Though New York state is known primarily for New York City, the state itself is home to numerous gorgeous mountain ranges, waterfalls, and gardens. Thousands of miles of hiking trails await outdoor enthusiasts. Scattered throughout the state are lighthouses, bridges, castles, and other treasures. Scroll down to see the most beautiful places to see in the state of New York!
1. Triphammer Falls
The location of Triphammer Falls is unique. Found in the heart of Cornell University, the waterfalls measure 55 feet, greeting students on their way to class. It is a beautiful cascading waterfall with two long drops.
The base is accented by an abandoned power station set back against the water. As a result, the old power station adds a picturesque look to the falls, making it seem as if it emerged intact from the 1950s.
2. Bannerman Castle
Although named a castle, Francis Bannerman VI built Bannerman Castle in the early 1990s to store extra inventory for his army-surplus business. Some say his Scottish immigrant status informed the way the building would look.
Perhaps missing his native Scotland, he built a castle on the banks of the Hudson, plus a smaller castle to live in. However, unfortunate events such as Bannerman’s death in 1918 and a gunpowder explosion in 1920 meant that the castle was eventually left to crumble into ruins. Now quaintly dilapidated, the castle is accessible from New York City. Occasionally it hosts theatrical events and film screenings, and visitors can even catch weekend history walking tours.
3. Whiteface Mountain Steps
Located in the Adirondacks, the Whiteface Mountain Stairway Ridge Trail is a beautiful, fast journey through scenic mountain views. Overlooking a great infinite sprawl of trees, this man-made structure spans less than half a mile. At times it is steep and slippery, so visitors are warned to be cautious.
However, the picturesque views make the risk worth it. Visitors trek upwards through low-hanging clouds to emerge to views of nothing but green for miles around. The Whiteface Mountain Steps are a beautiful testament to mankind’s engineering skills and determination to appreciate nature.
4. Ausable Chasm Bridge
It has been nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks. The Ausable Chasm is a stunning nature escape. It features a fast-moving river that cuts through gorgeous rock formations and diverse foliage rarely found elsewhere.
Visitors can walk or bike over the Ausable Chasm Bridge which stretches over the chasm and offers incredible views of the rushing river below. It was the very first bridge to span the Chasm and as such was simply constructed in 1793, and has been in service ever since. It has also become the symbol of Keeseville. Tours of the historic bridges are available for interested visitors, as well as outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, tubing, and rock climbing.
5. Sodus Bay Lighthouse
Congress commissioned the Sodus Bay Lighthouse in 1824 to give light to the seafarers of Lake Ontario. It deteriorated quickly, however, but continued to serve sailors for another 80 years.
You can find the lighthouse at the end of a dock, featuring gorgeous views of the rolling waves of Lake Ontario. Its deep blue water contrasts beautifully with the white brick of the lighthouse. Nowadays it is a maritime museum, serving as a focal point of interest for lovers of maritime history. The museum hosts several events a year to celebrate the history it lovingly preserves and is a well-loved pillar of the community.
6. Mt. Colden and Avalanche Lake
The Avalanche Pass and the Avalanche Lake Trail is a notoriously hard hike that fits experienced hikers. Not for the faint of heart, the trail leads hikers on wooden ladders, over rickety bridges, and across difficult ski trails. The reward is a spectacular view of the Adirondacks that can be experienced nowhere else on earth.
In the fall, the trees are on fire with the beautiful fall foliage, and during the winter quiet under a blanket of snow. The lush greenery is on full display in the summer and the spring.
Whatever the season, this trail is a must-visit for visitors who have the experience and the knowledge to make it through. As one of the most beautiful places to see in New York, it is worth the effort no matter what time of the year!
7. Giant Ledge
It is not difficult to see why Giant Ledge is one of the most beautiful places to see in New York State. It is not quite one of the highest points in the Catskills, but nevertheless, the roundtrip hike is still worth visiting. The trail goes around several gorgeous lookout spots that in the fall are full of gorgeous foliage that makes for breathtaking views.
It is also home to five ledges and two lively campgrounds. Visitors can even challenge themselves further on a more advanced trail up Panther Mountain.
8. Castle Rock
One of the most breathtaking views in New York, the summit of Castle Rock is a gentle, mile and a half hike up the trail that rewards diligent hikers with a gorgeous view of Blue Mountain Lake and the lushly forested islands that dot its waterscapes. Castle Rock Trail is a mostly easy trail that features stunning foliage and rock formations, leading hikers through an enchanting, magical forest and ending with one of the most incredible views in the country.
New York State may be overshadowed by the concrete sprawl and jungle that is New York City. However, don’t underestimate this state. Its breathtaking views, magical forests, and unique experiences rival the best in the US. You don’t even have to spend a lot when there are so many fun and cheap things to do!
From waterfalls in the middle of college campuses to breathtaking treks through the Adirondack skyline, to whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks, drive on down to witness the most beautiful places to see in New York State.
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