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, 20 Oct 2018 03:12:50 -0500 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,

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.

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
11 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in New York New York State is undeniably big (not Texas-sized big, but big). If you’ve ever visited the state, you know how much there is to do in every big city and small town—and that hustle and bustle doesn’t stop come autumn! With its many farms, apple orchards, state parks, and local events, New York has a variety of different experiences to offer travelers during the fall season. Here are just a few of our favorites. 

Taughannock Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in New York, and it’s right in the heart of the Finger Lakes! Nestled in a small town right next to Cayuga Lake, you can enjoy a scenic fall hike through the colorful foliage or head on up to the overlook and see the Falls in all its glory. There’s a gorge trail and a rim trail—perfect for whatever hiking mood you’re in—and you can enjoy a nice meal after your workout at the local Falls Restaurant and Tavern (just a short drive into town). And if you’re in the mood for some Italian, stop in at Little Venice, a locally-owned restaurant serving all your pizza and pasta desires.

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Buttermilk Falls is only a short 20-minute drive from Taughannock, if you feel like exploring more than one local gorge in a day! You can camp at Buttermilk’s lower park, where there’s a natural swimming area (that’s more for summer weather) and playing fields. Just beyond the fields is a nature trail, winding directly through the Larch Meadows wetland. Buttermilk also has gorge and rim trails available, as well as a small lake and picnic area at its upper park.

What would a camping/hiking excursion be without a trip to a local orchard? Located less than 10 miles away from Buttermilk, campers are able to head on down and pick up some fresh fruit for their weekend in the Finger Lakes! As a pick-your-own orchard, you’ll have the experience of plucking only your desired apples from the trees—and who can say no to some fresh apple cider and doughnuts? And if you’re like most and can’t resist a good wine tasting, be sure to check out the wine trail along Cayuga Lake (or Seneca Lake, or any Finger Lake if you don’t mind a bit of a drive)!

Head on east to Hudson, New York, and you’ll find the greatest jack o’-lantern event in the tri-state area. The display of jack o’-lanterns is set up along the historic, 18th century riverside and features displays like the Pumpkin Carousel and the Pumpkin Zee Bridge (shout-out to New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge). Dates for this year span from the end of September to the end of November, so there’s no risk of missing out on the 7,000 illuminated gourds!

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The Troy Waterfront Farmer’s Market is located in the heart of downtown Troy, right in the streets. Every Saturday from May through October, the roads around Monument Square are closed off for vendors and visitors to explore all the produce, coffee, baked goods, etc. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can enjoy everything the city of Troy has to offer. And while prime time is in the fall, don’t worry if you miss out! The market moves inside to the Troy Atrium from November to April, so you can still come check it out!

Hiking, hiking, and more hiking. Letchworth State Park is yet another beautiful location to view a lower, middle, and upper waterfall—one of which can create its own rainbow! Located in the Genesee Region, this park is often regarded as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” There are 66 miles worth of trails in the area that are available for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding!

This unique trail goes from Buffalo to Albany—perfect for a bike ride at peak foliage season! You can choose how far you decide to roam, and by watching New York’s foliage report, you can plan your trip around when the trees will be most colorful (giving your ride a magnificent fall atmosphere).

Starting in mid-September, Iron Kettle Farm becomes a perfect place for fall family activity! In addition to their spooktacular Halloween pumpkin display, they have a corn maze, hay ride, wagon ride, spook barn, pumpkin express train, pumpkin sling shot, and more! Plus, they even have a nice selection of small to gigantic pumpkins; so while you’re out enjoying a day of family bonding, you can pick some up to carve later at home!

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During the fall at Harbes Family Farm, you can find their interactive corn maze and pumpkin patch. Actors bring the 1.5-acre maze to life with a story of how PumpkinLand’s King lost his crown, and you have to help him find all the pieces. There are riddles to solve throughout the maze, which you need to successfully navigate, along with winning a climactic sword fight. Good luck!

On this haunted hayride, you can cross a toxic swamp, meet the tortured souls of previous patients from Orchard Asylum, and feel like you’re part of the disturbed family that runs the butcher shop. Be careful, though, because you could end up being the next up for slaughter. Check out their site for more creepy attractions!

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Visit any of the gorgeous parks New York has to offer (Central Park included!) during prime foliage season to do a bit of leaf peeping. If you don’t like biking, no sweat! You can go on scenic drives through the local region, go for a walk/hike, or even take a boat out onto a lake—but make sure you’re close enough to shore to still see the trees! The foliage is beautiful throughout the state, so make sure you don’t miss out.

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The Ultimate Guide to Beginner Hiking in New York New York state’s remarkable wilderness makes it one of the top destinations for hikers. From the Finger Lakes to the Adirondacks to the Hudson Valley, New York is more than just big city lights. If you’re looking for a rustic retreat, check out our beginner’s guide to hiking in New York.

Let’s hit the trails. If you’re looking for beginner-friendly hikes perfect for you, a group of friends or your family, these options in New York are ideal.

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Low on battery on the trails? That could spell disaster. There’s always a chance that you could run into a less than ideal situation on the trails and if you do, you’re going to need your phone or GPS to resolve the situation. Keep your gadgets charged. Here’s how to do it.

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For sweeping vistas of vivacious color, the state of New York is an incredible destination. From the mountains to the forests, you’re in for a picturesque treat on these foliage hikes.

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Before you decide to go on any kind of hike, make sure you pick up a pair of sturdy, reliable, and comfortable hiking boots. You want a pair of shoes you can count on when the terrain gets rough. 

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New York’s awesome hiking retailers are ready to outfit you for any adventure. From Ithaca to NYC, pick up that great pair of hiking boots (along with jackets, trekking poles, backpacks, and more) at these first-rate retailers.

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So now you’re interested in a little more of a challenge. We’ve narrowed down a selection of some of the best intermediate hikes available in New York. These will surely provide an invigorating experience.

Read more.

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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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Camping Done Right: 7 Best Outdoor Stores in New York Camping is among New Yorkers’ most cherished pastimes. And with the abundance of pristine forests, lakes, and mountains across the state, it’s no wonder why this outdoor activity is so popular. The key to any successful camping trip, however, is the right gear. Here are the seven best outdoor retailers with camping equipment in New York State! 

This top-rated outdoor store tucked away in a picturesque Adirondack community has everything you could ever need for a camping trip. Blue Line Sports carries tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, stoves, and more, from big brands like Coleman, Granite Gear, Sea to Summit, and more.   

The name says it all. Gear for Adventure is prepared to outfit you for any kind of outdoor experience. At this awesome Hamburg store, you’ll find trekking poles for those tough hikes, water treatment gear in case you find yourself without fresh water, binoculars for birdwatching opportunities, and much more! 

How to buy a sleeping bag. 1. Stop at #gearforadventure 2. Get in #bigagnes bag 3. Fall in love with the #motherofcomfort

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Since 1908, this New York City sporting goods store has been the authority on sports gear of all kinds, and camping equipment is no exception. The store has a wide variety of equipment to offer, from the basics like tents and sleeping bags to commodities like cookware and furniture.

To deck yourself out in camping gear at a reasonable price, check out “Herb” Phillipson’s of Rome, New York. You’ll find Adventure Medical Kits in case of emergency, Backpacker’s Pantry snacks to fuel up fast, and a variety of tents to keep you all snuggled up at night. 

Although the financial district of Manhattan may seem like a unique choice for a camping store, Tent & Trails means business—they promise to “outfit you for the Catskills to Katmandu.” They sell everything you need for a serious camping trip, from hiking boots and tents, to cookware and navigation gear.

Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, this green barn houses an enormous variety of recreational gear. Their camping selection includes tents, sleeping bags, lighting, cookware, and just about any other category you might be searching for.

Mayhood’s in Norwich, New York, is your go-to spot for all things camping. Here you’ll find shelters, portable heaters, emergency supplies, bug spray, and much more! Shop from brands like Zippo for lighters, Stansport for sleeping bags and pads, and Eureka! for tents. 

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5 Gorgeous Beach Campsites in New York Camping on the beach—a dream for some—is entirely possible in New York State, from Long Island’s sandy beaches to the dunes of Lake Ontario and the beautiful lakes in between. Grab your gear, lace up your boots, and check out these five gorgeous campsites on the beach.

The ultimate seaside camping experience, Hither Hills State Park is right on the beach in Montauk, with 168 spots for tent camping or RV camping. Campers enjoy two miles of white-sand beach and miles of hiking in the Hither Hills nature preserve.

Camping is available near Otsego Lake, which is the “glimmerglasss” of James Fenimore Cooper’s “Leatherstocking Tales.” Aside from wandering the sandy beach, campers can enjoy hiking, grilling, and exploring nearby attractions like Hyde Hall Mansion and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Camping right on the beach is entirely possible on this breathtaking barrier island.  Once you obtain a camping permit for Fire Island National Seashore, set up your tent alongside the sea and sleep beneath the stars.

A Lake George camping experience like no other, Glen Island is only accessible by boat. Once you reach the island in the middle of Lake George, you’ll enjoy camping facilities like private docks, grills, fireplaces, and toilets.

Majestic bluffs and gorgeous sandy beaches welcome campers at Lake Ontario’s Fair Haven Beach State Park. Campers can enjoy swimming (lifeguards watch the swimming area), boating, biking, and hiking in the rolling hills of the shoreline.

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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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5 Awesome Campgrounds for Families in New York A family camping trip is a great way to unplug and create memories with your kids. New York is full of lush nature and large state parks with campgrounds, making it the ideal state to go camping with younger children. Here are some great family campgrounds in the state! 

Camp with the kids right along the beach in Montauk. Hither Hills State Park has 190 camping spots that fill up fast, plus a nature preserve with a lake, playgrounds, walking trails, and ranger programs to keep the family entertained. Shower facilities are available but grills and cooking options are not.

#Montauk 馃摳: @nicolee_mule

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Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” and with 66 miles of gorge-side trails, Letchworth State Park makes a stunning family getaway. The park has 257 campsites and also cabins for rent, plus a pool for the kids to splash around in.

Families who visit Cooperstown for the National Baseball Hall of Fame should consider a stay at Glimmerglass State Park. Once there, kids can head to the beach, hike nature trails, go geocaching, and more. Campsites include showers, picnic tables, grills, and fire pits.

New York, you are exceeding expectations . . . . #fulltimerv #airstream #travel

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Whether camping along the Ausable River or closer to the trails of Whiteface Mountain, families will find plenty to do at this Adirondacks campground. Amenities include two swimming pools, mini-golf, playgrounds, and laundry facilities.

Shade, paints, paper and relaxation. We like this place so much we booked another week here!

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With gorges, cliffs, and waterfalls, Watkins Glen is one of the most popular nature destinations in New York. The park’s KOA campground is a children’s paradise, with mini golf, outdoor movies, an indoor pool, laser tag, and a waterslide. It was previously voted as KOA campground of the year, and kids camp free in some sections.

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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.

Another perfect morning in #cooperstown

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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 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 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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Start Your Trek: 7 Best Hiking Retailers in New York One of life’s greatest pleasures is spending time in the woods. Whether you’re a leisurely weekend hiker, a heavy-duty backpacker, or something in between, it’s essential to be prepared for a hike with the right gear. Here are 10 great places to buy hiking gear in New York State.

This Adirondacks-region outdoor gear retailer sells anything you need to conquer the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. The store is amply stocked with hiking and backpacking gear, including headlamps, trekking poles, and snowshoes. 

Got traction? #themountaineer #microspikes #crampons #gear

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Thruway Sporting Goods, located in the historic Thruway Shopping Center, has been serving its community high-quality gear for decades. This Walden, New York, store has everything from Columbia backpacks and Black Diamond trekking poles to Garmin compasses and Adventure Medical Kits

Popular with Western New Yorkers who love the outdoors, Gear for Adventure has become the go-to local outdoor gear and apparel retailer for the region. Expect to find everything from apparel to equipment for your next trek. 

Check out what's new at #gfa! #Kokatat #Patagonia #ReefSandals #summer #newlocation

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Tents & Trails will prepare you for just about anything. The New York store offers all the hiking essentials like boots, backpacks, and the proper apparel, but it also offers things like first aid kits, hydration packs, and other survival gear, because when you’re an intense hiker, you just never know what kind of situation you could run into. 

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Old Goat Gear Exchange’s mission is to “not only educate you about the gear you’ll be using, but the places you’ll be using it.” Old Goat’s selection of products includes used, new, and sample items. You’ll find brands like Marmot and Outdoor Research and hiking equipment like hydration packs and breathable clothing. 

With five locations in upstate New York, Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company has become a local favorite. Find all the hiking boots, backpacks, maps, and outdoor clothing you’ll need for your next adventure at Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company. Their selection and service are unparalleled. 

Nothing beats this classic Ithaca shop. This family-owned business has been around for over 60 years, providing the public with Smartwool socks, North Face jackets and above all, a personal customer service you won’t find just anywhere. 

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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 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馃尦

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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 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. 馃椇馃尣@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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