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More Outdoor Adventures

Adventure New York logo

The Adventure NY program connects New York families and visitors to the great outdoors. It includes $50 million to improve public access to state land and water, upgrade campgrounds and facilities, and increase public awareness and information about all the outdoor recreation opportunities available in New York State.

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New York State has many wonderful opportunities to get outside and enjoy activities year-round, including birding and wildlife viewing; warm-weather adventures such as swimming, biking, and horseback riding; cold-weather pursuits such as skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling; and even more challenging adventures like geocaching or rock and ice climbing. For accessible recreation, check out the Accessible Recreation destinations webpage.

Adventure NY Programs

New York State Birding Trail

nys briding trail logo

The New York State Birding Trail highlights world-class birding opportunities across the state. The trail provides information on places anyone can go to find birds amid beautiful settings. The trail is not a physically connected or built trail, but a network of promoted birding locations that can be accessed by car or public transportation and provides an inclusive experience for all.

New York City is the first region to be announced, with future announcements expected over the next year.


Adventure NY is going virtual! As part of #AdventureAtHome, we'll be bringing you updated content for inspiration on how to enjoy the outdoors close to home. Check back each month for new content. Be sure to sign up for Find Your Adventure (the Camping, Wildlife Viewing, and Hiking) email newsletter as well.

First-time Camper Program

NYS provides FREE First-time Camper weekends throughout the summer. New York families that have never camped before have the opportunity to see if they enjoy the great outdoors before investing in their own gear by registering for a fully stocked campsite at a select NYS campground for a weekend. Learn more about this popular program, which launched in 2017.

First Day Hikes

family with fishing poles

Celebrate the New Year outdoors with friends and family on a First Day Hike! Join one of the dozens of sponsored hikes held each New Year's Day at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas and trails across the Empire State. Staff from State Parks and DEC, along with volunteers at many sites, lead these family-friendly walks and hikes, which range from one to five miles depending on the location and conditions. Check back for updates on our January 1, 2022 hikes.

Outdoors Day

Get outside on Outdoors Day! Many of 2021's celebration took place throughout the month of June, with most celebrations on Saturday, June 12. The events are designed for New Yorkers of all ages and abilities to try out a wide range of recreational activities, including fishing, hiking, paddling, birdwatching, camping, archery, and more. Thank you to all that attended in 2021!

Hike With Us - Catskills

Ready to try hiking in the Catskills? Take one of the 15 hikes as part of the Hike With Us - Catskills program. This series of 15 beginner-level hikes is designed to provide a fun, safe, introductory experience. Hikes range from two to six miles and are located in Greene, Sullivan, and Ulster counties.

Catskills Fire Tower Challenge

For nearly a century, observers watched the forests of New York State - including the Catskill and Adirondack forest preserves - from more than 100 fire towers perched atop the highest peaks, searching for the dangerous, telltale signs of forest fires.

You can experience these spectacular views from the top of five fire towers by taking the 2022 Catskills Fire Tower Challenge.

Year-round Activities

Watching Wildlife

Check out New York's watchable wildlife - search by location or species you'd like to see.


I Bird NY Logo

I Bird NY was launched in 2017 to build on the State's efforts to increase access to New York's vast natural resources and promote low-cost opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors and connect with nature. Visit I Bird NY to information on birding challenges, where and how to bird watch, upcoming bird walks and other events, a downloadable kids booklet, and additional resources.


Learn about Geocaching, the real-world, outdoor treasure hunt using GPS, that is popular on New York State lands. This great family friendly adventure is for all abilities and you can find geocaches throughout New York State (and beyond!).

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

Warm-Weather Activities


Visit our Destinations page for thousands of lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, miles of coastline where you can take a cool, refreshing dip.


Learn more about bicycling on DEC lands. From mountain biking and off-road biking to easy rides on paved paths, New York State has something for every cyclist.

Horseback Riding

Horseback enthusiasts can enjoy a wide variety of riding terrain and views throughout New York State. Learn about locations, safety, rules, and more.

Cold-Weather Activities

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 and Snowshoeing

Cross-country skiing and showshoeing are great ways to stay in shape and to see some of the most beautiful scenery found in New York State.

Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding

Visit I Ski NY for information on downhill ski and snowboard resorts in New York as well as ski reports.


New York State hosts more than 10,500 miles of trails for snowmobilers to enjoy when the ground is covered in snow. Learn more about safety, rules, and regulations.

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

Climbing Activities

Rock and Ice Climbing allow you to test your strength, endurance, agility, and balance. Enjoy the adventure of rock and ice climbing in the Catskills, Adirondacks, or other locations around New York State.

More about More Outdoor Adventures:

  • Take Your Shot for an Outdoor Adventure - New Yorkers who get their first vaccination shot during December 2021 can enter the Take Your Shot for an Outdoor Adventure sweepstakes.
  • Love Our NY Lands - NY State lands belongs to everyone and it takes everyone to help protect them. Learn how you can help.
  • #AdventureAtHome - Looking for an at-home adventure? DEC is featuring special #AdventureAtHome content here, and on Facebook and Instagram, and launching live specials, new videos, and at-home tools and games for New Yorkers who cannot get out for a nature break.
  • Outdoors Day - an open house-type event where visitors will be able to try out many outdoor recreation activities at locations around NYS
  • Adventure NY Infrastructure Improvements - List of accomplishments and completed projects
  • Watchable Wildlife - A guide to the best places in New York to see all types of wildlife. Information on species and sites and viewing tips.
  • HuntFishNY Mobile App - The HuntFishNY mobile app is the official New York State Department of Environmental Conservation app that provides our sportsmen/women a simple way to display their licenses and privileges, as well as report their harvest.
  • 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 - Find recommended places to snowmobile in New York following DEC policies
  • Skiing and Snowshoeing - Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities in New York State.
  • Swimming - Find recommended places to swim, safe swimming information and resources to help the public avoid potential water hazards.