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15 Places you need to visit in the Northeast U.S.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Though it’s easy to become entranced by popular attractions, the Northeastern U.S. is much more than the bright lights of New York City, the historic streets of Boston, or the popular national parks in Maine. Don’t get us wrong– these spots are widely known for a reason and deserve to be seen and explored. But, it’s worth knowing there are so many lesser known places to fall in love with in this region.  

From quaint towns, breathtaking foliage, nature trails, waterfalls, mountains, and beautiful bodies of water, the terrain and features of the Northeast are diverse. Take note of this list when planning your Northeast adventure and don’t overlook places that are off the beaten path!

Massachusetts

1. Frank Knowles-Little River Reserve

Photo: Danielle Sharples

This serene wetland adventure features a 200-foot-long suspension bridge, an old farmhouse, and plenty of wooden boardwalks. There’s roughly 9 miles of hiking trails to meander!

2. Menemsha Hills

Photo: Shaun O'Neill

You’ll be rewarded by stunning ocean views and the Elizabeth Islands in the distance on this vineyard hike. The seaside cliffs are breathtaking and you can take in this popular summer destination island from a whole new vantage point atop the hills.

New York

3. Nick’s Lake

Photo: Sara Sheehy

This family-friendly hike is located in the central Adirondacks by the town of Old Forge. On this relatively flat 6.2-mile trail, you’ll catch glimpses of the peaceful waters of Nick's Lake. A campground on the property offers a beach, bathrooms, and kayak rentals if you decide to stay the night or longer.

4. Pillsbury Mountain

Photo: Shaun O'Neill

This 3.3-mile up-and-back adventure leads to panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges and lakes from the top of a fire tower and a ranger station that is no longer in-use. If you're into fire towers, consider doing the Adirondack Fire Tower Hiking Challenge and checking this tower off your list!

5. Carpenter and Angel Falls

Photo: Michael Wigle

Take yourself to the middle of a serene natural oasis on this three-mile loop! Carpenter Falls is roughly 95-feet tall, making for an impressive and photo-worthy sight. The rocks can be slippery, so be extra careful and use the ropes to assist with climbing.

Connecticut

6. Chauncey Peak

Photo: Tiffany Young

A 2.2-mile loop hike has endless views of the Giuffrida Park and town of Meridan below while at the top! Note that some of the trail markers aren’t very clear and there are a few unmarked trails. Be sure to be prepared with a trail map or proper gpx route. Download the Outbound App to download offline maps to ensure you're on the right track!

7. Sleeping Giant State Park

Photo: Grant?

This three-mile out-and-back hike features charming wooded areas, a stone tower, and sweeping vistas. When you reach the top, be sure to explore different overlooks. On clear days, you can see all the way to the Long Island Sound. Find a private spot and sit down to take a rest or enjoy lunch with friends. This is also a great place for bouldering.

Vermont

8. Moss Glen Falls

Photo: Lisa Groene

This beautiful waterfall is located right along the scenic Route 100 - just .1 miles off the road. There’s a large parking area, making it super easy to take a quick pitstop to enjoy and photograph the falls. Go during Autumn to experience the beautiful foliage in the area!

New Hampshire

9. Mt. Moosilauke

Photo: Grant?

Explore Benton State Forest while admiring the magnificent forest and mountain scenery along the way during this 7.1-mile loop hike. During the spring and summer, there are beautiful wildflowers along the way. There are several river crossings with bridges, and you can take dips to cool off during the hot summer months.

Rhode Island

10. Beavertail State Park

Photo: Chris Mongeau

On the island of Jamestown, soak in true New England coastal beauty at Beavertail State Park. Explore the secluded cove beaches and stay for sunrise or sunset for an especially memorable experience. This park (and its short, dirt trails) is the perfect alternative to overcrowded beaches. There are plenty of nooks to discover and marvel in at this beautiful island state park. Don't be tempted to jump off the cliffs into the water below as it's full of jagged, dangerous rocks. Instead, follow the paths that lead down the cliffs to the beaches where you can swim without the dangers of diving.

Maine

11. Borestone Mountain

Photo: Danielle Tourigny

This scenic 3.6-mile out-and-back trail is at the base of the 100 Mile Wilderness, part of the Appalachian Trail. Breathe in the fresh air and take in impressive views overlooking the surrounding mountains and lakes at the top. Colorful treetops in the autumn seem to go on forever. Note: there is an entry fee collected at the visitor center located one mile into the hike. Make sure to bring cash!

12. Rocky Pond

Photo: Tate Yoder

Immerse yourself in the remote mountains of Northern Maine while avoiding large crowds on this one-mile out-and-back hike.The mountain views from Rocky Pond are breathtaking! Be on the lookout for moose along the shorelines - they like to eat and drink here!

New Jersey

13. The Cranberry Bogs at Double Tree State Park

Photo: Catherine Elena Callari

Before entering Double Trouble Park, you’ll pass by Double Trouble Historic Village, which features old schoolhouses, general stores, sawmills, and cottages dating back to the 1700s to 1900s. Stretch your legs by heading to the park to walk a 1.9-mile nearly flat loop trail through cranberry bogs and forest. Locals harvest tart, sweet cranberries here every year and you can purchase cranberry goods at the village shops.

Pennsylvania

14. Mill Creek Falls

Photo: Ashley Stimpson

Visiting this easily accessible waterfall is the perfect way to get a quick nature fix and enjoy the natural beauty of this photo-worthy spot. After enjoying the falls, take a two-mile loop hike through the woods to admire glimpses of the Susquehanna River.

15. Rose Valley Lake

Photo: Eric Beiter

Anglers should explore this pristine area in all seasons! The man-made lake is perfect for bass, bluegill, and perch fishing. For those who like spotting wildlife, there are opportunities to view plenty of birds like ducks, gulls, swans, hawks, and herons. Using a boat or kayak is the best way to explore and take in the full beauty of this stunning body of water.

Cover Photo: Tate Yoder

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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