New York is a large and wondrous place, but many people don’t realize how much nature there is to enjoy. There are many parks and preserves to bike or hike. Three of my favorite places to explore by either biking or hiking are:
MOHONK PRESERVE This is one of New York State’s largest member- and visitor-supported preserve. It protects 8,500 acres of mountain ridges, forests, fields, streams, ponds and many other areas. It is a great place in the summer to go hiking or to spend a few hours in the great outdoors. Its hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and it’s $12 for hikers and $17 for bikers, climbers or horseback riders. Its address is 3197 US-44, Gardiner, N.Y. Call 845-255-0919. Online: mohonkpreserve.org
HOWE CAVERNS This is the largest cave open to visitors in the Northeast and the second-most-visited natural attraction in New York. You get to see all sorts of weird rock formations and also ride a boat on an underground lake, Lake Venus. There are other things you can do outside the cave, like going on the ropes course, climbing the rock wall or riding in the H2OGO ball. The caverns are open daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Visit howecaverns.com to see the price of the tours and all the activities. The address is 255 Discovery Dr., Howes Cave, N.Y. Call 518-296-8900.
CAUMSETT STATE HISTORIC PARK PRESERVE This park is on a peninsula extending into Long Island Sound and has many acres of woodlands, meadows, rocky shorelines and salt marshes. You can visit the mansion or go out on the beach, and you can take a bike or hike to observe the nature. The park is open year-round, sunrise to sunset. The address is 25 Lloyd Harbor Rd., Huntington. Call: 631-423-1770. Online: nysparks.com/parks and search Caumsett.