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September 2013 Outdoor Discovery

DEC Outdoor Discovery is published by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

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People canoeing at the Iona Island Paddle.

New York State has wonderful recreational opportunities which will be highlighted for you each month. Get ready to start planning your next adventure!

A red eft on some rocks.

Be sure to check the August 2013 Conservationist to find out what's shown in the picture above. (Hint: look at page 10.) And while you're there, read about bobcats, hawk watching, and camping in the West Canada Lake Wilderness area. Subscribe online or call 1-800-678-6399.


DEC Events

Select Recreation Events
Early Canada Goose Hunting Season Opens - 9/1
Squirrel Hunting Season Opens - 9/1
Reinstein Woods: Fungi with a Fun Gal - 9/7
Archery Deer and Bear Season Opens in Northern Zone - 9/27
Five Rivers Annual Fall Festival - 9/21
See more upcoming events


Nature Notes

A grey petaltail dragonfly on a rock.

Among the wildlife at Buttermilk Falls State Park is the grey petaltail dragonfly, which has been around since the days of the dinosaurs.


Safe and Sound

Some hikers signing into the trail register.

When hiking any trail system, always sign the trail register before beginning your hike and after you have finished. Stay with your party; don't split up and take different trails.


Featured Video

A group of kayakers in the East River by the Brooklyn Bridge.

A group of kayakers is up for a challenge, paddling all the way around the island of Manhattan. Join their 33-mile adventure on DEC's YouTube page.


Explore for FREE

You can explore many state lands free of charge. However, some state campgrounds and day-use areas charge a small fee, depending on the season (campsite rentals extra).


Let Us Know

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and will share your favorite hiking spot, recreation activity or outdoor tip with us. Your feedback is always welcome.
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Photo Credits

Banner: Robert Goldwitz
red eft: Sue Shafer
Dragonfly: NY Heritage Program
Kayaking in NYC: Time Out NY - Dan Monick
Hudson River Ramble: Kevin Heckeler ADKclimb.com
Buttermilk Falls: bridgestunnels.com

A group of kayakers in the East River by the Brooklyn Bridge.

Kayaking in New York City

Whether you want to paddle for a few hours or an entire day, the New York City Water Trail provides abundant opportunities for doing either one. Suitable for kayaks, the trail connects 160 square miles of waterways throughout the five boroughs. Viewing the skyline, riverside parks, bird sanctuaries, tidal marshlands and New York harbor from a kayak provides a unique perspective.

The City of New York Parks & Recreation's website has an interactive map showing both Parks and non-Parks launch sites. A $15 permit is required to launch from Parks & Rec sites.


Mountain Biking Rock City/McCarty Hill State Forest

Three mountain bikers on the trails at McCarty Hill State Forest.

A network of mountain bike/multiple-use trails covers Rock City/McCarty Hill State Forest. There are over 28 miles of trails on more than 6,000 acres of State Forest. More than seven miles of forest roads are available for the less experienced rider. The adjacent ski areas and state forest parking areas provide access to numerous trailheads. These trails can be challenging, with steep terrain in places. Most require a medium to high level of mountain bike riding skill and are particularly good for expert riders.

The Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association has adopted these trails, and their website offers trail maps and more information. Organized bike events require a Temporary Revocable Permit, which can be obtained by contacting DEC's Allegany Forestry Office at 716-372-0645.


Volunteer on National Public Lands Day

Two volunteers helping to clear leaves and branches.

Saturday, September 28, 2013 is the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day (NPLD). NPLD is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. During the past 20 years, thousands of New Yorkers have volunteered to clean up litter at parks, plant trees in preserves, build bird boxes at environmental centers, and establish community garden plots, among other service projects.

If you'd like to help, check the National Public Lands Day website to see whether a park, preserve or other public land near you is holding a service event.


Hike of the Month - Hudson River Valley Ramble

A woman sitting on a throne made from rocks.

The Hudson River Valley Ramble celebrates the history, culture and natural resources of the Hudson River valley, as well as the amazing landscape, communities and trails throughout the region. This year, the Ramble takes place every weekend in September. Events will include challenging hikes, bike rides and paddles; a family festival; and tours of historic sites. From guided geology hikes to historic walking tours, there are activities for every ability level during this month-long event.

Visit the Hudson River Valley Ramble website for more information and to register.


Watchable Wildlife: Buttermilk Falls State Park

Waterfall at Buttermilk Falls State Park.

Enjoy watching wildlife and snapping photos amid Buttermilk Falls State Park's tumbling cascades. The park is near the City of Ithaca, at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake. Its diverse habitats harbor an equally diverse array of wildlife.

As you ascend Buttermilk Creek's steep gorge, the sound of deep, rhythmic knocking may lead you to the impressive pileated woodpecker. Listen and look for songbirds and owls in the cool, wet forest. Beavers, muskrats, hawks and herons are attracted to the park's wetlands. At dusk, look for coyotes, foxes and bats, or perhaps you'll be surprised by a flying squirrel!

September 2013 DEC Outdoor Discovery Newsletter © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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