Top Ten New York Adventures

Hike the North Country Trail
By Gary Fallesen

It’s a long way from the western trailhead at Lake Sakakawea State Park in North Dakota. But when the North Country Trail enters New York in Allegany State Park, the hiking remains amazing. The trail runs for 300 miles through the rolling terrain of the Finger Lakes Region. It cuts through the Genesee River Gorge in Letchworth State Park and passes the waterfalls of Watkins Glen State Park. Near Cortland, the trail turns north until it intersects with the Erie Canal towpath, which it follows to Rome. Then, the trail follows the Old Black River Canal to Boonville in Oneida County, where it enters Adirondack Park. There's a good deal of up and down along the way. After traversing Adirondack waterways, forests, and mountains, the trail reaches its eastern trailhead at Crown Point State Historic Site on the shore of Lake Champlain. The main North County Trail also has several branches, adding up to a total of 545 miles of footpath. There are many roadside trailheads, allowing for day hikes that enable hikers to cover this ground in sections rather than attempting a long thru-hike.

Trip Facts

When to go: Year-round

Difficulty rating: Moderate


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