NEW YORK STATE GREEN ATTRACTIONS
Whether it’s a natural wonder or an attraction that’s made changes to become more environmentally friendly, New York State has a multitude of green destinations and attractions for you to choose from!
1. Niagara Falls State Park
2. Letchworth State Park
3. Taughannock Falls State Park
4. Adirondack Park
5. Empire State Building
6. Fire Island National Seashore
7. Storm King Art Center
8. Catskill Scenic Trail
9. Waterways of the Thousand Islands
10. Roosevelt Baths and Spa
1. 125th anniversary of
Niagara Falls State Park,
Niagara Falls, Greater Niagara
It’s the oldest state park in the United States and one of the natural wonders of the world … and now it’s going green! Niagara Falls State Park has awed generations with its majestic beauty and humbling power. The sparkling scenery of the falls has made it a perfect spot for families and has also draws writers, artists and prominent figures who come to feel the spark of creativity that only the park’s panoramic views can create.
Experience Niagara Falls State Park’s rushing torrents, spectacular scenery and one-of-a-kind attractions while letting your excitement flow as freely as the waters. The American Falls feature a variety of adventures to help you make the most of your trip. Walk right up to the base of Niagara Falls during the Cave of the Winds tour, or let the water fall all around you during the Maid of the Mist® boat ride.
This year the park celebrates its 125th anniversary … and it keeping with the times is going green! Some of the green modifications made at the park include a trolley fleet that runs on compressed natural gas (CNG), all other vehicles running on alternate fuels, solar lighting at Cave of the Winds, low energy lighting at the rapids and throughout the park, and using river water for the sprinkler systems. (BACK TO TOP)
Letchworth State Park,
Castile, Greater Niagara
Treat yourself to a visit to one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. – Letchworth State Park. Its gorge is renowned as the "Grand Canyon of the East," as the Genesee River roars through it over three major waterfalls between cliffs (as high as 600 feet) surrounded by lush forests. There are 66 miles of hiking trails, along with trails for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Letchworth offers nature, history and performing arts programs, guided walks and tours, a summer lecture series, whitewater rafting, kayaking, hot air ballooning and a swimming pool. (BACK TO TOP)
Taughannock Falls State Park,
Trumansburg, Finger Lakes
With an incredible drop of 215 feet (66 meters), Taughannock Falls is one of the highest falls east of the Rocky Mountains. Located in the town of Ulysses, it is part of Taughannock State Park, which lies between the Village of Trumansburg and the city of Ithaca.
At Taughannock State Park you can hike along nature trails, and take advantage of tent and trailer sites, cabins, picnic areas, beach swimming, fishing, playground areas, a marina launching site, ice-skating, sledding, cross-country skiing and an annual summer concert series.
Other interesting area attractions from ten minutes to an hour’s drive include: Buttermilk Falls, Robert Treman State Park, Cornell University, Watkins Glen, the Finger Lakes, Corning Glass Museum, Ithaca College and over 50 local wineries. (BACK TO TOP)
4. Adirondack Park, The Adirondacks
The largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States – greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon national parks combined – the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park was created in 1892 by the State of New York amid concerns for the water and timber resources of the Adirondacks region. Nearly half of the park’s land belongs to the people of New York State and is constitutionally protected to remain “forever wild” forest preserve. It’s a perfect blend of quaint, friendly villages surrounded by millions of acres of forests filled with hundreds of pristine lakes and ponds, endless miles of rivers and streams, and the famous Adirondack Mountains. Take advantage of picturesque hiking and walking trails, wilderness paddling opportunities, and unparalleled winter recreation. (BACK TO TOP)
5. Empire State Building, NYC, New York City
Rising 1,250 ft. above the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street, the Empire State Building is an Art Deco marvel. At 102 stories, it’s the tallest building in New York City, an icon in film and history, and has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. From the 86th-floor observation deck, you have an amazing 360-degree view of the city, and can even access a smaller deck on the 102nd floor.
It’s been a tradition on St Patrick’s Day for years, but now the Empire State Building is green year round! But it’s not only about green lighting. In April 2009, Mayor Bloomberg announced an innovative plan to cut energy expenses at the 102-story structure. The results will be a more environmentally-friendly building and an expected savings of $4.4 million in annual energy costs for its owners. Even better, renovations will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 105,000 metric tons during the next 15 years — equal to the annual emissions of 17,500 cars. The list of upgrades includes replacing all of the skyscraper's 6,514 windows with a type of insulated glass that reduces summer heat load and winter heat loss. Other changes are planned for the building's insulation, ventilation, chilled water and lighting systems. Work has begun, with upgrades to the building systems expected to be completed in 2010. All of the building's green projects are expected to be finished by 2013. (BACK TO TOP)
Fire Island National Seashore,
Rhythmic waves, high dunes, ancient maritime forests, historic landmarks and glimpses of wildlife—Fire Island has been a special place for diverse plants, animals and people for centuries. Far from the sounds and pressures of nearby big-city life, Fire Island National Seashore’s dynamic barrier island beaches offer solitude and camaraderie, and spiritual renewal to civilization-weary people.
While you’re here, check out the Fire Island Light, a lighthouse located near the western end of the seashore near Robert Moses State Park; Sailor's Haven, boardwalk trail through the area known as Sunken Forest; as well the visitor center, general store, and public marina. Located on the eastern end of Fire Island, Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness is the only federally designated U.S. Wilderness Area in New York State. (BACK TO TOP)
7. Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, Hudson Valley
Located in Mountainville, an hour's drive north from the George Washington Bridge, the 500-acre Storm King Art Center is both a museum and a nature conservancy. Five hundred acres of landscaped lawns, fields and woodlands provide the setting for postwar sculptures by internationally renowned artists at Storm King Art Center. The museum celebrates the relationship between sculpture and nature by presenting art within an exhibition space is defined by sky and land.
Unencumbered by walls, the subtly created flow of space is punctuated by modern sculpture. When viewing the sculpture, you’re surrounded by the majestic Hudson Highlands. Because the sculptures are affected by changes in light and weather, no two visits are the same. (BACK TO TOP)
8. Catskill Scenic Trail, Catskill Mountains, The Catskills
The Catskill Scenic Trail lies on top of the former rail bed of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad. This 19-mile “Rails to Trails” project offers a hard-packed surface that makes it perfect for hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. The Trail's very gentle grade is a unique feature, with only a four hundred foot change in elevation over the entire 19 miles. The young and the young-at-heart will find this an easy trek through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
The western Catskill Mountains of Delaware County offer some of the most stunning rolling mountain vistas. The headwaters for the Delaware River flow through the region providing fertile ground for farming on the river valleys and sweeping up gentle slopes to the mountain tops. These family farms and forests fed the needs of the growing Manhattan population and trains, such as the Ulster & Delaware, brought their produce and timber to market. (BACK TO TOP)
9. Waterways of the Thousand Islands, Thousand Islands-Seaway
The waterways of the 1000 Islands region, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, are the setting for some of the best boating and fishing in the world, the most interesting cruising anywhere and the best diving outside of the Caribbean. With island after island and port after port of breathtaking beauty, fascinating history and lively activity, it’s easy to see why the 1000 Islands are a popular cruising destination for both power boaters and sailors. Best of all, there’s so much accessible by boat, including restaurants, resorts, parks, museums, golf courses, retail shops … and it’s all surrounded by some of the most gorgeous scenery anywhere!
The waters are filled with trophy-sized fish, drawing anglers from around the world every year for lake trout, king salmon and walleye on Lake Ontario, and Muskie, northern pike, bass, and the famous Lancaster Perch. Fishing services abound in the region with plentiful marinas, boat launches and bait and tackle shops. Local guides and charters can assure a successful outing for any angler with their proven knowledge and expertise. (BACK TO TOP)
10. The Roosevelt Baths & Spa, Saratoga Springs, Capital-Saratoga
Saratoga Springs has long been famous for its mineral springs, the result of a geological fault that allows the carbonated mineral water from deep in the earth to come to the surface. Believing the mineral springs to be sacred and have healing powers, Native Americans frequented them in the 14th century. During the 1800’s Saratoga Springs became a very popular tourist attraction when many people came to partake of the waters. In the middle 1800's, the water was being bottled and shipped around the world.
Experience the luxury of these springs with a mineral bath or other treatment at the newly renovated Roosevelt Baths & Spa. Indulge your body, mind and spirit with a luxurious spa vacation, the ultimate escape – from effervescent mineral baths to rejuvenating body scrubs!
The Roosevelt Baths & Spa at Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs has been recognized and certified as a ‘green spa’ by Eminence Green Spa’s newly launched certification program, which encourages and rewards partner spas that have a passion for the environment, are involved in eco-conscious practices and are actively supporting the green movement. In order to become an Eminence Green Spa, a spa must "prove it is actively involved in Earth-friendly practices such as the use of reusable bags and linens, low-voltage lighting, organic fabrics, recycling programs and an assortment of other green efforts. (BACK TO TOP)