With the dog days of summer fading away, it’s time to turn your attention from rooftop bars to your annual leaf-peeping excursions. Throw in some exercise and fresh air too, by exploring NY State’s hiking trails for every level of adventurer.

Closest to NYC

City slickers looking for a break from the concrete jungle can escape to multi-colored vistas via a quick train or car ride:

  • Harriman State Park has over 200 miles of hiking trails, as well as 31 lakes and three beaches. The Silver Mine Lake Trail reaches the top of Black Mountain, which offers stunning views of the park’s fall foliage on a backdrop of NYC’s skyline, just 30 miles south.
  • Breakneck Ridge is accessible via the Metro North to Cold Spring, only 1 hour and 15 minutes from NYC. The steep trail offers a colorful view of the Hudson River and surrounding wooded areas in Hudson Highlands State Park.

Nearby after-hike drinks

Combine two of NY State’s greatest attractions – its scenic foliage and its craft beverages – on one of these hikes:

  • You can spend an entire day at the Briarcliff-Peekskill Trail. See the Croton Dam Spillway (the second-largest hand-hewn stone structure in the world, second to the Giza Pyramids in Egypt) and its waterfall; get a birds-eye view of NY State’s prime fall foliage from Spitzenberg Mountain; or enjoy a leisurely stroll along 12 miles of linear park. Whatever you do, make sure to stop by Peekskill Brewery on the way home!
  • Adirondack Park’s 2,000+ miles of hiking trails mean several ways to work up a sweat (and a thirst). For serious hikers, the 46 peaks that make up the Adirondack High Peaks each offer a unique and strenuous hiking experience with unmatched 4,000-foot views. Or, take an easy one-mile route up Mount Arab near Tupper Lake to find thick fall foliage, a fire tower and a museum highlighting the rich history of the area. Either way, follow it up with a brew atBig Tupper Brewing and Lake Placid Pub & Brewery.
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This is Cooperstown courtesy of ThisisCooperstown.com

Fun for the whole family

These parks and trails will satisfy everyone from the bouldering teen to the leaf-peeping grandparents:

  • Letchworth State Park, the “Grand Canyon of the East,” is home to 66 miles of hiking trails and an abundance of changing leaves in its 14,350 acres. The outdoorsy family members can explore 600-feet tall gorges while those who prefer the indoors will find plenty to learn at William Pryor Letchworth Museum.
  • The Niagara Gorge Trail System parallels the Niagara River Gorge and ranges from easy walking at the top of the system to challenging hiking/bouldering in the gorge itself. Whichever difficulty level you pursue, the Gorge is a beautiful setting to admire the reds, oranges and yellows of Western NY this fall.