State parks on Long Island may be lush, bountiful with wildlife and gateways to area waterways — but north of New York City, the experience is very different — as the natural world upstate is often mountainous and expansive; a place where gorges, waterfalls and other striking sights await. Here are some state parks designed to be hiked, biked and explored:
Wellesley Island State Park campground in Wellesley Island, N.Y., has 10 miles of paved trails that pass by the facility’s nature center, the marina, a beach and many water views.
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo/Betty Johnson / Alamy Stock Photo
Not many New York State parks are actual islands, but this preserve in the state’s Thousand Island region (found along the St. Lawrence River between Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain, running through parts of Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties) is surrounded by water, and one must cross the Thousand Islands toll bridge (known locally as the “TI”) to get there. The park has 10 miles of paved trails that pass by the facility’s nature center, the marina, a beach and many water views. The difficulty level is low, with the paths generally flat, with a few gentle slopes or hills in the mix. The park is also about 5.5 miles from Thousand Island Park (42822 St. Lawrence Ave., Thousand Island Park; 315-482-2576, tiparkcorp.com), a hamlet and historic district that’s also rideable and notable for its Victorian cottages and more water views (plus a seasonal ice cream sandwich shop known as “The Guzzle”).
INFO 44927 Cross Island Rd., Fineview; 315-482-2722, parks.ny.gov; Parking is $7 with tolls collected daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. through Sept. 4.
Views at the Minnewaska State Park Reserve in upstate New York during summer time.
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo/Felix Lipov / Alamy Stock Photo
Located along the Shawangunk Mountain Ridge in Ulster County, visitors here will find themselves witness to lakes, steep cliffs, ledges, waterfalls and a thick hardwood forest. There are 50 miles of hiking trails, but the park also possesses 35 miles of multiuse trails known as “carriage roads,” which are designated for biking. These roads — …….