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More Outdoor Activities

New York State has many wonderful opportunities to get outside and enjoy activities year-round, such as wildlife watching, swimming, skiing, both downhill and cross-country, and snowmobiling.

Watching Wildlife

There are millions of acres of State parks, forests, wildlife management areas, marshes and wetlands that are home to hundreds of wildlife species, and all are open to the public. Find New York's watchable wildlife by searching a listing of sites near you or track a certain species you would like to see.


New York is home to more than 450 different bird species. See our I Bird NY web page for information on how to get started.

girls playing in the water at the beach
New York State's waters are great for swimming
and water recreation.


There are more than 7,600 freshwater lakes, ponds and reservoirs, nearly 600 miles of ocean and Great Lakes coastline, about 1,500 square miles of marine estuaries and over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams in New York State, providing many choices for you to enjoy the swimming season.


cross-country skiers on a trail
Cross-country skiing affords the opportunity
to get out and experience the outdoors in a
unique way.


Cross-country skiing is a great way to stay in shape and to see some of the most beautiful scenery found in New York State. There are a number of trails, for both the novice and intermediate cross-country skier, within DEC managed forests. Skiers are advised to use caution when crossing roads used by automobiles.


There are dozens of excellent downhill ski and snowboard resorts in New York. See the "I Love New York" website for suggestions and the latest ski reports.


snowmobiles going along a trail
There are more than 10,300 miles of trails within
the New York State Trail System.

Snowmobiling is a fun and exciting sport enjoyed by many New Yorkers each year. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) administers the New York State Trail System, which offers more than 10,300 miles of trails. The NYS Snowmobilers Guide and other reference materials are available on the OPRHP website (see link to OPRHP in the right column of this page).

Marked snowmobile trails are also available within the Adirondack Forest Preserve and the Catskill Forest Preserve. Typically, these trails traverse hilly terrain and connect small communities and area attractions, offering a unique outdoor experience.

All snowmobiles operating in New York State must be registered with the NY State Department of Motor Vehicles, even if they are registered in other states or province. For detailed information regarding snowmobile registration, contact the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (see link to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the right column of this page).

More about More Outdoor Activities:

  • Swimming - Find recommended places to swim, safe swimming information and resources to help the public avoid potential water hazards.
  • Geocaching - Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting activity using GPS-enabled devices.
  • Horseback Riding - Find recommended places to horseback ride, safe horseback riding information, and rules for horseback riding on state land.
  • Rock and Ice Climbing - Find recommended places to rock and ice climb, rules for rock and ice climbing on state land, and climbing safety information
  • Bicycling - Find recommended places to ride bicycles and trail etiquette information
  • Snowmobiling - DEC policies for snowmobile use
  • Skiing and Snowshoeing - Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities in New York State.