Wondering about things to do in New York for free? Even though we live in one of the largest cities in all of New York State, Buffalo isn’t exactly the concrete jungle that many outsiders would assume it to be. Not only is the Queen City situated along one of the country’s Great Lakes, but we’re also surrounded by all sorts of exciting natural wonders that are within our reach. While some attractions may require you to pull out your wallet, one of the most fascinating natural wonders that you’ll ever see only requires that you’re willing to go on a true outdoor adventure. Ready to bring out your inner Indiana Jones? It’s time to go chasing waterfalls at one of the best New York attractions.

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New York Attractions

What are the best waterfall hikes in New York?

Aside from the hike to Eternal Flames Falls, there are many other waterfall hikes in New York. Check out a few of these:

High Falls Gorge: Up in the Adirondack region of New York, you’ll find this amazing gorge that you can explore no matter the time of year. And the half-mile trail to see it and its waterfalls are totally kid-friendly. It’s a really fun thing to do in NY for free.

Gorge Trail: Located in the 778-acre Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region, this three-mile out-and-back trail will take you through the gorge, with 19 waterfalls to see, and some you can even walk behind!

Pratt’s Falls: Located in Manlius, this waterfall is over 137 feet tall and can be reached by a relatively easy 1.2-mile loop trail.

What are the most beautiful hikes in New York?

When it comes to New York attractions, there are a bunch that involve the outdoors. Strap on your boots and grab some water because there is quite a lot of beautiful hiking in New York:

Cascade Mountain: Located in Lake Placid, this 5.6-mile trail will take you up to two of the Adirondack’s 46 High Peaks, Cascade Mountain and Mount Porter, for some outstanding views.

Mohonk Mountain House: Take the one-mile Labyrinth Trail to see the Sky Top Tower. Just know that although the trail is short, it involves some crawling, climbing, ladders, and even some pretty tight squeezes.

Overlook Mountain: This 4.6-mile trail is located in Woodstock. The trail is moderately difficult as you do have an elevation gain of about 1,370 feet. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with the remains of an old hotel as well as a fire tower.

Are there any animal encounters in New York?

There are quite a few places for animal encounters in New York. Check out some of these:

Buffalo Zoo: This 23-acre zoo is not only an amazing place to see animals like big horn sheep and bison, but it also happens to be the third oldest zoo in America. As far as encounters, get up close and personal with giraffes and rhinos.

The Wild Animal Park: This park in Syracuse is home to some of the biggest (and baddest) cats on the planet, like cheetahs and jaguars. You can also see giraffes, zebras, and camels.

Utica Zoo: This 80-acre zoo has more than 200 animals, such as wallabies and hyenas. Encounter opportunities include an African lion, a California sea lion, and red pandas.