Central New York: The Affordable Family Destination

Central New York is an ideal destination for families, especially those seeking fun on a budget. There’s more to explore in Central New York, where low-cost and often free outdoor adventure abounds. Whether you’re into hiking or biking, history or u-picks, we’ve got something to suit the whole family in Central New York outdoors this summer.


Did you know? There are more than 350 miles of hiking trails in the Central New York region and nearly 200,000 acres of public wilderness, providing endless hours of family fun. Whether you like to hardcore hike or take it easy, we’ve got plenty of family-friendly natural destinations for you to enjoy.

For starters, you can view the exciting sight of numerous waterfalls throughout Central New York. Central New York also includes an exceptional segment of the Finger Lakes Trail with varying degrees of difficult. Hike along Glimmerglass Lake in Cooperstown or climb to the amazing view of Vroman’s Nose near Middleburgh. We have a number of parks with unique features worth a walk as well.


There’s nothing better than a family ride on a Central New York summer day and we have numerous paths to accommodate your bicycles. This includes a 36-mile segment of the Erie Canalway Trail and many paved options in our numerous parks. For those who want to hit the road, there are plenty of options in Madison and Otsego counties.


There’s always more to explore in Central New York, where you can affordably partake in a tour of Howe Caverns. Established in 1843, these tours take explorers 156 feet below the earth’s surface, where they can marvel at 6 million-year-old limestone formations. But, that’s not the only fascinating geological feature of Central New York. Families can also collect their own quartz crystals at Herkimer Diamond Mines. These unique finds are aged more than 500 million years and have been a favorite family pastime for decades.


kids feeding a goat on a farm

Central New York is also known for CNYFresh, an unofficial collection of more than 440 fresh product producers, 85 specialty shops, 60 farmers markets and 50 u-picks. Families can delight in all the premium produce and hand-pick so of their own at farms across the region, many of which also host animals parents and children can get up close and personal with.


The outdoors of Central New York are about more than nature. There are plenty of historic destinations that include outside experiences. Fort Stanwix National Monument near Rome, Herkimer Home State Historic Site near Little Falls and the Fort Plain Museum & Historical Park are just a handful of them. There are many more that come with low or no cost.

Discover the greatest outdoors in Central New York, the affordable destination for family fun!