over 6 million acres, this gem of a wilderness area is currently the largest publicly protected land in the contiguous United States; larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon national parks combined.
New York State is a largely underrated hiking and backpacking destination; between the Hudson Highlands in the south, the rugged mountains of the Catskills and Adirondacks up north, and the stunning river gorges and waterfalls in the western portion of the state, you can satisfy all of your outdoor exploration cravings, no matter where in the state you find yourself.
The outdoor community in New York, particularly the Catskills/ Adirondack region, is massive. People living upstate take great pride in the mountainous region they call home, and for good reason, too.
So, when I tell you that I’m from New York, this is what I really mean:
I was delighted to see NY featured in a recent e-newsletter. It is funny because my son and I are planning to ride the Continental Divide and overlook that we have such a magnificent area to enjoy here in Upstate NY. It is worth noting that we have amazing places to hike, bike, and camp in Western NY south of Buffalo, just north of the PA line. If you visit Letchworth and the Finger Lakes, drive to Warren, PA, and check out Jakes Rocks. It is insane! There are unreal glacier rocks and awesome mtn biking. Also about an hour away from Letchworth is the trailhead for the Pine Creek Rail Trail. It is known as the Grand Canyon of PA. I hail from Rochester, NY but these are a few areas that locals know about that you likely would not find in trail guides. Thanks again for covering Upstate NY!
Thanks for showing off our beautiful state from a outdoor Adirondacker!
Fully agreed says Rochester Steve. Letchworth is my favorite place to hike and take pictures.
Thank you for including Letchworth State Park (pictures of waterfalls and deep gorge) It is located south of Rochester and at the very western end of the Finger Lakes region. There are great hiking trails within the 17 miles of the park and a section of the Finger Lakes Trail on the more rugged and remote eastern side of the gorge. Truly worth the trip.