Buffalo, NY – Outdoors and Nature

Buffalo is located on Lake Erie and has many beautiful outdoor and nature locations.  Since I grew up in the Southtowns, I will be focusing on locations either in Buffalo or south of Buffalo. 

  • Niagara Falls and Lake Erie: The most obvious outdoor location to visit is Niagara Falls, which I covered in a previous post, and Lake Erie.  There are many walking paths along the shoreline for enjoying Lake Erie.  You can even go to Woodlawn Beach if you want to take a swim.  You can also take a ride on the Spirit of Buffalo if you want to enjoy the lake from on the water.

  • Buffalo Zoo: (300 Parkside Ave, Buffalo, NY) Located in downtown Buffalo, the Buffalo Zoo has many different types of animals, including polar bears, tigers, elephants, monkeys, alligators, and birds.  It costs $10 for adults, $8 for students (up to 22), $7 for kids (2-14) and kids under 2 are free.  There is also a parking fee of $3.50 per car.
  • Botantical Gardens: (2655 S Park Ave, Buffalo, NY) I remember going to the Botantical Gardens as a kid.  It was such a nice place to go especially over the cold winters.  Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, $3 for kids (3-12) and kids under 3 are free.

  • Tifft Nature Preserve - (1200 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, NY) This was a staple for school field trips when I was growing up.  “Tifft Nature Preserve is a 264-acre nature refuge dedicated to conservation and environmental education.” 

  • Chestnut Ridge Park – (6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, NY)  This park is located on approximately 1213 acres of land.  The park is free to visit.  There are many activities you can do in the park including hiking, biking, baseball, tennis, cross country skiing, sledding, and picnicking.  There are charges if you want to rent one of the shelters.  If you find yourself in Buffalo during the winter, this is about the best place you can find to go sledding.  They are also constructing tobogan chutes.


There are a few parks that are more than a half hour outside of Buffalo that are definitely worth going to.

  • Allegany State Park – (located about an hour and half south of Buffalo) This park is on approximately 65,000 acres of land.  People go mountain biking, swimming, hiking, fishing, hunting, canoeing, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing here.  Vehicle fees to get into the park are $6 if you’re not swimming and $7 if you are swimming.  You can camp (cabin or site) at this park as well.  Base rate for tent sites are $15 per night.  Cabins cost between $41.25 and $102.50 per night.  Cottages cost $143.75 per night.

  • Letchworth State Park – (1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY – located about an hour and 15 minutes east of Buffalo) Letchworth State Park is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East”.  There are so many activities you can do in this park including hiking (over 66 miles of trails), white water rafting, horseback riding, kayaking, swimming, hot air balloon rides, cross country skiing, biking, picnicking, and camping.  Camping includes tent camping, cabins, and trailer camping.  It costs $8 per vehicle to get into the park.  If you want access to the swimming pool, it’s another $2 per adult and $1 per child.  Camping site run between $21 and $27 per night.  Cabins run between $41.25 and $115 per night.  And lodges run between $150 and $450 per night.


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