Catskill Scenic Trail (Photo: Darren McGhee)
Just because Earth Day came and went last week, doesn’t mean you should eschew everything eco-friendly. New York State’s tourism agency, I Love New York, has put together a list of the top-10 eco-friendly New York State vacation spots. Here are some of our favorites:
Storm King Art Center
Mountainville, Hudson Valley
845-534-3115, skac.org, Open Wed.-Sun. from April 1- Oct. 31
Storm King’s 500 acres of landscaped fields and woodlands provide a picturesque backdrop for a collection of more than 100 large-scale sculptures by artists such as Richard Serra, Alexander Calder and many others. A narrated tram ride circles the park, and free, daily docent-guided tours are included in the $12 admission.
Getting there: The Coach USA bus line offers roundtrip service from Port Authority to Storm King for $45, including admission. By car, it’s a little over an hour north of the city.
This massive park covers over 6 million acres in upstate New York and has the country’s largest trail system. The Adirondacks are home to no end of natural wonders as well as quaint towns such as Lake Placid that make for perfect weekend getaways. If you’re up there, you might want to start climbing the Adirondack 46 — 46 mountains that are 4,000 feet or higher. If you climb all 46, you’ll earn a cool patch.
Getting there: It’ll take about four hours from New York City to Lake George (the entrance of the park) by car. Amtrak's service from New York to Montreal (800-872-7245) makes stops throughout the Adirondacks. For buses, Adirondack Trailways (800-858-8555) serves many towns, and Greyhound (800-231-2222) serves several as well.
Catskill Scenic Trail
Stamford, Delaware County, the Catskills
visitthecatskills.com or catskillscenictrail.org, 607-652-2821
This 19-mile rails-to-trails route in the western Catskills is perfect for a weekend biking, hiking, horseback riding or cross-country skiing trip. The trail is easy on beginners and even easier on the eyes. While in the area, be sure to explore a range of quaint, picture-perfect towns. Not quite as “green,” but still beautiful, is the drive along Route 97, which hugs the Delaware River, which offers many vistas calling to mind a ride along Highway 1 in California.
Getting there: You can start (and park) in Bloomville or Stamford. Both are a little over a three-hour drive from the city.
Fire Island National Seashore
Fire Island’s national park features beaches, a maritime forest, a lifeguarded beach, dunes and a salt marsh. Another highlight: The Fire Island Lighthouse at the western end of the Seashore. Visitors can climb 192 steps to the top for sweeping views or check out interactive displays in the two-floor museum.
The entire island is particularly green as there are no paved roads, and only service and emergency vehicles are allowed on the island. If you plan to spend to a weekend there, be prepared to walk and bike everywhere.
Getting there: There are seasonal ferries in Patchogue, Sayville and Bayshore that run to Fire Island. The only one that goes straight to the Seashore is in Sayville (April-Oct.). Long Island Railroad (LIRR) stations are located are near all three mainland ferry terminals for Fire Island. Take the Montauk Branch of the LIRR from Penn Station to get to those towns. mta.info/lirr/
For all 10 I Love NY recommended locations, go to iloveny.com/greenheart