National parks in New York state– You’ll find some large cities that are catching the eye with their exciting scene. Here are a few of our favorites (yes, we’re looking at you, New York City).
If you’ve been hoping to find something a bit more soothing, like gorgeous national and state parks overflowing with awe-inspiring views of towering mountains, sparkling lakes, national parks, and thundering waterfalls, then you’ll be happy to know that these sights can be found right here.
The Empire State is packed with serene landscapes that are so gorgeous, that you’ll want to make your camera quiver with excitement. Luckily, these areas of natural beauty have been recognized early on, which has led to conservation efforts.
These national parks and sites, national museum and state park system was created to protect the environment. But in addition, it also protects the unique historic structures that are spread out across the area.
It’s hard to know where to start when traveling to this beautiful city. Some places include views of Harriet Tubman’s home, a National Historic Site, a National Monument, and getting sprayed by the mighty Niagara Falls! Pick the adventure you want to try out of our list of the best national and state parks in New York.
Listed top spots National parks in New York State
African Burial ground National Monument
An African burying ground can be found in the Lower Manhattan area. This park is open year-round and offers a memorial and visitor center.
From the 1690s to the 1790s, thousands of captured and freed Africans and; their descendants were buried here at this site. Burials of African people were not allowed within the city walls of New Amsterdam, later becoming New York City.
“In 1794, the site was nearly forgotten until construction in 1993 revealed them in National parks in New York State. During the public outcry following this discovery, for national parks, a portion of these gravesites was saved.”
There is now a visitor center within the federal building and an outside memorial.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian Trail travels through National parks in New York state and; goes up to a maximum of 1,433 feet in elevation. There are also campsites only found in designated areas, so be sure to check the website for any availability before you go hiking to Bear Mountain.
If you are considering hiking the trail to Appalachian Trail, in New York State, there are a lot of different factors to consider. If you want detailed information about trails in the area and like to spend time with maps and plans, check out the North Dakota MI and Appalachian Trail Guide – New York.
Castle Clinton National Monument
Castle Clinton National Monument is located in Lower Manhattan. You can pick up your Statue of Liberty tickets here, but it’s also a National Park Service site, so you should check their website for more information about visiting.
Castle Clinton is a 19th-century fort that was constructed to defend New York Harbor against a possible British attack. It was renamed in 1817 by mayoral decree to honor Mayor DeWitt Clinton. There were no shots fired on any enemies from the fort while it was in military use but interestingly there were two cannons shot at Castle Clinton before.
The structure has been used for a variety of purposes in its lifetime, including being a restaurant, concert hall, national park service, and theater. In 1855 it was converted to be an immigration station and over time saved the lives of 8 million people as they entered the United States.
The structure has been restored to its original conditions as a 19th-century fort. The park offers daily Park Ranger-guided interpretive programs, and you can visit the park’s museum too.
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Eleanor Roosevelt NHS also known as Val Kill is located in Southeastern New York State approximately 90 miles from National parks in New York State. The park is gorgeous and offers tours of Val-Kill and the surrounding grounds.
Eleanor Roosevelt owned this property as a favorite retreat where she would often throw picnics with her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Eleanor ran a small business employing locals in Hyde Park. When the business closed she turned its building into Val-Kill Cottage, home to Eleanor Roosevelt.
Eleanor Roosevelt made this home while she lived in New York City. It was the first National Historic Site dedicated to an American First Lady.
Federal Hall National Memorial
Federal Hall NM is located in Lower Manhattan and offers a diverse range of rangers-led programs, guided walks, and; guided history tours open year-round in national parks in New York state.
Federal Hall hosted a lot of historic events, including a National Historic Site and George Washington’s inauguration as America’s first president and the first meeting of the United States Congress, and the passage of the Bill of Rights.
Even before the Revolutionary War, historic events occurred at Federal Hall. This building was originally New York’s first government building when it was still the national capital of America towards the Federal Hall National Memorial. It also served as a city hall for over 250 years before being renamed to commemorate a famous revolutionary figure.
The current building was completed in 1842 as the U.S. Customs House. The National Memorial is designed in a Grek Revival style and contains exhibits related to George Washington’s inauguration, which you can see while you’re visiting.
Along with models of the National Historic Site and National Memorial of the original city hall and Federal Hall, you can also see the Letchworth State Park and Bible George Washington used to take the oath.
Fire Island National Seashore
The Fire Island National Seashore Park is located in southeastern New York State, which allows you to enjoy long beach walks, national park service, nature hikes in spring and fall, and visiting coastal attractions such as hikes and swimming spots.
Sheltered from the other overcrowded neighborhoods National parks in New York State by the huge ocean, Hudson River School and Fire Island National Seashore is an escape for those who enjoy the natural beauty of a barrier island. The National Seashore was established in 1964 and stretches along 26 miles of Fire Island.
You might be surprised to see 17 communities within the National Seashore and National Historic Site. When it was established in 1962, parameters were set that the communities and pre-existing commercial uses would be allowed to remain as long as development was done within ordinances, which protect their existence in the National parks in New York state.
Make sure you plan your visit to the lighthouse so that you can follow up with the visiting hours and schedule the ferry. The lighthouse is a part of Robert Moses State Park, which is close to Long Island City on Fire Island Lighthouse.
Fort Stanwix National Monument
Fort Stanwix is located in Central New York. The national parks in New York State has a recreated fort that you can explore and a great visitor center at a National Historic Site.
The national monument of six nations of American Indians used a portage path to trade between the Mohawk River and Wood Creek which could be as long as 1 to 6 miles depending on the season.
The portage trail was a very important part of the side of the Great Lakes and westward routes in colonial times. The British built Fort Stanwix at this location during the 1750s, which became active during the French and Indian War.
Fort Schuyler was rebuilt by the Patriot forces during the American Revolution and renamed. British forces began to lay siege on the fort in 1777 but decided to withdraw after a few days. They did so because their armed conflict with American reinforcements was too fierce, and they felt that their armed conflict would not be fruitful.
The defense of the fort kept the British from moving down the Mohawk Valley, National Historic Site, and led to the American victory at Saratoga.
Today you can visit the reconstructed fort in downtown Rome, NY to experience living history and interpretation of the National Monument. Watch the demonstrations and learn about what life was like for those who lived there. Remember that it is important to respect landmarks when visiting them!
Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway NRA is located across New York Harbor, as well as across New Jersey. From most of the National parks in New York State, you can see the skyline in the distance of Manhattan.
Staten Island is one of the five boroughs that make up National parks in New York State. It features a variety of recreational and cultural attractions, some of which include Great Kills Park (a 580-acre park with hiking trails and marinas) Hyde Park, and Fort Wadsworth, the 19th-century military fort just outside the National Historic Site and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge entrance to New York’s Inner.
The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is found in Queens and is the only wildlife refuge within the National Park system. This is a great place for bird watching, so consider having a look at this hidden gem when you’re up in NYC!
You can learn about aviation history at Floyd Bennet Field in Brooklyn. Gateway National Recreation Area was the site that first opened in 1931 and New York’s first airport.
General Grant National Memorial
The General Grant Memorial is located in Upper Manhattan in New York City. Ulysses S. Grant was the first president of the United States, held cabinet positions during his presidency for national parks, and is considered by many to be one of America’s greatest military commanders at National Historic Site.
Ulysses S. Grant is the 18th President of the United States and he passed away in the year 1885. When he died, around a hundred thousand people from around the world donated more than $600,000 to build a tomb for him which was dedicated on April 27, 1897.
Grant’s Tomb is in the Morningside Heights area of Manhattan. It’s more than 150 feet tall and is the largest mausoleum in North America. As a visitor to the National Memorial, you can check out the visitor center which is near the memorial, and then enter the memorial and view General Grant’s tomb and art.
Governor’s Island National Monument
Governors Island is a popular waterfront retreat in New York Harbor between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
For years, the island has served as a strategic military location and a place for relaxation. It thrived during colonial times and became the 6th Borough in 1898 a National Historic Site. The British built forts in New York harbor to keep themselves out of the city during the war of 1812. The British military originally planned on occupying New York and sailing down the Hudson River.
On the 22-acre National Monument is the Coast Guard station where it operated national parks for 30 years before the area was turned over to National Park Service. It offers a number of different tours and exhibits on Fort Stanton, and the National Monument as well as commanding views of the valley below.
The best way to reach the southern tip of Manhattan island is via a ferry that departs from Battery Maritime Building on Lower Manhatten. You can also catch a ferry in Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 at Governors Island National Monument.
Hamilton Grange National Memorial
Hamilton Grange links to a resource with audio tours of Alexander Hamilton’s home, the National Historic trail for trips to national parks located right in the heart of NYC’s historic Hamilton Heights.
Hamilton was one of the Founding Fathers of US history, but it wasn’t until after his death that we started to hear about him. The little musical featured on Broadway not only brought Hamilton’s story to a wider audience but encouraged people to learn more about his important place in history.
Alexander Hamilton is one of the Founding Fathers who toiled for years but wasn’t recognized until over a century after he died. He served in the Continental Congress, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Co-author of The Federalist Papers, and the first secretary of Treasury. He’s also been hugely successful in his career as he rose to become president.
He left an indelible mark on the way this country was built and he’s one founder that would be impossible to replicate. He retired from public service but commissioned a prominent architect to design his home for him. The house was completed in 1802 and is named after Hamilton’s family home in Scotland.
In 1804, Alexander Hamilton was fatally wounded in a duel. The Grange moved in 1839, and for its entire life resided next to an apartment building and a church.
Hamilton’s home is still open to the public and visitors can see his original land and gardens.
Saratoga National Historical Park
Saratoga National Historic Park is located in Eastern New York, north of Albany. It is open year-round for historic sites, and visitors can enjoy a scenic drive through a historic battlefield or take in the Schuyler House while to search National parks in New York State.
A well-known example in the modern history of a turning point in geopolitics, the Siege at Saratoga of 1777 has been called “the turning point of the American Revolution”. history. Britain was planning to march south through the Hudson Valley in New York and link up with troops in British-occupied National parks in New York State, Staten Island, and National Historic Site. By finally gaining firmer control over the entire state, they would be able to prevent Vermont, Grand Canyon, Massachusetts, and Connecticut from receiving aid from rebel forces in Virginia.
The French had been American allies, and they went to war with England and lost. Saratoga National Historical Park, Bear Mountain State Park, and Hyde Park frightened the British into dividing their military, which led to independence in countries all over the world including places we Americans knew nothing about.
Today you can visit the battlefield site, and visitor center, the national park service drive the nine-mile auto tour, and on specific weekends see re-enactments.
Economic Benefits of the New York State Park System
Visitors to the parks and citizens of New York State benefit from the system of state parks in both financial and nonfinancial ways. State Parks provide jobs around New York.
And thereby boost state GDP expenditure made by park guests and the on park operations, state government and capital additions. Parks may aid in enhancing property values, better health results in addition to social capital, healthier air, and healthier surroundings.
The degree of employment and state GDP that the New York State park system supports is measured in this study using data from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) as well as findings from studies of other state parks.