John Kucko’s top five New York destinations

Destination NY

John Kucko gives us his top five spots to visit in New York State.

Number 5: Salmon River Falls, Oswego County

The majestic 110-foot tall waterfall is situated within the 110 acre Salmon River Falls Unique Area. These Unique Areas are protected lands and are overseen by the New York State DEC. This area, rich in Native American history, is known for its exceptional fishing along the Salmon River. Hiking trails are well kept, a wonderful escape for a day trip.

Number 4: The Adirondack Region, St. Lawrence County

The Adirondack Region has endless beauty with towering pines and lots of small lakes. The area around Cranberry Lake in St. Lawrence County is a hidden gem. Much of the land around here is state-owned, so development is limited. The refreshing Oswegatchie River flows through here, as do other rivers, allowing for picturesque settings amidst many hiking trails. Excellent for a day trip or weekend getaway, you’ll find yourself pulling over often to see the breathtaking sights.

Number 3: The Keuka Outlet Trail, Yates County

The beauty along the seven-mile Keuka Outlet Trail is off the charts with old remnants of mills along the way. The waterway and trail connect Keuka Lake in Penn Yan to Seneca Lake in Dresden and runs alongside an old railroad bed. One can hike, bike, and fish here and a newly expanded parking area makes it even more accommodating. This is a perfect family escape for a day.

Number 2: Hyde Hall Covered Bridge, Otsego County

The oldest covered bridge in America is the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge in Otsego County, which was built in 1825. This amazing treasure is located just north of Cooperstown at what is now Glimmerglass State Park overlooking Otsego Lake. This is one of 29 historic covered bridges in New York State.

Number 1: The Eternal Flame Falls, Erie County

The Eternal Flame Falls are in Chestnut Ridge Park in Erie County, south of Buffalo in Orchard Park. After a bit of a rigorous hike, the payoff is formidable. The highlight of this 1,200-acre park is this stunning sight-natural gas coming from Rhinestreet Shale some 400 meters below the earth’s surface. The flame is almost always aglow, save for a few times when it has to be reignited. Be warned, this is a bit of a rigorous hike on uneven ground and is not advisable immediately following a heavy rainfall.

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