New York City might appear to be as far removed as possible from the natural beauty of the nation. At first glance, it would seem as though city parks like Central Park are the only reprieve New Yorkers receive from the concrete jungle.
However, if you travel just a few miles outside of the Gotham area itself, you will soon find a number of state parks to enjoy. Whether your trip brings you further into New York or into one of its neighboring states, the Tri-State area has plenty of places where you can enjoy nature.
Bear Mountain State Park (New York)
It might seem unbelievable that a heavily-forested area of New York is just a short trip from NYC. However, travelers won’t have to stray too far from the Big Apple to find Bear Mountain State Park.
Bear Mountain State Park is one of the largest natural areas in the entire state of New York. It is also home to Bear Mountain, one of the highest points in the Empire State.
Guests who make the trip to Bear Mountain State Park can hike along the park’s various trails. They can also visit the Trailside Museums and Zoo to encounter even more nature. The New York State Parks website has more information about Bear Mountain State Park for those interested.
Promised Land State Park (Pennsylvania)
As the name implies, Promised Land State Park resembles a natural paradise. The animals that call the area their home would certainly agree.
Among the species you can spot at Promised Land State Park are American black bears and raccoons. You may even see a bald eagle flying overhead.
Of course, Promised Land State Park is a paradise for those who love to explore the great outdoors as well. To learn what the park offers, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website.
Liberty State Park (New Jersey)
Located at the mouth of the Hudson River, Liberty State Park is located right near Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Nevertheless, this park is a destination in its own right.
Dotting the state park is a number of monuments and memorials, including the “Empty Sky” and “Liberation” memorials.
Liberty State Park is also home to the Liberty Science Center, where scientists young and old can examine and explore the world around them. Explore Liberty State Park for yourself by visiting the website of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Dinosaur State Park (Connecticut)
The American Museum of Natural History isn’t the only location near New York City where you can learn about dinosaurs. Another great place to discover more about these giants that once walked the Earth is Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut.
In fact, you might just be able to see evidence of dinosaurs having once walked around the area. Located within the park’s custom 55,000-square-foot dome are 500 dinosaur tracks, believed to belong to the carnivore Dilophosaurus, or at least a distant relative.
If you want to explore plant and animal life that’s a little more modern, Dinosaur State Park is also home to an impressive Arboretum. Past or present, nature springs to life at Dinosaur State Park. Make this park your dinosaur destination, and visit the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s website for more information.
Jones Beach State Park (New York)
The Atlantic Coast is famous for its iconic boardwalks. You can even find an Atlantic beach setting right outside of the Big Apple at Jones Beach State Park.
Jones Beach is undoubtedly at its most popular during the summer months, when guests can truly enjoy the beach. However, there are activities to participate in and attractions to visit all throughout the year.
The Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater is one of the most popular music venues near the “city that never sleeps.” To learn more about Jones Beach, visit the New York State Parks website.
Take a break from all the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple by taking a trip to one of these wonderful state parks.
This article is presented by Kundert Volvo in Hasbrouck Heights and Englewood, NJ.