With summer finally upon us, I know everyone is itching to get outside and soak up the long-awaited sunshine of upstate New York. I've done a lot of outdoor activities around the Capital District lately and wanted to share some of my favorite close-to-home adventures for you to explore on your next sunny day off!

  • 1

    Albany Pine Bush Preserve

    The Albany Pine Bush is a preserved ecosystem with 18 miles of trails, and it's settled right in the heart of Albany on New Karner Road. If you have a whole day off, or just an hour to kill, this place is great for getting some fresh air. It's good for beginners and experienced outdoorsmen (and outdoorsWOmen!) alike, offering trails from a half-mile stretch all the way to seven and eight miles long. The Albany Pine Bush is super kid-friendly and offers an interactive Discovery Center with information all about the preserve and the organisms that call it home. If you happen to make your way over, remember to look for the Karner Blue butterfly!

    Find it at:

    195 New Karner Road Suite 1

    Albany, NY 12205


  • 2

    Thacher Park

    A local favorite, Thacher Park has been providing the area with outdoor activities for over 100 years. Known for it's numerous hiking trails and beautiful vistas, Thacher also offers campgrounds, picnic areas and a nature center. This place is great for day trips and family events, awesome place to get some exercise with your dogs too!

    Find it at:

    1 Hailes Cave Road

    Voorheesville, NY 12186

  • 3

    The Poestenkill Falls

    Just off Linden Avenue in Troy you'll find this impressive, three-tier waterfall. This area is small and it's only about a half mile walk from the parking lot to the waterfall. There is a grassy valley with benches and picnic tables adjacent to the waterfall/gorge. Easy adventure with great picture opportunities!

    Find it at:

    Linden Ave

    Troy, NY 12180

    Sarah Adamowski
  • 4

    Christman Sanctuary

    The Sanctuary is a preserve in Schoharie that focuses on land conservation and climate control. The trails here lead you to a beautiful reservoir with some equally as beautiful falls in a stream below. If you're looking for a more secluded and peaceful adventure, this is a good place to visit.

    Find it at:

    3281 Schoharie Turnpike, Delanson NY 12053

    Sarah Adamowski
  • 5

    Nine Corner Lake

    This hike leads you to a breathtaking view of the lake where people love to hang out and cliff jump. There are multiple areas to set up camp and tons of space for swimming and floating. The hike up is roughly two miles with awesome views and small streams and waterfalls. Certain areas are a little on the steeper side and it's definitely a good replacement for the gym one day! Good place for a full day trip.

    Find it at:

    Nine Corner Lake, NY 12032