Located just a few hours’ drive from New York City, Boston, and Albany, Saratoga Springs is renowned for its beautiful natural surroundings. In fact, we suspect a bit of Saratoga Springs nature could be just what you’re looking for right now.
Summer 2020 is going to be all about fresh air, open spaces, and getting back to nature. Thankfully, Saratoga Springs has it all. There’s no better place to refresh the body and mind than in our fair Spa City. Here are our recommendations for the best parks, nature, and outdoor activities in Saratoga Springs NY.
Why not pack a picnic lunch to-go and enjoy a sunny afternoon at the park? The park offers plenty of space to roll out a blanket, tuck into your lunch, and soak up some much-needed Vitamin D.
You’ll find beautiful Congress Park just a short walk from our downtown boutique hotel on Broadway. This central spot is ideal for a pleasant walk or picnic. Choose a sunny space on its wide, rolling lawns or find yourself some shade beneath the large, leafy trees.
Saratoga Spa State Park
Saratoga Spa State Park is another great place to experience Saratoga Springs nature. Enjoy over 2,000 acres of lush, open-air spaces, winding trails, and scenic outlooks. While some of the public buildings are currently closed, there’s no shortage of picnic spots and walking paths to peruse.
You’ll find miles and miles of nature trails here, perfect for walking, hiking, running, or biking. Along the way, you’ll stumble upon multiple natural springs, which attracted Saratoga’s earliest visitors. The lure of these mineral springs endures to this day. The Saratoga Spa State Park is now designated a National Historic Landmark, renowned for its springs, green spaces, and architectural landmarks.
Geyser Creek Trail
Geyser Creek is the longest and most popular trail within the Saratoga Spa State Park. It’s not so much a “hike” as a leisurely stroll, but we love it for the gentle creek streaming alongside as well as the impressive Geyser Island Spouter.
For easy-to-moderate hiking near Saratoga Springs, we can’t resist a trip to Spruce Mountain. Located just a 15-minute drive from Saratoga Arms, this hike is ideal for those looking for beautiful nature and fresh air. After the easygoing 2.5-mile trek, your reward is a stunning view of the Adirondack Mountains from atop the summit fire tower.
Ballston Creek Preserve
Also just a 15-minute drive south of Saratoga Arms, the Ballston Creek Preserve is a quiet, secluded spot for a walk or run. The short trail is well-marked, though a bit more “rugged” in places!
These days, the preserve is a sanctuary for local wildlife, particularly birds. There’s even a large Great Blue Heron rookery within, which makes for some majestic bird-watching. Other wetland species to spot include the Blue Jay, Red-Winged Warbler, Canada Goose, and many more.
Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail
Another great spot for birding is the peaceful Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail. This short, 2-mile trail is a year round favorite, as it becomes popular for cross-country skiing in the winter. Only a short drive east from Saratoga Arms and downtown, this trail follows an old passenger railroad that once linked the city to other parts of New York state.
Saratoga Lake is synonymous with the summer season. You can make a splash here just a few miles south of downtown Saratoga Springs. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore the lake, or simply find yourself a comfy hammock and settle in to watch the breathtaking sunset.
One of the most popular day trips from Saratoga Springs is Lake George. Only a half-hour’s drive north from downtown, Lake George has plenty of outdoor activities on offer both on and off the lake. The lakeside Million Dollar Beach is open only on weekends right now, but offers a relaxing atmosphere to spend a lazy afternoon in the sunshine.
If you’re ready to escape the city and enjoy a little time in the great outdoors next weekend, book your visit to Saratoga Springs today.