I've spent most of my life in Central New York and it's where I began to appreciate and photograph the outdoors. Each part of New York State has its own unique atmosphere. In fact, the more time you spend out here the further you can subdivide the regions. Little pockets of forest make themselves evident, seperate from the rest of their geographical region in topography, in climate, even in the look and feel of their trails or lack thereof, but dividing this state into such small tracts of land wouldn't do any more for my website's organization than lumping them all together. The categories here are my compromise between these two extremes.
Western New York is everything from Rochester westward. The northern half of this region is flat and, for the most part, not particularly interesting. The Lake Ontario shoreline is nice, but most of the shore's parks are east of this region. Niagara Falls sits at the westernmost tip of this region. The southern half of this region is much more interesting; unfortunately, I haven't spent much time out here.
The Finger Lakes are probably known better for their wines than their forests, but there are so many beautiful places out here that I had to give the region its own category. Several of the forests in this region, particularly those that are at some distance from a lake like High Tor, Finger Lakes National Forest, and Bear Swamp, are former farmlands. They feature rolling hills, wide grassy fields, and a particular, sweet fragrance present in early summer unique to this region. Those parks closer to the lakes like Taughannock or Watkins Glen are famous for their spectacular waterfalls.
Central New York, as the name implies, is centrally located. It takes a bit of everything found in the other parts of the state and makes it its own. The hills aren't too tall, the water isn't too wide, the views aren't too long. The forests here are subdued, but they hide gems for the careful observer. Some of these I've photographed and published here, others don't take well to the camera and you'll have to find for yourself.
Lake Ontario isn't really its own region in New York State, but that strip of land immediately surrounding the lake has a character found nowhere else in the state. Nowhere else will you see ice dunes the way they form on the lake's eastern shore. Nowhere else will you see sandstone bluffs like those at Chimney Bluffs. Even the scrubland at the state's northwest corner is interesting and different. Most of the state is dominated by trees and rocks, but the places I've placed in this category are dominated by the lake.
Northern New York holds the world famous Adirondack Park that doesn't need any further introduction, but there's even more to this region. The Tug Hill Plateau immediately west of the park is home to some beautiful wooded canyons, lakes and its own fair share of mountains. This area west of the Adirondack Park is also known as the Lesser Wilderness, as opposed to the Greater Wilderness, which is the park itself. In the same way the region just south of the Adirondacks takes on many of the park's features. This is why I've grouped this entire area and called it Northern New York.
Much like Western NY, I haven't wandered much around SE NY, the area known as downstate. I hear there are some nice parks out there, and, of course, there is New York City, the place most folks immediately associate with New York State. There are plenty of photos to be taken here, but I haven't taken them, so there's no need to include an empty category.