New York, United States

About New York

New York is in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east. The state has a maritime border with Rhode Island east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario to the west, and Quebec to the north. New York is often referred to as New York State to distinguish it from New York City. New York City, which is geographically the largest city in the state and most populous in the United States, is known for its history as a gateway for immigration to the United States and its status as a financial, cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center. The Great Appalachian Valley dominates eastern New York, while Lake Champlain is the chief northern feature of the valley, which also includes the Hudson River flowing southward to the Atlantic Ocean. The rugged Adirondack Mountains, with vast tracts of wilderness, lie west of the valley. Most of the southern part of the state is on the Allegheny Plateau, which rises from the southeast to the Catskill Mountains. The western section of the state is drained by the Allegheny River and rivers of the Susquehanna and Delaware systems. Contrasting with New York City's urban atmosphere, the vast majority of the state is dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes. New York's Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the United States. It is larger than the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and Olympic National Parks combined.

New York Tourism and Recreation

New York City is the primary travel destination in the state. A typical visit to New York City might include a boat ride to the Statue of Liberty—a three-hour boat ride around Manhattan; visits to the World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the UN, Rockefeller Center, and the New York Stock Exchange; walking tours of the Bronx Zoo, Chinatown, and the theater district; and a sampling of the city's many museums, restaurants, shops, and shows.

Second to New York City as a magnet for tourists comes Long Island, with its beaches, racetracks, and other recreational facilities. Attractions of the Hudson Valley include the US Military Academy (West Point), the Franklin D. Roosevelt home at Hyde Park, Bear Mountain State Park, and several wineries. North of Hudson Valley is Albany, with its massive government center, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Plaza, often called the Albany Mall; Saratoga Springs, home of an arts center, racetrack, and spa; and the Adirondack region, with its forest preserve, summer and winter resorts, and abundant hunting and fishing. Northwest of the Adirondacks, in the St. Lawrence River, are the Thousand Islands—actually some 1,800 small islands extending over about 50 mi (80 km), and popular among freshwater fishermen and summer vacationers.

Scenic sites in central New York include the resorts of the Catskills and the scenic marvels of the Finger Lakes region, including Taughannock Falls in Trumansburg, the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. Further west lie Buffalo and Niagara Falls. South of the Niagara Frontier is the Southwest Gateway, among whose dominant features are Chautauqua Lake and Allegany State Park, the state's largest. The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation operates state parks, historic sites, and boat-launching sites.

New York Climate

The climate of New York State is broadly representative of the humid continental type, which prevails in the northeastern United States, but its diversity is not usually encountered within an area of comparable size. The geographical position of the state and the usual course of air masses, governed by the large-scale patterns of atmospheric circulation, provide general climatic controls. Differences in latitude, character of the topography, and proximity to large bodies of water have pronounced effects on the climate.

Many atmospheric and physiographic controls on the climate result in a considerable variation of temperature conditions over New York State. The average annual mean temperature ranges from about 40° in the Adirondacks to near 55° in the New York City area. In January, the average mean temperature is approximately 16° in the Adirondacks and St. Lawrence Valley, but increases to about 26° along Lake Erie and in the lower Hudson Valley and to 31° on Long Island. The highest temperature of record in New York State is 108° at Troy on July 22, 1926. Temperatures of 107° have been observed at Lewiston, Elmira, Poughkeepsie, and New York City. The record coldest temperature is -52° at Stillwater Reservoir (northern Herkimer County) on February 9, 1934 and also at Old Forge (also northern Herkimer County) on February 18, 1979. Some 30 communities have recorded temperatures of -40° or colder, most of them occurring in the northern one-half of the state and the remainder in the Western Plateau Division and in localities just south of the Mohawk Valley.

The winters are long and cold in the Plateau Divisions of the state. In the majority of winter seasons, a temperature of -25° or lower can be expected in the northern highlands (Northern Plateau) and -15° or colder in the southwestern and east-central highlands (Southern Plateau). The Adirondack region records from 35 to 45 days with below zero temperatures in normal to severe winters, with a somewhat fewer number of such days occurring near Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River. In the Southern Plateau and in the upper Hudson Valley division, below zero minimums are observed on about 15 days in most winters and on more than 25 days in notably cold seasons.

The summer climate is cool in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and higher elevations of the Southern Plateau. The New York City area and lower portions of the Hudson Valley have rather warm summers by comparison, with some periods of high, uncomfortable humidity. The remainder of New York State enjoys pleasantly warm summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals of sultry conditions. Summer daytime temperatures usually range from the upper 70s to mid 80s over much of the State, producing an atmospheric environment favorable to many athletic, recreational, and other outdoor activities.

New York Transportaion

New York has one of the most extensive and one of the oldest transportation infrastructures in the country. Engineering difficulties because of the terrain of the state and the unique issues of the city brought on by urban crowding have had to be overcome since the state was young. Population expansion of the state generally followed the path of the early waterways, first the Hudson River and then the Erie Canal. Today, railroad lines and the New York State Thruway follow the same general route. The New York State Department of Transportation is often criticized for how they maintain the roads of the state in certain areas and for the fact that the tolls collected along the roadway have long passed their original purpose.

In addition to New York City's famous mass transit subway, four suburban commuter railroad systems enter and leave the city: the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, and five of New Jersey Transit's rail lines. Many other cities have urban and regional public transportation. In Buffalo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority runs the Buffalo Metro Rail light-rail system; in Rochester, the Rochester Subway operated from 1927 until 1956 but has fallen into disuse.