By Lauren I.
Hiking is one of the purest adventures you can have, and it’s a fun way to keep kids entertained on a day trip or while camping. Whether you’re searching for an upstate hike in stunning wilderness or a Catskills adventure, New York can cater to your preference. Here are five great New York State hiking trails to tackle with the family.
Trace the edge of Buttermilk Falls on its half mile Gorge Trail, which affords gorgeous, sweeping views. The park has a few smaller trails, plus a lake and a swimming area. Camping there is easy and encouraged.
Adventurous families with kids over age eight will love the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks.” Ausable Chasm leads two thrilling tours every day, in which hikers wear harnesses and are secured by cables as they traverse bridges, nets, and steep precipices.
Grab the kids, pack a picnic, and head to Kaaterskill Falls, where an easy one-mile hike affords up-close views of New York’s tallest two-tier waterfall and light swimming opportunities along the way up. The falls area can get crowded, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
Dramatic, pristine, and beautiful, Watkins Glen is an absolute must-see in the Finger Lakes region. The Gorge Trail is less than three miles long, but it boasts jaw-dropping views of cliffs and waterfalls that leave a lasting impression. Camping is also available for those who want to explore more.
This state park is ideal for families. Stroller-aged kids and toddlers can take the flat, paved walk around Hessian Lake, while older kids might enjoy the more challenging hike up to Perkins Memorial Tower (which you can also drive to). Down at the bottom, there are plenty of activities to do, including a carousel and a zoo.