X Online Chat
close window


Discover Upstate NY - RSS Feed

Recent Posts


General - All Topics
Family Fun
- Culinary
- Farm Fresh
- Wine & Brew
- Camping
- Hiking
- Fishing
- Birding & Nature
- Boat Tours
- Erie Canal
- Kayaking & Canoeing
- White Water
- Waterfalls
- Rail Biking
- Museums
- Golfing
- Lighthouses
- Casinos & Resorts
- Horse Racing
- Handicapped Accessible
- Fall Fun
Winter Sports
- Skiing
- Snowmobiling
- Ice Skating
Locations - Thousand Islands
- Adirondacks
- Finger Lakes
- Catskills
- Capitol-Saratoga Region
- Central NY
- Western New York
- Hudson Valley



pdfDownload as PDF

Take a Winding Drive on New York’s Scenic Byways

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2020-06-21 21:19:00

One of the best things about Upstate New York is that no matter which region you visit, you’ll find stunning scenery, bustling cities and towns, plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities, and several centuries’ worth of history. But as they say, it’s about the journey, not just about the destination!

There’s no better state to take a road trip, and getting there is half the fun. This summer is a perfect opportunity for a road trip to explore the byways and back roads of Upstate New York on your way to find your next adventure. There are nearly 30 state and national scenic byways running across New York State—so all you need to do is gas up the car and hit the road to find something you’ll enjoy.

The Adirondacks are home to three scenic byways. Running north to south, the Adirondack Trail begins just ten miles south of the Canadian border in the teeny town of Malone and continues on until it meets up with the Erie Canal in Fonda. Passing directly through the center of the Adirondack Park, this byway passes through some of the region’s best-known towns: Blue Mountain Lake, Long Lake, Tupper Lake and Speculator. Meanwhile, the Central Adirondack Trail moves in a curved pattern through the center of the park, from Glens Falls in the east to Rome in the west, passing through the popular Adirondack towns of Old Forge and Inlet.

The High Peaks Byway winds through beautiful mountain passages connecting Interstate 87 (better known as the Northway) with the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. And the famously named Olympic Byway runs from Keeseville, just off the shores of Lake Champlain, along the Ausable River across the northernmost part of the park past iconic Lake Placid, home of the Miracle on Ice and the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, before joining up with the Great Lakes-Seaway Trail in Watertown, just inland from Lake Ontario.

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is probably New York State’s best-known byway. It’s one of the largest and longest in the Northeast, running 518 miles along the shoes of the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, from Massena, New York to Northeast, Pennsylvania.

The Seaway Trail offers access to the recreation, history and entertainment of the Thousand Islands region, as well as major cities and towns like Buffalo, Rochester, Oswego, and landmarks like Niagara Falls. Southeast of Buffalo, in Western NY, the Western Southtowns Byway runs through several charming small towns to explore. In the Finger Lakes, the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway follows the path around Cayuga Lake, while the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway traces a portion of the Seneca Lake shoreline. On either route, you’ll find beautiful views, outdoor recreation, and of course plenty of wineries.

The Capital-Saratoga Region is the center point for three scenic byways, two of which run through Central New York. The Revolutionary Trail runs from Albany to the shores of Lake Ontario; and Scenic Route 20 Byway, which runs along coast-to-coast U.S. Highway 20, runs from just outside Albany to just before Syracuse. The Lakes to Locks passage runs from Albany north to Plattsburgh and traces the Champlain Canal. Head south from the Capital Region and you’ll find the Catskills, which are home to the Catskill Mountain and Mountain Cloves Scenic Byways, and a bit south of the Catskills, toward the Hudson Valley area, is the Shawangunk Mountains Byway. All three offer sweeping scenic views and plenty of outdoor spaces to play.

Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list-- smaller byways and scenic routes crisscross the state and connect with some of these routes as well, and there are plenty of beautiful back roads to explore that don’t have the official scenic byway designation. Just make a day—or a weekend—of it, and explore for yourself to find your favorite spots. Pack the car and the cooler and you’ll be all set for some classic Upstate New York summer fun.

roadside barn photo credit stillwellmike
High Peaks Scenic Byway photo via Pinterest
Great Lakes Seaway Trail Byway sign wikimedia commons
roadside vineyard photo credit Ken Lund
Shawangunk Mountain byway photo credit mtnscenicbyway.org

posted at: 2020-06-21 21:19:00, last updated: 2020-08-26 20:00:43

You must be logged in to comment.