Step Outside - New York WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 http://stepoutside.org/ Step Outside - New York 144 144 http://stepoutside.org/ https://cdn-step.americantowns.com/img/stepoutside_logo.gif Wed, 29 May 2024 07:38:02 -0500 Best Backpacking Escape from New York City When most people think of New York City, they envision skyscrapers, the bright lights of Broadway and the hustle and bustle of Manhattan—hardly a backpacker’s paradise.  Yet, just 40 miles north of Grand Central Station lies a jewel of a backpacking destination called Harriman State Park.

Encompassing more than 45,000 acres with over 200 miles of hiking trails, Harriman is the second largest park in New York state. And the sprawling park offers an amazing getaway for those wishing to throw on a backpack to day hike or spend a few undisturbed nights in woods.

In 1913, the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission built dozens of shelters and camps throughout the park—many of which are still serving the hiking public today. Camping in the shelters is strictly on a first-come/first-serve basis, but if they’re occupied, backpackers may camp within 300 feet of any of these shelters.

On a recent trip, a backpacking friend and I headed to Stone Memorial Shelter. This shelter was dedicated in 1935 in memory of Edgar and Jessie Stone, founders of the Tramp and Trail Club. It’s about a 5-mile hike from the Reeve’s Meadow Visitor’s Center to the shelter along a trail that winds its way beside a nice stream then climbs up to Pine Meadow Lake before dropping down to another stream (your camp water source) then sharply uphill to the shelter’s location. There are several water crossings along the way so waterproof hiking boots are recommended. 

If you’re coming out of New York City you’ll want to take the New York State Thruway (Route 87) to Exit 15A. You’ll make a left onto Route 17 North to the intersection of Seven Lakes Drive where you’ll see a sign for Harriman State Park. Follow Seven Lakes Drive to the Reeve’s Visitor’s Center where you’ll find ample parking and the Pine Mountain Trailhead.

Photograph by Todd Smith
Stone Memorial is typical of the shelters found in Harriman, some of which still have small fireplaces that work.

Trails are well marked, but they can be confusing. Hikers are advised to pick up a map online or at one of the Harriman Visitor Centers.

From the Reeve’s Visitor Center, you’ll want to:

  • Follow the Pine Meadow Trail (Red Blaze) to Pine Meadow Lake. 

  • Once at the lake, you’ll continue around the lake on the Pine Meadow Trail until its intersection with the start of the Conklins Crossing Trail (White Blazes). 

  • Take the Conklins Crossings Trail approximately ½ mile to its intersection with the Suffern Bear Mountain Trail (Yellow Blazes). Turn left. 

  • From there it’s a short downhill hike to the stream (your water source) followed by a short-but-steep-uphill climb to the Stone Memorial Shelter.

The shelter sits high above a rushing stream and while we were able to gather enough downed firewood for the night, we had to go quite a ways to find it. Campers are advised to bring backpacking stoves as a backup.

We had the entire shelter to ourselves on the night we were there, but there is an excellent campsite (with a firepit) just behind and above the shelter should you arrive and find it occupied. All water in the park needs to be filtered before drinking, so make sure you pack adequate filtration gear. A small backpack saw also came in very handy for bucking up firewood.

One of the nice things about Stone Memorial Shelter is that it’s more remote, so you’ll likely encounter fewer people. Another nice feature is “The Egg,” a nearby boulder “erratic” left behind by the glaciers that carved the Hudson Valley out of the granite mountainsides.

The Egg is less than a 10-minute walk back down the trail you came in on. Cross the stream that flows below the shelter then walk back up the trail about a quarter mile and you’ll find The Egg on your left.

Climb up on top of the house-sized Egg after dark to star gaze or enjoy the twinkling skyline of Manhattan’s lights in the distance as your stare down the Hudson River to the City.

Boots: While trails in Harriman are well traveled, they are quite rocky and slippery in spots, so ankle-height boots are recommended. Fall was well over when we took our hike, so I wore a pair of LOWA’s new Innox Ice GTX Mid boots. These are built for winter hiking and snowshoeing, but they are also lightweight making them an ideal everyday boot for wearing to work on slushy city sidewalks.

They are completely waterproof so sloppy stream crossings were not an issue. And the Innox Ice GTX Mid’s offered excellent ankle support for negotiating rocky trails with a full pack on. I even took them to Europe over the Christmas holiday where they kept my feet toasty warm while providing total comfort during the miles of walking we did each day on ancient cobblestone streets.

Photograph by Todd Smith
All water In Harriman State Park needs to be filtered. HydraPak’s 2-liter “Seeker” bag with Katadyn’s screw-on filter clips right onto your backpack harness. Simply unclip and sip.

Water Purification: While there is ample water in Harriman, you’ll need to filter it. My buddy, who is an ultralight backpacking expert, gifted me a HydraPak 2-liter “Seeker” water storage bag (compatible with the Katadyn EZ-Clean Membrane Filter Cartridge just before our trip. I was blown away.

I’ve used all kinds of filtration units from gravity pouches to UV water purifiers, but this one is the easiest and it collapses down to a bundle about the size of your fist. Simply fill up the water pouch, screw the filter on and drink right out of the bag. No muss; no fuss. And the bag can clip right onto the front of your pack harness with two small carabiners, so you don’t have take your pack off or go fishing around for water bottles. Simple, easy and effective.

Photograph by Todd Smith
BioLite’s rechargeable Model 330 is an ultralight headlamp that’s designed not to slip on your forehead. Running time is 3.5 hours on high.

Headlamp: Having your hands free to find your way around camp after dark makes a headlamp an indispensable part of anyone’s hiking gear. On this trip I tried BioLite’s new Headlamp 330. This rechargeable headlamp is one of the most lightweight models out there (69g), but what makes this model unique is that it fits flush to your forehead, so there is virtually no slippage. This makes this headlamp ideal for runners, but I found it equally at home on the trail.

The manufacture claims the 330 will run 40 hours on low and 3.5 hours on high. I didn’t test the low-output setting, but 3.5 hours is consistent with high-output usage results I found on my trip. Max output is 330 Lumens, which was extremely bright.

One of the beauties of short hikes like this is that even on warm days you can pack fresh ingredients into camp for lunch or dinner. So, get creative.

I’m a huge Francis Mallman fan, so we packed in fresh skirt steak, red peppers for roasting, fresh watercress, beefsteak tomatoes, onions, fresh Ciabatta rolls and Coleman’s hot mustard to do a variation of Mallman’s incredible skirt steak sandwiches found in his book Mallman on Fire.

There was an old grill top at the shelter, (we also packed a small one of our own), so we just built a huge fire and got a nice bead of coals going. The rest was easy:

  • Grill the skirt steak, onions and peppers (I marinated the steak in Italian dressing overnight before we left then packed it in double Zip-lock bags for easy, no-mess, transport into camp)

  • Split 4 rolls, brush with olive oil and toast

  • Slather the toasted rolls with Coleman’s hot mustard (be careful, this stuff is hot)

  • Add grilled skirt steak, peppers, onions, watercress and hefty slices of beefsteak tomato

  • Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and dig in.

About 3/4-pound of skirt steak made 4 amazing sandwiches—enough to leave my hiking partner and myself grinning ear to ear.

Even at a leisurely pace you can easily do the hike from the Stone Memorial Shelter back to the Visitor’s Center in three hours, so it’s easy to hit the trail in the morning and be back in the City in time to catch dinner and a show. While any season is a great time to hit Harriman, fall is a wonderful time to enjoy the autumn colors and you may even spot an Eagle or hawks migrating south along the Hudson.

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Photograph by Todd Smith The trail to Stone Memorial Shelter skirts Pine Meadow Lake—a perfect place to take photos or a lunch break. http://stepoutside.org/article/best-backpacking-escape-from-new-york-city http://stepoutside.org/article/best-backpacking-escape-from-new-york-city Mon, 15 Apr 2024 00:00:00 -0500
5 Energizing Hikes in New York If you’re an experienced hiker, climbing a challenging mountain trail is a great way to get more exercise. New York State has plenty of moderate hikes to energize and invigorate your mind, body, and soul. Here are our favorites. 

As New York’s highest peak, this Adirondack mountain trail should be on every hiker’s to-do list. Once you reach the 5,300-foot summit, enjoy panoramic views of all 46 high peaks and the sparkling lakes that dot the region.

In addition to its gorgeous lake, Lake George is home to the challenging-yet-rewarding Buck Mountain. A 5.8-mile loop trail will take you up 2,024 feet, with blueberries along the trail and breathtaking views at the top.

This moderately difficult hiking trail is often the first summit attempted by those trying to conquer all 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Hikers climb (or rock-scramble) 4.8 miles to reach the top of this peak, which offers panoramic views you’ll never forget.

Although this mountain’s summit can be reached by car, the hike from the bottom is an invigorating pursuit. Follow the 3.2-mile trail along the old tramway until you reach the top—sights from there are especially pretty in the fall.

Located in Harriman State Park, the 6.6-mile Pine Meadow Trail is a moderate trek. At the end of the journey, hikers are afforded views of the 77-acre Pine Meadow Lake. This hike will get your heart pumping and treat you to serene scenic views when you’re finished. 

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5 Beautiful Scenic Hikes in New York When it comes to scenic hiking trails, New York State offers explorers some of the best. In New York, you’ll find a wealth of diversity and stunning terrain. Whether you’re headed up to the Finger Lakes region or you’re just looking to escape the city for a few hours, there’s an immaculate sight close by. Here are five hikes in New York State that will reward you with stunning views from start to finish.

This beautiful loop in the Finger Lakes region follows a striking river gorge with steep cliffs and 19 waterfalls along the way. Described as a magical experience, hikers on this 2.5-mile trail are immersed in a world of steep stone, rushing water, and lush greenery.

Just a Metro-North train ride from Manhattan, Breakneck Ridge is considered one of the more challenging hikes in the Hudson Valley. After a few hours of steep rock scrambles, you’ll reach the top, which has a flagpole and dramatic views of the Hudson River and the Hudson Highlands.

With stone staircases and an elevation of 3,352 feet, this challenging Adirondacks hike has some of the best views to be seen in New York State.  At the end of the nearly-three-mile hike, adventurers are rewarded with panoramic views of the Adirondack mountains and the Saranac lakes.

A 1.7-mile stone path, the Gorge Trail is ideal for families, photographers, and nature enthusiasts alike. After a few steep stair climbs, hikers enjoy prime views of the impressive Buttermilk Falls and Buttermilk Creek.

About an hour’s drive upstate from New York City, Bear Mountain State Park provides climbers with a moderate hike that affords views of the rolling Hudson Highlands, the Bear Mountain Bridge, some serene lakes, and the majestic Hudson River.

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5 Exhilarating Jet Skiing Spots in New York Wind, waves, and water—jet-skiing is the ultimate summer adrenaline rush, and with New York State’s diverse waterways, it’s hard to pick the best spot to go. For some of the most scenic beauty and one of the most thrilling rides of your life, New York State will bring you the best. Here are five exhilarating jet skiing areas to check out first.

Lake George has been an excellent watersports destination for generations. The gorgeous lake is home to marinas like Chic’s Marina that give lessons and rent jet-skis for your enjoyment. Rates go at $80 per half hour and $5 per additional passenger.  

It’s hard to imagine a more glorious jet skiing view than New York City. Jetty Jumpers runs several excursions and tours, one of which includes the Coney Island Tour. The tour begins at Gerritsen Creek through Lower New York Bay, moves through Brighton Beach, and heads to Coney Island. Along the way, you’ll see Jamaica Bay, Manhattan Beach, the Coney Island Boardwalk, and more! 

Those looking for a thrill out on the waters of Lake Ontario or Irondequoit Bay need look no further than Southpoint Marina & Pool Club, which rents jet skis by the hour. Some rates include $129 for one hour, $169 for 1.5 hours, and $228 for two hours.  

The fork of Long Island is the dividing line between the Atlantic Ocean and the Long Island Sound, with Peconic Bay and Gardiners Bay filling the middle. Places like Peconic Water Sports and East End Jet Ski serve the adventurous at heart. Check out these spots for great rental rates! 

This calm, narrow Finger Lake is great for boating and jet skiing. Keuka Watersports, located at the southern tip of the lake in Hammondsport, sells and rents jet skis and other motorized and non-motorized watercraft.

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5 Best Dirt Motorcycle Trails in New York Experience the great outdoors on a dirt bike track or trail in New York. Whether you’re a beginner looking for riding tips, a seasoned woods enthusiast, or an avid racer, New York State has plenty of motocross and dirt biking facilities to choose from. Ranging from private tracks in the Hudson Valley to sports centers with regularly-scheduled races, here are the five best dirt biking trails in the state. 

This private motocross club is devoted to the sport, frequently hosting races on its 75-acre property. There’s a three-mile motocross track, a peewee track, and a woods course.

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Walden has been providing dirt bikers a racing space for over 50 years. The Hudson Valley dirt bike facility hosts motocross races on two tracks at the same time, which many other facilities do not do.

Proudly hosting motocross races, Broome Tioga Sports Center welcomes New York dirt bike riders to spectate, practice riding, or participate in the races themselves. There are three racing tracks, including a national track and a grass track for bigger races.

With a large main racing track, kids’ tracks, wooded trails, and beginner lessons, Area 51 is a destination for riders of all kinds in Western New York. Admission is $25 for visitors and $5 for members.

Ten miles of wooded trails make up this lush dirt biking and ATV-riding park. There are also campsites, RV parking areas, boat rentals, a swimming pool, and tennis and basketball courts.

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5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in New York If you’re looking to get the adrenaline pumping, a muddy, heart-pounding, off-roading adventure fits the bill! New York State is home to some excellent extreme parks and trail systems to traverse all day long. Here are five great spots to start your off-roading journey in New York! 

New York State’s only legal public ATV trail system does not disappoint. Lewis County’s four-wheeler trails span 600 miles of wilderness. Permits are required and safety precautions are enforced.

Not quite ready to venture off on your own yet? Head to Whitehall for the renowned Adirondack ATV Tours. Exclusively featuring "top of the line Polaris RZRs," according to their website, you'll be riding in style. Book your tour today and explore tens of thousands of miles of off-roading trails.  

Over 60 trails of various levels make Mettowee Off Road Extreme Park an attractive option for ATV riders. The park allows camping and frequently hosts special events.

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Good way to start the year off #mettowee #springfling #polarishighlifter

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When you become a member of this private motorsports club on Long Island, you’ll receive access to 13 acres of dirt bike and ATV tracks designed to improve speed and skills.

This family-friendly ATV park provides 70 miles of clearly marked trails in a lush natural setting. Camping is allowed and rules are enforced.

When she fights it, then warms up to, before finally accepting that #SAFTB

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*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

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5 Great Hiking Trails in New York 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.

much love for mother nature

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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.

Most of the time, beauty lies in the simplest of things. 🗺🌲@ausable_chasm

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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.

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5 Awesome Trail Running Spots in New York Running outside is a meditative experience for many, and New York is a wonderland for those who want to escape into nature during their workouts. Get a healthy dose of farms, lakes, hills, and wilderness on these popular trail running routes around the state.

A segment of the Appalachian Trail runs through Fahnestock State Park, making this woodsy, self-guided running trail a great place to lace up your running shoes.

Witness charming scenes of farm buildings and ponds along these dirt paths, which are ideal for trail runners in the Poughkeepsie area. There is the easy Farm Road trail, which is roughly 1.5 miles. The more moderate trails include Collin’s Trail, North Trail, Swain Trail, Wright Trail, and Davies Trail—all of which barely exceed one mile. For more of a challenge try the Drumlin Trail, Helen Johnson Woodworth Memorial Trail, or Quercus Trail. 

Check out one of the roughly 46 miles of designated hiking trails at Minnewaska State Park. The trails stretch out around Lake Minnewaska. As you work out, you’ll also take in several gorgeous vistas. Running has never been so beautiful! 

You’ll escape into nature when you run up Scarface Mountain, a densely-wooded trail in the Adirondacks. The roughly four-mile running path becomes steep and rocky as you ascend the mountain. This can take several hours to hike, so come prepared! 

This portion of the Abbott Loop is a wonderful Ithaca-area trek. Abbott Loop East is 3.5 miles and moderately difficult. Along the way, you’ll soak in beautiful sights of the surrounding wilderness and cross a footbridge over a stream. This hike is considered to be a good running location. 

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ATV Off-Roading Adventure in Lewis County Riding your ATV through the Adirondacks is one of the most scenic experiences imaginable. The magnificent landscape and expansive space of the trail system in Lewis County will provide thrill-seekers hours of outdoor fun. With all there is to enjoy, it’s best to make a whole adventure of it. Enjoy a bite to eat and a place to rest your head after your exciting day on the trails at Lewis County. 

Before hitting the trails, fuel up with some caffeine at Café Z. This cozy, sun-filled coffee shop will make you want to linger a while with its tasty espressos and delectable pastry selection.

For ATV enthusiasts in New York State, there’s only one public trail system—the expansive Lewis County ATV Trail System in the Adirondacks. The 500-mile park provides hours of adrenaline rush-inducing, off-road adventures on wheels. Keep in mind, you must purchase a permit before you explore! This is an ATV enthusiast’s paradise. 

Tuckered out after a day on the ATV? Dinner at Ridgeview Inn Restaurant & Lounge is just what you need to unwind. With its high ceilings, expansive views, and a comfort-food menu, this Lowville restaurant is a sure crowd-pleaser.

This comfortable bed and breakfast opened in 2002 and has been a welcome spot for ATV and snowmobile riders ever since then. The rooms are quaint and cozy and will make you feel like you’re right at home. And in the morning? A full breakfast is included with your stay.  

This expansive deer hunting ranch is “where dreams become reality.” At Lowlands Whitetails, sportsmen get to hunt for buck weighing in at anywhere between 150-250 pounds—sometimes more! They have special tags for your deer carcass, and will also recommend a local meat processor and/or a local taxidermist.   

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5 Best Birdwatching Hikes in New York Watching rare and beautiful birds in the wild can be a truly awe-inspiring experience. New York is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with wilderness and nature preserves beckoning birds across the state. Here are five great birding hikes to discover in New York. 

With a location so close to JFK Airport, you might not expect it, but this 9,000-acre refuge is one of the top birdwatching destinations in the East. More than 300 species of birds have been seen there, and walking permits for trails around the center’s two large ponds are free.

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Dozens of duck species, geese, and other types of waterfowl occupy this wildlife refuge on the northern tip of Lake Cayuga. The wetlands are also home to six active bald eagle nests.

🕊

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Over five miles of nature trails allow birding enthusiasts to view species like eastern bluebird, red-winged blackbird, and yellow warbler up close, and in close proximity you’ll find camping and hiking opportunities in Allegany State Park.

Name that bird #audubon #bird #trees🌳

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From March to May, Derby Hill becomes home to a spectacular number of hawks, eagles, and vultures, as well as scores of birdwatching enthusiasts. The birds migrate over Lake Ontario in spring, and Derby Hill is the point where they often turn east.

In the winter months, thousands of gulls feed on fish in Niagara Falls. Birdwatchers on each side of the majestic falls might spy Iceland gull, back-legged kittiwake, and more, earning it the nickname “Gull Capital of the World.”

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5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in New York Kayaking is fun, peaceful, and one of the best ways to get closer to nature. New York State is a paddler’s paradise, with plenty of options for those who are just getting started. Feeling nervous? No problem. Bring a guide with you for your first time out. Here are five great kayaking spots to dip your paddle in the water for the first time. 

For those who seek a calmer alternative to the Hudson River, Croton River is worth checking out. Launch your kayak from Echo Canoe and Kayak Launch, and enjoy the scenes of pretty houses and water birds along the way.

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Ships passing in the night #dogsofrei #reiemployee #optoutside

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This small, serene lake is open only to boats without motors, contributing to its beginner-friendly appeal. Paddle around the lake’s one mile of shoreline and take in the sights and sounds of the surrounding woodlands.

In its 588 acres of water, Lamoka Lake reveals quiet inlets, marshlands, wildlife, summer homes, and three islands to explore. You can also kayak through a channel to Lamoka’s sister lake, Waneta Lake.

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This lake is a haven for wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds and plants, as well as beavers, turtles, and migrating Canada geese. Call ahead before kayaking—the nature center reserves the right to close the lake at any time.

One of the largest rivers in central New York, Seneca River is a popular spot for kayakers who want a leisurely experience. Check out the Howland Island Wildlife Management Area, which is a nesting spot for birds that you can explore on foot.

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9 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in New York Whether you cast your line on the Hudson River, Montauk Point, or out at sea, having the right gear can mean the difference between success and failure. New York anglers are graced with some of the best bait and tackle shops around. Trust the experts at these esteemed shops across that state.

Run by seasoned fisherman Paulie, this Montauk fishing establishment provides professional and recreational fishers with the full spectrum of supplies. Expect to find everything from custom rods to seasonal fresh and frozen bait.

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Fishers around Sheepshead Bay rely on the expertise and full selection of Stella Maris Bait & Tackle to aid them out on the water. They stock everything from rods, rigs, and reels to live, seasonal bait.

Located near the New York coast of Lake Champlain, this bait and tackle shop is run by the friendly and knowledgeable Norm, who stocks everything you need for a successful fishing trip on the lake.

Founded in 1952, Thousand Island Bait Store carries the lures you need to catch panfish, bass, northern pike, walleye, and muskie in the St. Lawrence River. 

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If you want to go fishing in the Hamptons, East End Bait & Tackle is a shop to check out. Selling clothing and equipment like rods, reels, and tackle from high-quality brands, this bait and tackle shop has you covered.

With a motto like “We’re not the biggest, just the best,” you can expect a lot from this fishing shop in the Catskills region. The shop stocks everything you need for fly fishing out on the river, including attire, fishing rods, and bait.

Catskills Flies - Roscoe, NY #flyfishing #shoplocal

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Hudson River fishing enthusiasts should make River Basin Sports their first stop from March through November. Selling rods, reels, lures, and accessories and doling out expert information about fishing on the Hudson, this shop has earned a great reputation in the area.

Rochester’s premier fishing supply, this shop will “hook you up” with all manner of equipment—from fishing rods and lines to lures, baits, and electronics.

This Sag Harbor bait and tackle shop is extremely well-stocked, with the largest supply of salt water flies on Long Island’s East End. The store sells rods, reels, lures, and more, and its experienced employees perform repairs when you need them.

Which one do you thing will work best in saltwater reeds

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5 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in New York There’s no better way to experience the wonders of nature than by backpacking by day and camping under the stars at night. New York State is home to some incredible parks, and many of them allow tent camping. Here are five great places to set up camp in New York State.

Tucked away in the deep wilderness of the Adirondacks, Cranberry Lake Campground is a true getaway. The grounds have 173 campsites, plus hot showers and toilets, and the park has endless natural scenery to explore.

Two-hundred and nineteen woodsy, tent-friendly campsites are to be found in the Catskills at North-South Lake Campground, which is located near popular landmarks like Kaaterskill Falls and Alligator Rock.

This state forest is 1,450 acres of scenic hiking trails and at-large primitive camping space. There are no designated campsites in the forest, but primitive camping (at least 150 feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water) is allowed.  

Named after Chief Daniel Nimham of the Wappingers tribe, Ninham Mountain makes for an incredible backpack camping experience. There are roughly 10 miles of hiking trails, opportunity for paddle sports, biking and horseback riding trails, as well as fishing opportunity. 

The picturesque sights and sounds of this Adirondack campground will take your breath away. Described as a “jewel” of a campground, the Adirondacks make for an excellent backpack camping location. Enjoy canoeing, fishing, and hiking at Brown Tract Pond Campground. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-beautiful-backpack-camping-spots-in-new-york http://stepoutside.org/article/5-beautiful-backpack-camping-spots-in-new-york Wed, 20 Mar 2024 00:00:00 -0500
SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Letchworth State Park Picture the Genesee River cutting through dramatic cliffs and rolling green hills, throw in some scenic waterfalls, and you’ve got Letchworth State Park. This lush canyon, located on the western edge of the Finger Lakes region, has inspired awe for hundreds of years—it’s even earned the nickname, “Grand Canyon of the East.” A trip to Letchworth affords ample opportunity for hiking, photography, camping, horseback riding, and a lot more. Here are the best things to do in and around the park! 

One of the most magnificent places in the eastern United States, Letchworth State Park is a sight to behold all year-round. With tumbling cliffs, some as high as 600 feet, 66 miles of hiking trails, and opportunity for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, the activities are endless. 

Follow the popular Gorge Trail, which traces the Genesee throughout seven miles of the park. The hiking trail passes picturesque waterfalls and vistas like Inspiration Point, as well as several picnic areas.

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Pause for a moment to get a bird’s eye view of the Genesee meandering through the gorge, complete with a hilly landscape on either side, a cascading waterfall, and a towering bridge above it all.

Letchworth State Park has over 250 campsites throughout the park with access to bathrooms, showers, firewood, and recreation like a swimming pool and volleyball courts. These sites are open from May to October. For the winter explorers, check out the cabin rentals. Visit the Reserve America website for more information about booking your charming rustic cabin. 

Wealthy businessman William Pryor Letchworth fell in love with the land in the 19th century and bought it to establish an estate. Later in life, he donated a thousand acres of the land to the state for use as a natural preserve. The William Pryor Letchworth Museum contains a detailed history of the park as well as Native American artifacts from the industrialist’s personal collection.

The mouthwatering menu at Hole in the Wall will surely sate your appetite after some time spent working hard outdoors. This restaurant serves everything from home-style chicken and biscuits to an impressive beef on weck. Whatever you feel like, you’ll find something hearty and delicious at Hole in the Wall. 

Now your belly is full and you’re ready to really unwind. Head to Amber Lantern Brewing in Warsaw, New York, for a delicious cold one. The extensive beer list features everything from “A Porter Has No Name,” described as a “velvety and rich,” “chocolate and coffee” porter, to the Saint Bernard, described as a “winter warmer,” “deeply malty and warming” made with orange peel and cinnamon. Delicious! 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-letchworth-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-letchworth-state-park Sun, 10 Mar 2024 00:00:00 -0600
5 Best Fishing Spots in New York Blessed with two Great Lakes, miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, and rivers teeming with prized fish, New York State is a fisherman’s paradise. Here are 10 excellent spots to cast a line in New York.

Spanning the border between Vermont, Quebec, and the Adirondacks, this long, narrow upstate New York lake is both beautiful and bountiful. It’s a popular place to hook salmon, northern pike, trout, and more.

Clear Creek has over 5.5 miles of public fishing available and the creek is known for its bountiful fish populations. Expect to hook brown and rainbow trout here. The largest brown trout sampled here was 18.3 inches and the largest rainbow trout was 11.3 inches.   

Lake Ontario is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the entire world. It is around 200 miles-long and stretches all the way from the Niagara River to the St. Lawrence River. Expect to find plenty of chinook, trout, bass, coho salmon, and walleye, among other great fish. This is truly a trophy fishing spot in New York State. 

Divided into two sections by the Cannonsville Reservoir, the West Branch of the Delaware River is an optimal destination for snagging bass, rainbow trout, and brown trout. Upstream, the river is stocked with over 14,000 brown trout. Smallmouth bass and rainbow trout are just two types of fish that can be found in the warm waters of the Delaware.

With 106 miles of shoreline and 435 feet of depth, Cayuga Lake is the second largest of the Finger Lakes region. Expect to find a variation of fish here, including both warm and cold water species. Anglers can hook anything from lake trout and Atlantic salmon to channel catfish and lake sturgeon. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-new-york http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-new-york Thu, 22 Feb 2024 00:00:00 -0600