State Parks to Explore in the Finger Lakes Region

A mere four-hour drive from the bustling city of Manhattan is a beautiful area called the Finger Lakes. The state parks in this region have an interesting history, incredible landscapes, waterfalls, and are great places to bring a family for a vacation or road trip. Activities like wine-tasting, hiking, camping, swimming, and more are only some of the many ways to have fun there.

Of the Fingers Lakes region’s 24 New York state parks, below is a list of just a few that are perfect for families. Adults and children alike can enjoy what the parks have to offer.

Taughannock Falls State Park
This park is set in the western area of Cayuga Lake’s shore. Taughannock Falls isn’t just any state park – it holds the title of highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains at 215 feet tall. In addition, there is a trail that leads to the falls by way of a big creek, which can be great for a swim to cool down during the near-mile hike. To the east of the waterfall sits a large area for eating, relaxing, and pretty much anything else you might want to do there. If you’re looking for an activity, there are kayak and canoe rentals, a beach, marina, and concession stands.

Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park has a natural gorge that was formed centuries ago, becoming open for visitors back in 1863 and finally being bought by New York in 1906. A 1.5-mile long hiking path, called the Gorge Trail, is a good way to view the gorge in its entirety and gives you the unique experience of walking behind waterfalls.

Fillmore Glen State Park
While this state park isn’t so out in the open, it’s stunning nonetheless. The park was named for the president Millard Fillmore because he was born in a cabin nearby. A replica of his childhood cabin was constructed for the public to explore. There are many places available to have a picnic, swim, or hike. The park also holds 1.3 miles of the Gorge Trail, passing by 5 waterfalls and over 5 footbridges.

The best time to visit the Finger Lakes for swimming and lake activities is in the summer. Although many trails are closed during the wintertime, you can stay in nearby Finger Lakes vacation rentals all year round to enjoy the area’s beauty.

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