Seasons

Spring

While the winter brings plenty of outdoor activity for skiers, skaters and sled-heads, Central New York truly comes alive after the spring thaw.

Springtime kicks off the hiking, biking, wildlife watching and fishing seasons in Central New York. After a long winter, this is a great time to jump into an outdoor adventure in the center of great New York state.

Traverse Chenango County via five sections and 78 miles of the Finger Lakes Trail System, a massive network of 1,000 hike-able miles that stretch from the Western New York/Pennsylvania border deep into the Catskill Mountains. An early focus of the state’s reforestation efforts of the 1930s, Chenango is now home to a robust 63,700-plus acres of explorable state land.

The spring is when the rivers, streams and waterfalls start flowing and beckon for a view at Pixley Falls State Park and others. Get that first walk or ride in at the Chenango Valley State Park or Gilbert Lake State Park trails.

Brimming with pristine streams, flowing rivers, quiet ponds and great lakes, the region produces trophy fish and good eating in spectacular numbers. Head to Broome County, where 50 miles of trout streams provide plenty of action come April.

Catch early-season flowers in bloom and the rebirth of other plant life at Landis Arboretum, a unique public garden featuring 40 acres of flowers, plants and shrubs from around the world (and another 508 acres to explore).

Central New York teems with watchable wildlife, especially in the early spring. Black bears and small mammals come out from their hibernation and the sweet sound of bird songs return to several wildlife management areas in Central New York.

The Great Swamp Conservancy, an Audubon Society Important Bird Area, hosts some 200 species of birds including the Eastern bluebird, osprey, bald eagle, great blue heron, great white egrets, snipe, northern shovel and various warbler species.

No one will be asking “Are we there yet?” during an old-school road trip through the fresh spring air down historic Route 20. This classic bit of Americana is a gateway to Central New York’s signature attractions and cornerstone village communities.

Warm up for a new season of professional baseball at its Mecca, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Celebrate Central New York’s rich Native American heritage at the Iroquois Indian Museum, an impressive collection of art, crafts and artifacts housed in a building modeled after a 400-year-old longhouse.

Don’t forget to stop for a bite at one of our locally sourced restaurants. Be sure to check out Origins Café in Cooperstown or Lost Dog Café in Binghamton.

Reward yourself for your patience over the winter. It’s time to spring into action in Central New York!

Summer

Who doesn’t love summer? Soak in some sun during the best time to explore Central New York!

You know you’ve been waiting all winter (and most of the spring) to tee up. You’ll need a few days to chip away at Central New York’s 60-plus golf courses, including the picturesque Traditions at the Glen course in Johnson City and the historic Leatherstocking course in Cooperstown.

Watchable wildlife rules at the 16,000-acre Rome Sand Plains Resource Management Area, which offers the rare opportunity to visit what is known as a pine barren. The geological oddity, one of just a few in the nation, has high sand dunes and low peat bogs that welcome woodland warblers, spotted turtles and the endangered frosted elfin butterfly.

Switch gears to some of the best cyclotourism destinations in the country. With a 36-mile segment of the Erie Canalway Trail, a 85-mile stretch of historic U.S. Route 20 and endless off-road options in more than 100 state parks and lands, Central New York is the picturesque place for cyclists to do it all.

Take a brew tour of Central New York, America’s Craft Brew Destination! With more than 65 breweries, hard cideries, distilleries, craft-focused pubs and wineries, you’ll have days’ worth of tastings and tours to experience. Not sure where to start? You can make your own trail now.

CNYFresh packs 562 farms, agri-businesses and attractions into one place. Summer is the perfect time to head to the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market or the Oneida County Public Market to purchase some of the season’s delicious, locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

You can even pick your own berries at one of CNY’s many u-pick destinations. Grab the family and head to Conbeer’s Farm in Montgomery or Stone Hill Blueberry Farm in Binghamton to experience the sweet taste of summer.

Summer festivals dominate the landscape here. We know how to have fun in Central New York. Celebrate the arts at Glimmerglass Festival or enjoy great food while watching one of the top hot air balloon rallies in the country at Spiedie Fest.

Camping in Central New York ranges from RVs and cabins to tents and lean-tos.

Our seven state parks with camping host a total of 924 sites and private campgrounds add well over 2,600 to that number.

Put a twist on your camp activity list with some mining. Dig for our signature minerals – known as Herkimer diamonds – and then stay the night at a few Central New York campgrounds.

The options for a day of family fun are endless in Central New York during the summer. Head to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for Hall of Fame Weekend, embark on a journey to Howe Caverns for an afternoon of cave exploring or head to the Animal Adventure Park to meet Binghamton’s favorite celebrity, April the Giraffe.

With the zoos, wildlife parks and other animal attractions covered, how about a safari? The Enchanted Forest Water Safari in Old Forge qualifies as the largest water theme park in New York. Navigate the Adirondack “forest” to rides, slides and other attractions.

Central New York is home to many wondrous waterfalls including Chittenango Falls and Pixley Falls. These landmarks range in height from 50 to 167 feet, making perfect companions for a day of hiking or biking. The sandy landscape and picturesque sunsets of Verona Beach make it a great place to relax after a day of boating or fishing on Oneida Lake.

Public access is plentiful and many of our best fisheries border state parks. Secluded Bowman Lake, for one, produces rainbow and brook trout as well as largemouth bass. Anglers reel in northern pike, walleye and bass regularly on Delta Lake.

Brew Central, America’s Craft Brew Destination, is open year-round. The craft beer, hard cider, spirits and wines are bound to put a little spring in your step as you cruise to more than 65 beverage destinations.

Your summer adventure in Central New York awaits!

Fall

You’ll fall in love with Central New York’s autumn, when our true colors emerge and outdoor adventure takes on a different shade of amazing.

Be daring enough to become your own tour guide and explore the great fall hiking and biking trails.

Let the colorful, fall leaves crunch beneath your feet as you hike along the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT). It’s almost impossible to capture these breathtaking views with a single picture.

Pedal along the scenic Erie Canalway Trail and enjoy 86 miles of beautiful fall foliage from Little Falls near Utica to the Capital Region.

Much of the 184,500-plus acres of state forests and preserves here are hunt-able and open to fishing as well in the fall. With that much space and more than 100 areas to choose from, you’re sure to find solitude necessary to bag an eight-pointer or take home a turkey dinner.

Get in some quality viewing of our watchable wildlife. Chenango County is a true wildlife wonderland with opportunities to scope rare raptors like the northern harrier and a wide variety of other hawks at the 4,169-acre Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area, the state’s oldest WMA.

Check out one of Central New York’s fall festivals, where friends and family can enjoy fall activities, food and of course, homemade apple cider.

The Critz Farms Fall Harvest Celebration runs every weekend from mid-September until the end of October. This festival offers the perfect destination to make memories as the whole family can run through the corn maze and pick the best pumpkins to take home and carve.

Apple and pumpkin picking are also very popular events in the fall. CNY has plenty of amazing U-pick destinations for everyone to enjoy. Head to Fly Creek Cider Mill to pick a few apples and taste some of their famous hard cider or apple wine. You can also check out Jackson’s Farm and pick pumpkins, munch on delicious candy apples and attend weekend family events.

Take a ride through CNY’s Brew Central just in time for some of our Brew Central partners’ famous Oktoberfest Celebrations, where many tasting rooms transform into entertainment venues for the annual events.

Whether you’re the adventurous type looking to explore the beautiful fall foliage on a CNY hike or someone who’s looking for the perfect way to enjoy some fall fun with the family, CNY is the perfect place for you.

A Central New York tour can bring you closer to nature or enhance your travel to the many attractions here.

Winter

Why hide inside when cold weather comes when you could be exploring the great outdoors?

During the winter, CNY experiences consistent snowfall (and a lot of it). Once everything turns white, the time is right for some of the year’s most enjoyable outdoor activities. We’ve got a great landscape to accommodate every winter interest.

Get an amazing view of the Adirondack Park on the chairlift at McCauley Mountain Ski and Recreation Center or hit the city-bound slopes at Val Bialas in Utica and enjoy five ski trails and a separate sledding hill.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are two of Central New York’s favorite activities. Experienced cross-country skiers must sample some of the 30 miles of the BREIA Trails, one of the largest groomed systems in the eastern U.S.

Many hiking areas can be traversed during the winter and most state parks offer trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or both. The main 5.5-mile-long trail at Arnold Lake State Forest is the perfect place to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Embrace the crisp, winter air at Chenango Valley State Park and ice skate over a frozen lake or sled down one of their many snowy hills.

The most popular wintertime paths belong to snowmobilers, who cruise more than 2,000 miles of well-groomed trails after the snow flies for the first time.

Ice skating is popular at Glimmerglass State Park in Cooperstown, which is also a top spot for watching wildlife in the winter.

Ice anglers looking to land a lunker should have luck in any of Central New York’s frozen waters including, Delta Lake State Park.

Brew Central, America’s Craft Brew Destination, is open year-round. The craft beer, hard cider, spirits and wines are bound to warm you up as you journey to more than 65 beverage destinations.

As soon as the snow starts to fall in Central New York, the scenic outdoor adventures are just beginning!