Step Outside - New York WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 Step Outside - New York 144 144 Sat, 23 Mar 2019 14:01:12 -0500 10 Best Ski Destinations for Families in New York Once the snow starts falling, it’s time to hit the ski trails—and teach your young ones how to ski that fresh powder. Whether you’re into downhill skiing, cross-country, or snowboarding, there’s a place in New York for you. Here are 10 excellent ski areas for families that can be found across New York State.

Affordable and accessible by Metro-North train, this small, family-owned ski area is a great option for city-dwelling families who don’t want to drive to their snow-sport destination.

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This state-owned mountain has a laid-back vibe, affordable prices, and some exhilarating Catskills trails. Its 55 trails include plenty of options for beginners just finding their way on skis.

This Hudson Valley resort is open for outdoor fun year-round, and in winter, ski instruction is available. Take your little ones to this winter wonderland to try out the sport for the first time. If they don’t like it, there’s plenty of other options like ice skating and snow tubing to enjoy!

This family resort in New York’s accessible Catskills Mountains has 48 trails and includes a beginner area. The resort also offers snow tubing, ice skating, snow shoeing, and an adventure park for the more daring family members.

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Located in the Finger Lakes region, this 32-trail mountain resort is geared toward family fun. If anyone tires of the snow, there’s a spa for adults and an indoor water park for the kids.

Just two hours north of New York City, this three-peak ski resort is among the most popular winter-sport destinations in the state. In addition, Hunter Mountain also has slope-side accommodations and 1,000-foot-long snow tubing lanes.

With 38 trails, free admission for kids under age seven, and a base elevation of 2,200 feet, this ski resort is perfect for kids and families. If you’re staying the night, add some excitement to the trip by staying at the Roxbury Motel.

For families looking for a ski destination near Buffalo, Holiday Valley is a great option. The kid-friendly trails, ski-in/out lodging, and snow-making technology make this resort a top choice in the region.

Offering free lessons three times a day, this Warwick ski area is extremely friendly for families. They even offer a special ski school for toddlers, called Pete’s Pals. If you live in the area, consider signing your child up for one of their racing teams, too!

Located in the buzzing ski town of Lake Placid, families who visit this premier ski mountain can enjoy a range of enjoyable activities off the slope. Everything from bobsledding, luging, and dog sledding can be experienced near this Adirondack resort.

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10 Best Apres Ski Activities in New York The fun doesn't end after you finish up on the slopes for the day. That's where apres ski activities come in. The areas surrounding Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid and Holiday Valley in Ellicottville offer endless post-ski excitement. From trying your hand at bobsledding to unwinding with a massage, here are the best apres ski activities in New York! 

Lake Placid, a famous Olympic location, gives you the opportunity to feel what it would be like to be in the games. Their bobsledding experience lets you ride with a professional driver and brakeman as you wind your way through Olympic twists and turns, experiencing the track that athletes around the world know and love.

Top of the Park is open until midnight, and their top floor location provides you with spectacular views. They serve signature cocktails, spirits, and wines, and have a craft beer lineup that changes seasonally. Although their bartenders can make you any one of your favorite drinks, their specialties are unique to them. Enjoy cocktails like an Espresso Russian, Orange Blossom Martini, and Top’s Old Fashioned.

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Smoke Signals has gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options available, making this the perfect spot for the whole crowd. Their menu features homemade starters, like Korean BBQ mini tacos and signature rib nachos; award-winning wings in six different flavors; and (of course) BBQ classics like beef brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs, and brisket burnt ends.

If you’re an active soul, you’ll want to keep the momentum going after hopping off the trails. There’s no better way to do so than to try out fat tire biking. There are many notable trails in Lake Placid, however a popular winter spot is on the shore of Lake Placid on the Brewster Peninsula Trails. Rentals, guides, and information are all available at High Peaks Cyclery where you can choose from half-day, full-day, or two-day options. Glide through the snowy trails with ease and enjoy the scenes all around you.

The spa at Whiteface Lodge is the perfect spot to relax and unwind if your muscles are feeling tight after a day of activity. Condé Nast Traveler ranked them as one of the Top 100 Spas in North America, and the spa’s blend of rustic beauty and serene ambiance live up to the title. Three luxurious spa packages are available for you to choose from: Rustic Romance, Spa Escape, and Ultimate Luxury

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Holiday Valley Ski Resort has a snow tubing park with 22 lanes, three of which are group lanes. This activity allows you to enjoy the snow while giving your feet and arms a break—all you have to do is sit down and hang tight. Their brand-new conveyor lift brings you back up the hill, so there’s no need to worry about going down 900-foot lanes (at a 100-foot vertical drop) and having to trek all the way back.

Ellicottville is the flagship location for the Ellicottville Brewing Co. As such, it’s home to their brewery—which means you can head down after a day on the slopes, tour the facility, and knock back a few drinks with some friends. Their tours can accommodate any size group, and you’ll get the chance to see the behind-the-scenes operations. Ellicottville Brewing Co. has a selection of seasonal bottles for you to try, too!

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Balloons is Ellicottville’s only night club. They have a new line-up every week and a calendar on their website, so you can check ahead to see who’s playing when you’ll be in town! Balloons has a selection of food and drink for you to have alongside the show, including options like Buffalo-style wings, Bavarian pretzels, tacos, flatbread pizzas, and poutine (potatoes fried to perfection cloaked in gravy, fresh mozzarella, and cheese curd).

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Ready for some horseback riding through the wintery fields? About 10 miles from Holiday Valley you’ll find this horse ranch in the town of Salamanca. The amazing people at the Crosspatch, Jim and Dolly Little, have been in the horse business for over 40 years and put all of their focus into helping people achieve their horse-riding dreams! They have plenty of options all lead by local guides like the Pub ride, where you’ll ride a trusty stead to the beloved Little Valley spot Hughes Hotel for well-deserved drinks and grub after a day of skiing. Check out their options, call and make a reservation!

One of Holiday Valley Ski Resort’s big attractions that draws in people from all over the country is the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster. Operating Friday through Sunday in the winter season, you can zig and zag your way down the mountain. With a track over 4,800 feet long, and uphill and downhill portions, your adrenaline-junkie self will be giddy with excitement! After skiing down Holiday Valley’s trails, it’ll be nice to see the gorgeous mountainous views from a different perspective.

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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.

Photograph by Todd Smith The trail to Stone Memorial Shelter skirts Pine Meadow Lake—a perfect place to take photos or a lunch break. Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0600
10 Best Ski and Snowboard Stores in New York If you’re planning on hitting the slopes this winter season, outfitting yourself with the right gear is crucial. Whether you’re just putting on skis for the first time or your long-loved gear needs updating, the local, expertly-staffed ski and snowboard shops of New York State are here to help. Check out our favorites. 

Family-run since 1945, what began as a small sport shop has since expanded into multiple locations and become the area’s authority on ski and snowboard equipment. The shops sell equipment and apparel from the top brands in winter sports, including Armada, Volkl, and Rossignol

Since 1962, this year-round ski and snowboard shop has been a magnet for winter-sports enthusiasts.  The staff can make recommendations, perform repairs and tune-ups, and provide rental equipment for your time on the slopes.

Consistently voted one of the best ski and snowboard shops in the area, this shop stocks top brands like Volkl, Rossignol, and Salomon, and boasts a staff with some serious winter spot expertise.

Since 1975, this outdoor gear store in the heart of the Adirondacks has been trying and testing its own equipment to ensure the utmost quality standards. As a result, whether you’re seeking ski or snowboard gear, the staff has expertise and can help you make the right decision.

Skis, boots, poles, bindings, snowboards, snowshoes, and all the apparel that goes with it—whatever your winter sport of choice, Alpine Sport Shop has it in stock. The staff has expertise and can help you find what you want.

With a knowledgeable staff and a diverse selection of cross-country and downhill skis and snowboards, this Lake Placid shop will meet your winter sporting needs. They also have a “recyclery” upstairs, with secondhand gear for discounted prices.

Named after a Norse sea god and run by local New Yorkers who surf, skate, and snowboard, this gorgeous, light-filled store sells only the type of high-quality gear that the owners would use themselves.

With an enormous selection of ski and snowboard gear, this flagship SoHo store has everything you need to hit the slopes. In addition to high-quality equipment and gear, the staff at the store is extremely knowledgeable and willing to help.

Since 1961, this Westchester ski gear shop has been providing snow sports enthusiasts with top-quality gear, equipment, and services like tuning and repairs.

In the winter, this shop transforms into a full-service ski and snowboard shop. With locations in Greenvale, Levittown, Farmingdale, Lake Grove, and Ronkonkoma, this store stocks everything from clothing and helmets to skis and board from brands like Rossignol, K2, and Burton.

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Best Winter Weekend Getaway at Finger Lakes National Forest Sometimes we just need to get away from it all—whether with friends, family, a significant other, or just by ourselves. Winter can be one of the best seasons for a weekend vacation. You get to explore the outdoors in all of its snow-covered glory, sit in front of fireplaces at a B&B, and ski down mountains with ease. In New York, one of the best regions for a time like this is around the Finger Lakes National Forest. Plan a trip and be sure to check out these destinations. 

Greek Peak has plenty of different trails ranging from easy to medium to difficult. Easy slopes include West Brook, East Brook, Big Flat, and Hillcrest, which are perfect for beginners or someone who wants a relaxing ski trip! If you feel a bit more adventurous, try your hand at the Lost Trail, Treeline, and Lucky Beech slopes. Greek Peak even offers lessons and equipment rentals, if you don’t feel like travelling with your skis!

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The Seneca Lake Wine Trail’s Polar Passport is available (and valid) from the beginning of December through the end of March. At $30 a pop, you’ll be able to use it to visit 16 wineries. They can be purchased and mailed to you three weeks in advance; however, if you’re planning a last-minute trip, you can pick them up at any participating winery! The passports get you a complimentary flight of wine at each location, where they’ll stamp the appropriate spot and leave you free to move on to the next one!

Smok’n Bones BBQ & Brews will perfectly round out your day with their selections of starters, entrees, desserts, and drinks. Their Frickles (hand-breaded fried pickle spears) are served with a ranch and petal sauce and make a fabulous starter to one of their special barbecue dishes like beef brisket, marinated half chicken, or a pulled pork grilled ultra-thin crust pizza. They’ve even got a kid’s menu (complete with an all-beef pretzel-wrapped hot dog with fries), making it the perfect spot no matter who you’re with.

Sampson Park requires a special hunting permit for their park, and hunters must wear a blaze orange hat or vest while moving. They have a couple different seasons between November and December: The five-day shotgun season and the late bow and muzzleloader season. There are currently no antler restrictions at the park, and all harvested deer need to be recorded at the office.

The Burdett House is a quaint, quiet place that’s perfect for anyone planning a trip on their own! It’s a beautiful getaway location that allows you to gather your thoughts in one of their uniquely decorated rooms. Best of all, you’ll be going during the low season, meaning rates are cheaper than they would be in late spring to early fall. Burdett has a one-night minimum stay during the week and a two-night minimum on weekends.

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Seneca Lake spans across several townships near the Finger Lakes National Forest, so there’s fishing access no matter where you’re staying along the lake! Potential catches include the lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, pickerel, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, and yellow perch. Be sure to have proper permits as well as be fully aware of fishing rules and regulations

Rice Hill is the favorite spot among locals to go sledding on their epic hill, as well at ice skating on one of its two ponds. There is so much to be done here, with multi-use trails that offer great snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, or hiking conditions. If you’re worried about braving the cold, fear not as there is a warming hut containing a wooden stove. Pack a thermos full of hot cocoa, grab your winter activity gear and head to the hill! Check the website for directions and a map.

Ithaca Beer Co.’s taproom has a complete food menu in addition to their tap list! Their Brew York is pale ale made from 100 percent New York state hops and 66 percent New York state malts. Or, if you’re into IPAs, they have a New York Double IPA that celebrates the beer agriculture of the state with pine, resin, and citrus notes. Be sure to try their Cheddar Ale Soup (at $4 a cup!), made with their Brew York Pale Ale and New York cheddar cheese.

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The Backbone Horse Campground has 11 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis—so make sure to get there bright and early! Each site is large enough to accommodate a trailer and has three vault toilets, picnic tables, trash cans, and fire rings. There are even grills at some of them if you’re up for a winter cookout!

The SkyLand Art Barn in Burdett is the perfect place to pick up a local souvenir for your trip. Vote one of thirty-two must-see sites in the state by National Geographic Traveler, they reside on the southeast side of Seneca Lake in a refurbished 1790s barn. December 23 is the last day of their season, so stop in before they close! 

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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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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.

With miles of recently-renovated four-wheeler trails, this park is a destination for outdoor recreation enthusiasts. They’re also a popular hunting spot and they have a sporting clays field.

Over 60 trails of various levels make Mottowee 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 Stunning Foliage Hikes in New York New York’s lush green wilderness transforms each fall, showing shades of red, orange, and gold to celebrate the season. Cooler, drier weather mixed with vibrant leaf colors makes hiking in autumn an absolute treat. Here are five stunning places to hike among the foliage in New York State.

This rocky, mountainous area to the west of the Hudson River is a hub of scenic hiking trails that afford some incredible views year-round. Whether you overlook the mighty Hudson River or the rolling Hudson Highlands, everything will be blanketed in gold.

Three-hundred thousand acres of woodlands covering seven mountains in the Catskills, this preserve is a must-see in the fall, when its waterfalls, rock formations, and fire towers are framed by colorful bursts of leaves.

Eight hiking trails, including the famous Gorge Trail, can be found in the 16,000 acres of the breathtaking Finger Lakes National Forest. Hike past fiery leaf tones on your way to the park’s many gorges and waterfalls.

This 17-mile gorge has been nicknamed “the Grand Canyon of the East,” and since it’s located in the Northeast (where the foliage changes color each fall), you can expect a vibrant show of colors every year.

As the tallest peak in New York State, Mount Marcy’s summit rewards hikers with spectacular views of the Adirondacks and beyond. In autumn, the mountains are speckled with red and gold as far as the eye can see.

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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 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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5 Awesome RV Campsites in New York Exploring via RV is a convenient and interesting way to see the world. Experience the magnificent landscapes of Lake George and the Adirondacks all without leaving the comfort of cozy beds and other amenities. If you’re headed to New York, maximize the fun factor by staying at one of these awesome RV campsites.

There’s no better place to RV camp on the beach than at Hither Hills Campground in Montauk. The 190-spot campground has its own two-mile stretch of white sandy beach, along with hiking trails, a 40-acre lake, historic cemeteries, and access to the bay on the north side.

Stay on a large, activity-filled island just seven miles away from the epic Niagara Falls. This RV campground offers everything from tours and fishing, to playgrounds and pools. The Maid of the Mist tour will pick you up directly from the campgrounds.

At Glimmerglass State Park on Otsego Lake, RV campers can escape into a series of wooded trails and frolic in the waters of the on-site beach. The campground is located close to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and each site comes with its own grill, fire pit, and picnic table.

RV campers who seek seclusion should stay at Cranberry Lake Campground. This campground in the Adirondacks offers privacy to its patrons with trees separating most of the campsites. It is located near a 150,000-acre forest preserve that provides ample opportunity for hiking, swimming, and more.

Offering an optimal blend of activity, culture, and seclusion, this Lake George-area RV campground has it all. The site has a recreation hall, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, and a pool, shuffleboard, and bocce court for camper’s enjoyment. Lake George is just a 10-minute drive away, but the campground itself offers plenty of reasons to linger.

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5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in New York Cooler weather and changing leaves makes autumn a perfect time to go camping. And in New York State, never is that more abundantly clear. From deep in the Adirondacks to the Thousand Islands’ region, you’ll find your ideal spot. Here are five fine places across New York State that invite fall travelers to set up camp.

Tent camping can be done in the Hudson Valley’s gorgeous Minnewaska State Park, which offers plenty of opportunity for adventures all year round. Hikers enjoy dense foliage, lakes, and waterfalls, plus some pretty epic views.

As the second largest state park in New York, Harriman’s scale is impressive. “Group camps” of cabins, tent sites, dining halls, and rec centers allow campers to experience a sense of community between the park’s 200 miles of fall hiking trails and 31 bodies of water. 

Fall campers who seek solitude will find it at Cranberry Lake Campground. The trout-filled lake is one of the largest and most remote in the region, and it’s surrounded by 50 miles of hiking trails and 50,000 acres of woodlands. Each of the 73 campsites comes with its own fireplace and water spigot.

Fall campers of all kinds are welcome at the Thousand Islands’ region’s largest campground. The site has plenty of cabins, tent and trailer sites, and larger cottages with all the amenities of a vacation rental. Fishing, hunting, hiking, and golfing can be enjoyed on the island.

Autumn is a wonderful time of year to see the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Hike past vibrant changing leaves covering steep cliffs that line the Genesee River before heading back to one of the park’s 257 campsites or eight rental cabins.

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10 Best Archery Outfitters in New York If you’re a seasoned sportsman, skilled hunter, or you’re just looking to pick up a new hobby, equipping yourself with the proper gear is necessary for a successful archery outing. And in New York State, the professional staff and top-of-the-line products at your local archery outfitters will have you ready to go in no time. Here are the best.  

With bows, arrows, calls, and clothing from top manufacturers for sale, this pro shop aims to serve archery enthusiasts at any stage. The shop’s staff can Leagues and classes are also available.

This small chain of archery shops in the Hudson Valley strives to make the sport accessible to all. Flying Arrow Sports sells archery gear for both target practice and hunting, plus starter kits. Ranges, leagues, lessons, and financing are all available. Find locations in Carmel, East Greenbush, and Wappingers Falls. 

Archery day #targetpractice #bowandarrows #shooting #archery #funday #newyorkstate

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If you’re looking for archery and hunting bows in Westchester, turn to Extreme Archery. The shop is an authorized dealer of the brands Hoyt, Bear, Elite, and more. Technicians on staff will fine-tune and install all gear and accessories at no charge, and a 20-yard indoor range is available for practice and lessons.

This full-service Brooklyn pro shop has certified technicians for Bowtech, PSE, Elite, and other brands, who can tune-up or modify your equipment to ensure the best experience possible. It’s located within a 7,500-square-foot facility in Gowanus with 43 practice lanes.

This robust archery facility features a pro shop with compound bows, recurve bows, arrows, and accessories for sale. Queens Archery also runs a youth program, target league, and tournament.

You can take the boy out of the country... 🏹 #sundayfunday

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For over 35 years, this Long Island archery shop has served the needs of both seasoned and novice archers. The shop has a full line of bows and crossbows from brands like Hoyt, Martin, and Mission, plus an indoor shooting range, leagues, and lessons.

This one-stop-shop in the Adirondacks sells premium brands of archery equipment and accessories, including compounds, recurves, arm guards, finger tabs, safety harnesses, and more. The shop also has a 20-yard range to practice in. 

The pro shop at Neil’s Archery & Crossbow has been called “the most detailed pro shop in the [Binghamton] area.” It’s staffed by experienced archers and stocked with all manner of equipment and accessories. Neil’s Archery & Crossbow has a 40-yard indoor target range and runs several leagues to step up your skills.

Since 1969, this archery store has been serving the residents of Western New York.  The “state-of-the-art Archery Pro Shop” features brands like Mathews, Elite, Mission, and Bowtech, and the store contains a 40-yard indoor range as well as an interactive video range.

Still got it 🎯 #hoyt #hoytbuffalo #archery #bowandarrow #recurvebow

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Boasting a huge selection of archery and hunting gear, this shop also contains a target range for practicing the sport, as well as lessons. Bows, crossbow, and accessories are sold for men, women, and children.

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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.

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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Best Places to Fish in the East This Fall A smorgasbord of baitfish is served up to striped bass in the fall as they make their way south along the Atlantic coast from Maine to their wintering waters in the mid-Atlantic.

Hot Spots To Fish: Deservedly, Montauk, NY at the eastern end of Long Island is considered a storied mecca for striped bass fishermen. If you’re not going surf fishing on the beach or fishing from a jetty, Gone Fishing Marina (631-668-3232, can set up a charter trip for you. If it’s booked up, try Star Island Yacht Club (631-668-5052, or Montauk Marine Basin (631-668-5900,

Find the best fishing spots near you:

Down south, talk to the folks at Captain Hogg’s Charter Service (757-876-1590, about fishing around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Overdrawn Charters  (252-202-4623, in Manteo, N.C. can help as well.

Tackle You’ll Need: Stick with 30- to 50-pound braid or monofilament and a 60-pound-test shock leader of fluorocarbon, with saltwater-ready spinning tackle heavy enough to handle 10- to 14-foot rods. Penn, Quantum and Okuma specialize in fairly inexpensive surf-fishing rods, and reels to match. If you have a reel, but no rod yet, the new Black Inshore Rods from Lamiglas are up to the task. The five spinning and five casting models range from a 6-foot, 10-inch light finesse spinning rod to a 7 ½-foot casting rod rated for lures from 3 to 12 ounces in weight.

Quick tip: The most successful anglers are those who spot gulls or other wheeling seabirds feeding on baitfish driven to the top by stripers and who then cast into the melee without dispersing the bass. From a boat, the trick is to approach schools carefully and take advantage of wind or tide to drift to within casting range. The stripers will stay up as long as the baitfish are hemmed against the surface.


Best Lures/Baits: The 4 1/2-inch Acme Kastmater XL spoon, the 1 ½-ounce Odin Popper, and the 5-inch pencil popper from Tsunami are popular artificials up and down the Atlantic seaboard. Other popular options include the 6- or 7-inch Savage Gear Sandeel Swimbait, 9-inch Sassy Shad swimbait and the 6-inch Rapala X-Rap SubWalk.

Find the best bait and tackle shops near you:

For anglers who’d rather soak baits from a boat or in the surf, live or cut bait, such as Atlantic menhaden (peanut bunker), herring, porgies, eels, bloodworms, anchovies and mullet, can flip the switch on chaotic striper blitzes.

Photograph Courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism The classic approach to surf fishing is still a great way to take advantage of the striper run along the Atlantic coast. Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500