Just outside the pulsing concrete jungle that we call NYC, there lives the lulling peace of the untamed wild. Trails, mountainsides, valleys, and even whirlpools await us in the wonders of Upstate New York. Instead of your usual Saturday morning run through crowded Central Park, opt for a scenic explorative excursion through some of the most beautiful forestries in the Northeast. Read on to discover just five magnificent starter running trails to explore with your favorite running partner (two-legged or four-legged)!
NIAGARA GORGE RIM TRAIL
The Niagara Gorge Rim Trail is located in Devil’s Hole State Park and begins near the Devil’s Hole parking area. It’s a flat, family-friendly hike that takes you through the trees along the rim of the stunning Niagara Gorge. A highlight along the way is Whirlpool State Park, where you can see the magnificent swirling waters of Niagara River’s rapids. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.
Ausable Chasm is one of the best hikes in upstate New York. It’s located in the Adirondacks Region, right near Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, and is a fun, family-friendly hike that starts with an incredible view of Rainbow Falls. On this trail, you can enjoy a 1.9-mile loop hiking trail that features stunning views of a unique, vertical-walled canyon that is made of 500 million-year-old rock.
The main entrance is at 2144 U.S. If you want to hike along the well-paved trail that takes you through the center of the park, admission is $17.95 for adults and $9.95 for children between the ages of 5 and 12.
Once admitted, the park offers hiking, obstacle courses, kayaking, and even rafting!
Empire State Trail: Maybrook Trailway Section
While the entirety of the Empire State Trail runs hundreds of miles from Manhattan to the Canadian border, this 15-mile section is an especially easy (and scenic) location. This scenic route follows the Maybrook Trailway north and west, passing by dense woods, farm fields, ponds, and wetlands. It features long stretches of trail with relatively few access points or crossroads. It is an off-road paved trail that can be used as biking trails, running trails, and walking trails. This rail-trail section begins at a parking area in Pawling, at the intersection of Route 292 and Holmes Rd.
- Snowshoeing / Winter fun
- As well as dog walking (dog must be on a leash)
- Horse Riding
Mt. Van Hoevenberg is a 6.9 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located in North Elba near Lake Placid, New York. There are two trailhead options for this epic upstate New York hiking trail, including an East Trail and a West Trail. The trail offers a number of activity options as well as a chance to see wildlife and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.
- Hiking Trails
- Running trails
- Cross Country
- Snowshoeing / Winter fun
- Cross country Skiing
- Learn to Luge
GREAT CAMP SAGAMORE LAKE TRAIL
Sagamore Lake Trail is a 3.7-mile loop flat foot trail that runs through beautiful forests and wraps around a stunning lake, home of Great Camp Sagamore. The Sagamore Lake Trail is a horseshoe around the lake, intersecting with dirt roads at each end. The trail is often hiked in a clockwise direction, with hikers parking at a small parking area on the south side of the lake. Signs are abundant that direct people to the trailhead. The trailhead is directly adjacent to the South Outlet that flows into South Inlet on Raquette Lake. This Upstate NY trail is incredibly peaceful and suitable for all ages.
Sagamore Lake Trail is popular for hiking in the summer and Nordic skiing in the winter.