10 Must-See Places You Need to Photograph This Summer in New England

The upper northeast region of the US is loaded with beautiful hikes and areas to photograph - a winning combination!

By: Shannon Kalahan

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Exploration and landscape photography go hand-in-hand, but finding time to research potential locations can be challenging.  If your time is at a premium, but you want to see some of the beauty of the Northeastern region of the US has to offer…this list is for you.

1) Acadia: This is a no-brainer.  Acadia is a gorgeous national park that highlights the natural, rugged beauty of northern New England.  Furthermore, there is something for everyone and every fitness level in Acadia, from relaxed strolls to involved hikes.  Several of the beautiful, varied landscapes are easily accessible, with convenient parking and short walks to the site.  Personal favorites are Sieur de Monts and Little Hunter Beach.

2) Rhode Island lighthouses: For the purposes of landscape photography, Rhode Island has some great shore line.  Although not as rugged as Maine’s coastline, there is still a great variety of rocky foreground shoreline and sandy beaches along the ocean sides of the state.   Because there is so much rocky shoreline, there are also several beautiful, accessible lighthouses in the state.  Personal favorites are Beavertail in Jamestown, RI and the lighthouses on Block Island.

3) Cape Cod, MA: The small towns and beaches that make up “The Cape” are a perfect representation of what makes the shore of New England so irresistible.  There are picturesque sandy beaches, salt marshes and lighthouses mixed in with iconic New England villages.  As a bonus (depending on you how you feel about the booming population), you can likely try your hand at Grey Seal photography.Personal favorites are Grey’s Beach boardwalk and the hike out to the Provincetown lighthouses.

4) White Mountains National Forest area:  If you are looking for rugged wilderness, hiking, camping, waterfalls, ponds and birch trees then the White Mountains are for you. The National Forest is well maintained, but retains a strong sense of nature throughout the entire area, including the land surrounding the green space. Personal favorite hikes are Mount Washington (intense hike, waterfalls), and Pondicherry (flat hike, mountain biking, wildlife).

5) Vermont Green Mountains area: The Green Mountain area of Vermont is interesting in that it is interspersed with pockets of civilization throughout, but never loses the magical feel of an untouched wild space. There are plenty of mountains views, forest hikes, waterfalls and wildlife (moose!) to be had in upper Vermont. As a bonus, it’s not far from Lake Champlain. Personal favorite hikes are Camel’s Hump and Sterling Pond. Personal favorite, easily accessible waterfall is Moss Glen in the Green Mountain Forest

6) Quabbin Reservoir, MA:  Massachusetts gets two listings because the Quabbin is that nice.  This reservoir used to be four towns that were removed and the valley was flooded to provide drinking water for Boston.  If the creepy abandoned relics factor isn’t enough for you, then the generally flat hikes, biking and abundant wildlife are sure to win you over. Personal favorite is Hanks Meadow on the lower Quabbin shore.

7) Niagara Falls, NY / Canada: Although it's not a traditional Outbound adventure, I'd be remiss if I didn't list it....for those of you who have a passport, Niagara is a MUST SEE. The falls themselves are the kind of powerful that leaves your jaw on the floor and your knees a little shaky.  There are locations and activities along both sides of the border, but in my opinion, the Canadian side does it best.  It can be a bit “touristy” in town, including a giant ferris wheel to get the best view of the falls light show up at night, but there is a wider variety of things to participate in.  Personal favorites are Cave of the Winds (American side) and the butterfly sanctuary (Canadian side).

8) Ricketts Glen in PA: What if I told you there was a park with 21 beautiful waterfalls in Pennsylvania? Now, what if I told you that 18 of those waterfalls were easily accessible along a 3 mile hike? Ricketts Glen is a photographer’s day hiking paradise giving you a lot of bang for your buck. (Or time, as the case may be!) Personal favorite is Oneida Falls.

9) Upstate NY gorges: There is a reason that Ithaca, NY’s slogan is “Ithaca is Gorges.” The area surrounding Ithaca is loaded with rock walls and stunning waterfalls. The waterfalls vary from “eh” to “dang!”, the sheer volume of hikes and photographic opportunities makes this area worth a mention. Personal favorites are Watkins Glen (if you’re looking for a good return on your time investment, and extremely well-manicured paths) or Taughannock Falls if you’re looking for drama.

10) Connecticut’s Quaint Pockets of Nature: Connecticut is interesting in that the entire state is the attraction.  It is loaded with small working farms, fishing villages, so much forest.  In fact, we’re kinda famous for our foliage in the Fall.  Personal favorites are Enders State Forest for hiking, waterfalls and foliage, and either Lighthouse Park or Walnut Beach/Silver Sands Beach for fun shoreline photos.

Now get out there and take some pictures!

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.