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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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The best spots in Western New York for outdoor activities

Hiking, rollerblading and disc golf are all great ways to spend a few hours in the sun

<p>Devil's Hole State Park. | Adam Moss, Wikimedia Commons.</p>

Devil's Hole State Park. | Adam Moss, Wikimedia Commons.

If you’re anything like me, you’re ready for the end of another long, Buffalo winter and eagerly the opportunity to bask in some warm outdoor air. 

With spring right around the corner, a lot of us will be looking for new things to do outdoors. Keep reading for my guide of the greatest — and most affordable — spring activities in the Western New York area.

Hiking and Nature Trails

If hiking is your thing, head to the Niagara Falls Gorge trails for the greatest views — and a decent workout. Devil’s Hole State Park allows you to get extremely close to the roaring waters of the Niagara Falls gorge.

Another place for a great walk, and a more relaxing one, is Bond Lake State Park. The scenic views here and quiet surroundings make you appreciate all the small things that you pass. You can rest for a minute at the top of the hill (you’ll know which hill) and look out over the tops of all the trees.

Lastly, make a trip to Niawanda Park. You can walk, run, bike or rollerblade the paved path that runs along the Niagara River. Just don’t forget to pack lunch — there are plenty of picnic tables along the way that make perfect places to stop for a snack. On this path you can walk, run, bike, or even rollerblade.

Places to eat

While there are so many great places to eat in and around Buffalo, these summer spots take the cake for their views alone. Some are a bit pricey, but they’re worth it as a summer treat. 

The Silos in Lewiston overlook the Niagara Gorge, making it the perfect place to enjoy some food and the view after you hike the gorge. The menu has all the summer favorites: hotdogs, burgers, fries, etc. This really is a great spot to hang out.

Lumberjack Patio Grill in North Tonawanda, with its gigantic patio on the Niagara River, boasts the best view of the Niagara River. The food is great, and when you’re done, you can enjoy some ice cream as you watch the sunset.

In addition to wonderful views, the Ship Bar & Grill in Pendleton has live music throughout the summer. 

Activities and Hobbies

It’s easy to get bored on a warm spring or summer day, but there’s a lot of fun stuff to do during the day. One of the greatest and most affordable? Disc golf.

There are plenty of places to play in the area: Pinewoods Park in North Tonawanda and Veteran’s Park in Tonawanda have pretty beginner-friendly courses. You can play at Bond Lake State Park as well, although that course is a bit more challenging. 

The only cost to disc golf is getting started — just buy some discs on Amazon, and you’re good to go. 

I often use my spare time in the summer to go rollerblading. It seems silly at first, but once you get into it, you’ll realize how fun it is. I typically go to Niawanda Park or Ellicott Creek Park, but pretty much anywhere with smooth pavement works. Trust me — you’ll have fun and feel like a kid again.

Finally, there’s always pickleball. There are pickleball courts right here on North Campus near Ellicott, so grab your racket and some friends.

Whether you decide to hike, eat or blade for miles and miles, there are plenty of things to do when the weather clears up — just give it a few more weeks. 

Josh Pawlik is an arts editor and can be reached at


Josh Pawlik is an assistant arts editor for The Spectrum. His hobbies include playing guitar, working out and reading. He can be found on Instagram @joshpawlik 



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