10 Must-See State Parks Near Niagara Falls, NY

Are you after a scenic stroll? A place to cast a line? A heart-pumping hike? Use our handy “finder” and choose your own state park adventure.

 While Niagara Falls State Park offers some of the best views of the mighty Falls, don't forget that a visit means there will be 10 other fantastic state parks near you, each offering a unique opportunity for hiking, camping and miles of fun and excitement for all ages. Get up close and personal with the natural and adventurous side of Niagara Falls USA.


If You Want to Get Your Heart Rate Up: Whirlpool State Park

There are two ways to get your heart pumping at Whirlpool State Park: by gawking and by hiking. Some of the best views in Niagara Falls USA are to be found here — the swirl of the Niagara Whirlpool’s Class V whitewater, the emerald green of the Niagara River, the tree-smothered gorge. Stay on the upper level for picnics and overview selfies, or descend the 300 feet into the gorge for a thrilling hike or world-class fishing.


If You Want to Have a Gorge-ous Picnic: Devil’s Hole State Park

Adjacent to Whirlpool State Park you’ll find another spot dedicated to enjoying the Lower Niagara River’s turbulent rapids: Devil’s Hole. Much like at its neighbor, the upper level offers sweeping views of the river, and a walkway down into the gorge places you up-close-and-personal with the lower reaches of the Whirlpool rapids — a spot that’s similarly prized by both hikers and anglers.


If You’re a History Buff: Fort Niagara State Park

Located next to the Old Fort Niagara Historic Site, this park occupies the land where the mouth of the Niagara River meets mighty Lake Ontario — a site that was a military stronghold for three centuries. These days, the surrounding park offers postcard-perfect views of the lake (on a clear day you can see all the way to Toronto!) and well-groomed recreation areas including hiking trails, playing fields and fishing access.


If You’re After a Lighthouse Selfie: Golden Hill State Park

This park, which lies on a scenic stretch of Lake Ontario between Olcott and Point Breeze, is  quite the photogenic spot, the centerpiece being the restored 75-foot lighthouse and keeper’s quarters. Test your fishing mettle from the jetty below the lighthouse, or spend your time exploring the 5.5 miles of path that crisscross the park.


If You’ve Got Budding Naturalists: DeVeaux Woods State Park

Home to giant red, white and black oak trees — as well as sugar maples, black walnuts, ash and beech trees, among others — the 10 acres of old-growth forest at this 51-acre park will leave little ones wide-eyed. (The oldest tree is rumored to be over three centuries old!) A trail across the Robert Moses Parkway leads to Whirlpool State Park, where you can continue your woods-romping.


If You Packed Your Birding Binoculars: Joseph Davis State Park

This riverside park is home to the Joseph Davis Bird Conservation Area, which plays host to bald eagles, ospreys, northern harriers, Cooper’s hawks, eastern bluebirds and more thanks to its diversity of habitats. If you’re after fish rather than winged creatures, you can cast a line in the pond for smallmouth bass, or try your luck from the fishing dock on the Niagara River.


If You’re into Great Lakes: Wilson-Tuscarora State Park

You’ll find 475 acres of woods, open meadows and protected wetlands along the shores of Lake Ontario and Tuscarora Bay at this pretty park. It’s popular with picnickers, disc golfers, sunset-spotters, boaters and fishing enthusiasts. There are also 4 miles of trails for hikers and wildlife watchers.


If You Want to Feel Like a Local: Reservoir State Park

A favorite with active residents thanks to its sports fields, tennis courts and running trails, this Lewiston spot is also popular with those looking to reel in a big one thanks to the excellent fishing on the reservoir. In warmer climes, bring a kite or a picnic; in the winter months, sled down the giant hill or explore the park on your cross-country skis. 


If You’re Feeling Artsy: Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park

Home to a world-class ampitheater that attracts world-class perfromances, this sprawling riverside park in Lewiston is fun to explore even when there's not a show on the books. Expect hiking trails, art installations and picturesque views of the always-inspiring Niagara Gorge — a work of art in and of itself!


About the Author
Libby Woock

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