Columbia County, in upstate New York, has 4 free outdoor activities that can be enjoyed year round. Upstate New York is particularly nice to visit when the leaves are changing, (another free activity) but you can also enjoy its beauty when it snows, when spring blooms, or when it is cooler than New York City.
The Fields at Omi
1405 Cty Rt 22, Ghent
The Fields Sculpture Park has 100 acres dotted with internationally recognized contemporary sculpture. See established as well as emerging American and international artists, all in a natural environment.
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A golf cart is available for handicapped use and bicycles are also provided. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy picnic facilities located throughout the park. Free guided tours are available to groups of six or more. The Sculpture Park is open year round during daylight hours; the visitors center is open Thursday – Sunday during the summer; Saturday and Sunday during winter.
Harlem Valley Rail Trail
Bring your own bike to cycle along the paved bicycle/pedestrian path. The 15 mile rails to trails path is built on an old railroad bed that connected New York City, the Harlem Valley, and Chatham, NY. Access the Harlem Valley Rail Trail from 3 spots: Undermountain Rd, off Rt 22; AncramValley View Rd, Copake; or Taconic State Park Entrance (near Depot Deli), Copake Falls.
Chatham Skate Park
A 2300 square foot concrete park in Chatham is open every day year round, weather permitting. Only skateboards and roller blades are permitted.
Edna St. Vincent Millay “Poetry Trail” at Steepletop
A 1/2 mile narrow country wood road for walking only is marked with a dozen nature poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay. The trail ends at the final resting ground of the poet and her family. Open year round. East Hill Road – 2 miles in from Route 22, south of Route 203, Austerlitz or 3/4 of a mile from the north end of East Hill Road – follow the historic site sign arrows on Rt 22.