The 7 Best Off-the-Watch Adventures in the Outdoors Near New York City

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

The 7 Best Off-the-Watch Adventures in the Outdoors Near New York City

1. Visit Caterskill Falls

Located over 260 feet in height, and made up of two levels, Caterskill Falls is one of the most stunning waterfalls in New York. Located in the Catskills, visiting the waterfall is a great way to spend your day. The falls are located about two hours from New York City. The hike to the falls is very beginner-friendly and comes about 1.4 miles round trip. The area can be crowded – perhaps going early or on a weekday is your best bet to avoid crowds on the road.

Caterskill 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 waters. Located about two and a half hours from New York City, it’s a great option for a day trip. Parking for the Peekamoose blue slot can be very limited. You may want to arrive early to make sure you have a parking space nearby. You’ll also need to get a pass, 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 lovely pool, there are also camping options nearby.

Blue Hole Picamos

3. Check out the slopes in Dumbo

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

Check out the slopes in Dumbo

4. Check out a thousand islands

Thousand Islands not only lived up to its name, but also surpassed it. This group of islands bordering the Canadian border consists of nearly 2,000 islands. While some of the islands are located in Canada, many of them are also located in New York State. There are endless things to do while exploring the area including visiting an ancient castle. This is a great option for a weekend getaway, as it’s farther from New York than some of the other options on this list – about a six-hour drive. If you are looking to explore the islands on both sides of the border, be sure to bring your passport with you.

Check out a thousand islands

5. Visit Letchworth State Park

Sometimes called the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park is another great destination to check out if you have the time to do so. The state park is located about six hours from New York City, which makes it another great option for those looking for a weekend getaway. You can look forward to enjoying the scenery, including watching the waterfall of the Genesee River down several large waterfalls – the tallest of which is about six hundred feet high.


6. Sailing the Hudson River

Here is another option that you can enjoy without leaving the city! Hudson River Community Sailing offers three-hour introductory sailing lessons, making it a great choice for those looking to try something new for the first time!

Sail the Hudson River

7. Explore Storm King State Park

This is a great option for those looking for an afternoon adventure. Storm King State Park is only an hour from New York City (sometimes a little longer depending on traffic). The highlight of this state park is the name itself, Storm King Mountain. The area offers many hiking trails, from shorter, moderate hikes to longer, steeper and more challenging hikes.

Storm King State Park

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