Top 7 Off The Beaten Path Outdoor Adventures Near NYC


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New York City itself may be a bustling city, but the metropolis is nearby several amazing examples of the great outdoors, especially for those looking to swap city life for nature. This list looks at several such places near the city that are perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

Top 7 Off The Beaten Path Outdoor Adventures Near NYC

1. Visit Kaaterskill Falls

Cascading over 260 feet, and consisting of two tiers, Kaaterskill Falls is one of New York’s most stunning waterfalls. Located in the Catskills, visiting the waterfall is a great way to spend your day. The falls are located approximately 2 hours away from New York City. The hike to the falls is pretty beginner-friendly and comes in at about 1.4 miles round-trip. The area can get busy – going early or on a weekday is probably your best bet for avoiding crowds on the trail.

Kaaterskill Falls

2. Visit Peekamoose Blue Hole

Another hidden gem in the Catskills area, Peekamoose Blue Hole is a stunning swimming hole that features sparkling emerald water. Located about 2 1/2 hours from NYC, this is a great option for a day trip. Parking for Peekamoose blue hole can be very limited. You may want to arrive early to make sure you get a parking spot nearby. You’ll also need to obtain a permit, available for $10, to visit the blue hole in the summer months. Finally, if you’re looking to spend more than just an afternoon at this beautiful pool there are also options for camping nearby.

Peekamoose Blue Hole

3. Check Out The Cliffs At Dumbo

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend some time outdoors without even leaving the city, head over to Brooklyn to check out The Cliffs. This outdoor rock climbing is located on the waterfront near Manhattan Bridge. No experience is required, making this a great option for those looking to try rock climbing for the first time. This is also a great option for those looking for something adventurous but still offering plenty of safety precautions. 

Check Out The Cliffs At Dumbo

4. Check Out Thousand Islands

Thousand Islands not only lived up to its name but exceeds it. This collection of islands straddling the Canadian border is actually made up of nearly 2000 islands. While some of the islands are located in Canada, several are also located in the state of New York. There are countless things to do while exploring the area including visiting an old castle. This is a great option for a weekend getaway, as it is further from New York than some of the other options on this list – about a six-hour drive. If you’re looking to explore the islands on both sides of the border, make sure to bring your passport with you.

Check Out Thousand Islands

5. Visit Letchworth State Park

Sometimes called the “Grand Canyon of the East”, Letchworth State Park is another amazing destination to check out if you have the time to do so. The state park is located about six hours from NYC, making this another great option for those looking for a weekend getaway. You can look forward to taking in the scenery, including watching the Genesee River cascade down several large waterfalls – the tallest of which comes in at about six hundred feet tall. 


6. Sail The Hudson River

Here’s another option you can enjoy without even leaving the city! Hudson River Community Sailing offers three-hour-long introductory sailing lessons, making this a great option for those looking to try out something new for the first time!

Sail The Hudson River

7. Explore Storm King State Park

Here’s a great option for those looking for an afternoon adventure. Storm King State Park is located a mere hour from New York City (sometimes a little longer depending on traffic). The highlight of this state park is its namesake, Storm King Mountain. The area offers several hiking trails, ranging from shorter, moderate hikes to longer, steeper, and more challenging hikes. 

Storm King State Park

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