Most scenic route from NYC to Niagara Falls

The most scenic route from New York City to Niagara Falls is also one of the fastest ways to get from the city to the falls. The Wallkill, Kittatinny Ridge Loop, and Cayuga Lake are some of the stops. The route takes you through Wallkill, where you can see the Mohonk Preserve and New Paltz, home to SUNY New Paltz. There is plenty of culture and entertainment along the way.

map of scenic route from NYC to Niagara Falls

Niagra Falls is breathtaking. This trip spans 484 miles and takes about 9 hours and 25 minutes. You can also split the journey into two days to enjoy the sights. The fuel cost is about $111.98. If you want to kayak, raft or hike, summer is the best time to travel. The route begins on I-87 North to New Paltz. It is best to take an off-road vehicle for this trip, as you will likely need room for your recreational equipment. We have a detailed plan of the road trip from New York to Niagara Falls below.


Table Of Contents

  • The Wallkill
  • Kittatinny Ridge Loop
  • Cayuga Lake

The Wallkill

Travel Overview: 1 hour 5 minutes — 47 miles

When you leave Pine Bush, you will need to use Route 52. This stop on the way offers travelers serene scenery changes that aren’t common in New York. You can enjoy commercial to rural countryside views with fresh air, open woods, and the Shawangunk Mountains backdrop. The best road to use is Black Hawk Road which has working dairy farms before you get to the Town of Montgomery.

After this stop, you can turn left onto Route 14 north. This path should lead you to a beautiful 60-acre orchard. At this farm, you can stop over and have a tour of the innovative farming methods used on the plot. As you browse the orchards, you can take in the calming mountain views that can be seen in the north and west. 

As you continue onto Route 18, there are three consecutive horse farms. These local areas boast beautiful wildlife that can be seen grazing on acres of pasture. Route 18 usually is windy because of the altitude; however, the mountains are right behind you as you drive. Look right and left to see open rolling fields and woods. The Wallkill River is near the end of the route as you cross the bridge into the Hamlet of Wallkill in the town of Shawangunk.

Kittatinny Ridge Loop

Travel Overview: 20 minutes — 14 mi

The Kittatinny Ridge Loop is a flat-topped route that provides travelers with an excellent chance to enjoy watching wildlife, hiking, and water recreation. The course is well known for its charming historic towns beginning with the Delaware Water Gap, which you find on exit one off I-80. It should take roughly 20 minutes to drive the whole loop; however, you should budget a day if you wish to participate in activities. 

The loop moves clockwise in the direction of Newton, which is a great place to reconnect with nature. Many travelers choose to stop and hike along the Appalachian Trail. Bring your camera if you wish to get some fantastic horizon pictures. It’s a serene trail perfect for photographers, painters, and birdwatchers. While you sit and meditate, kettles of migrating raptors can be heard filling the skies. 

Travelers will appreciate the various activities offered by the Kittatinny Ridge Loop, which gets hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It’s a great chance to get outdoors and go for some hiking, hunting and fishing, biking, and experiencing trails. It is also an excellent place for hunters looking to enjoy the State Game Lands on the Ridge. Other popular stops in the area include High Point State Park (H1) and Dingmans Falls Visitor Center (I2).

Cayuga Lake

Travel Overview: 2 hours 46 minutes — 154 miles

Cayuga Lake’s gorgeous scenic byway has been a popular stop for millions of travelers. The area has a fantastic glacial landscape that is believed to have been around for thousands of years.: The journey of 2 hours 46 minutes will see you covering over 154 miles. You will meet local communities that harbor rich history and tradition through this. 

The landscape found in the south end hill country is vast. It covers just over 9,800-acres of wetland. Traveling here, you can see that breathtaking waterfall views as you cruise down the steep hillsides. The water of Cayuga Lakes can be seen hypnotically sparkling with the local farms and vineyards in the background. Feel free to make use of any of the stops to look out for the Bald Eagles that prey on the open waters of Cayuga Lake. 

This freshwater lake is an excellent place to stop and fish. It has traditionally been home to powerful cultural movements, and you can learn a substantial amount from the numerous community museums in the Cayuga Lake region. The theaters in the area offer thought-provoking lectures and well-written theater productions. This last step of the route will require you to keep right as you take exit 50 onto I 290 toward Niagara Falls.


where should I stop between new york and Niagara falls

Some of the best stops on the route between New York City and Niagara Falls are Watkins Glen State Park and Woodbury Common. If you have additional time, then you can try stopping at Premium Outlets and Corning Museum of Glass. Other tourist attractions in the area include the Strong National Museum of Play, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, and Greek Peak Mountain Resort.

New York to Niagara falls self-drive.

This drive to Niagara Falls should take one driver approximately 6.5 hours. The total distance of the journey is 390 miles. 

New York to Niagara falls road trip itinerary

  • New York, NY to Atlantic City, NJ
  • Atlantic City, NJ to Philadelphia, PA
  • Philadelphia PA to Washington DC
  • Washington DC to Bedford, PA
  • Bedford, PA to Erie, PA
  • Erie, PA to Niagara Falls NY
  • Niagara Falls, NY to Watkins Glen NY
  • Watkins Glen, NY to New York NY

New York to Niagara Falls tour

You can attend a 2-Day Niagara Falls Finger Lakes and Outlet Shopping Tour starting from $144

New York to Niagara Falls road trip distance

The distance from New York to Niagara Falls by road is 390 Miles. 

New York to Niagara Falls bus

It should take about 7 hours and 15 minutes to travel by bus from New York to Niagara Falls. This journey starts from $47.00.

New York to Niagara Falls by train

It takes around 9 hours to travel from New York to Niagara by train.

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