Josiane Peluso’s Top 5 Nature Areas to visit this Summer in New York State
Are you looking to get outside this summer? Well, you’re in luck, because New York, best known for its urban landscapes also boasts more than 2,000 miles of hiking and biking trails, just what you need to get away from it all. If hitting up a winery is more your speed, New York has that too! Take in gorgeous views and try local wine throughout New York’s Finger Lakes region; or visit the flora and fauna at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. New York has it all for nature lovers and city dwellers alike, so get out there and visit these top outdoor destinations throughout the state.
Josiane Peluso is a New York resident and avid outdoorswomen who spends her free time exploring the state, she graciously provided the following list of her five favorite locations to escape the concrete jungle and explore.
1. Adirondack Park
Did you know that New York’s Adirondack Park is the largest park outside of Alaska? With 6.1 million pristine acres, more than 10,000 lakes, and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams; the vast wealth of natural habitats offered in the Adirondack’s can be summed up in one word: breathtaking. The park was created in 1885 as the nation’s first state preserve. While more than 50% of the area is privately owned, it is heavily regulated by the Adirondack Park Agency, making it one of the largest conservation experiments in the world. From old-growth forests to wetlands, this National Historic Landmark also includes 102 towns and villages and a population of more than 200,000. Don’t miss its pristine waterways, Mount Marcy (the highest point in New York), 2,000 miles of hiking trails that Josiane Peluso states meet the needs of every skill level and include handicap accessible trails, recreational ski areas, and distinctive camping spots. In addition, the park is also home to the Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, and the Wild Center Natural History Museum.
2. Finger Lakes
Most commonly known for its sweet wine and stunning views, a scenic drive along New York’s Finger Lakes is a memorable adventure. Josiane Peluso shares that the area is home to numerous kayaking and hiking spots, along with nearby lakes for swimming and several wine tasting opportunities. There are more than 120 wineries in the region, each boasting its own history and flavor.
3. The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
This beautiful area boasts more than 20,000 acres and a vast array of wildlife, from bald eagles and ospreys to geese, songbirds, and ducks. Its freshwater fauna includes bass, carp, perch, and freshwater clams and mussels. Josiane Peluso states that you can also spot deer and fox, as well as snapping turtles and many species of snakes. Don’t miss out on the interactive visitor’s center, webcams for viewing all year long, photography blinds, hunting and trapping areas, hiking and nature trails, non-motorized boating opportunities, as well as birdwatching, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
4. Allegany State Park
Allegany State Park is a must-see park, infamously titled as an “Amazing Spot” in the country and called “the wilderness playground of Western New York.” According to Josiane Peluso its attractions include lakes, waterfalls, camping and skiing areas, and extensive biking trails. In addition, the Old Quaker Store Museum features exhibits about the park’s history and two small beaches staffed by lifeguards offer a safe swimming spot.
5. Central Park
If you can’t get out of the city, visit New York’s Central Park for a quiet getaway closer to home. Visitors can enjoy its lake, skating rink, carousel, zoo, reservoir, and summer theater. Extensive sporting facilities include basketball courts, and baseball and soccer fields. Central Park has more than 20,000 trees and three wooded areas: North Woods, the Ramble, and Hallett Nature Sanctuary. Famous statues in the park include Alice (in Wonderland), Balto, and coming soon — Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.