The Catskills , United States
The Catskills’ shimmering lakes and meandering rivers have plenty of scenic wild-swimming spots. Intrepid travellers can grab a kayak and head to Kaaterskill Creek for some white-water action. The snow-capped peaks of Windham Mountain have challenging ski slopes and adventure-rife hiking routes; avid anglers should visit Livingston Manor for a spot of fly-fishing, or attend a session on fishing etiquette and fly-casting. Alternatively, if arriving in the autumn, hire a car and gaze in wonder at the painterly colours of trees shedding their summer coats.
When to go
Autumn is the perfect time to visit; September brings a dramatic fiery hue to the woodland-covered hills, along with warm days and cool, peaceful nights. Temperatures can drop well below freezing in winter, and summer is usually balmy and humid.
PlanesAlbany Airport is just under a two-hour drive from the Catskills, and the journey from Stewart Airport is around 90 minutes. United Airlines fly direct from New York City’s Newark Airport to Albany Airport in just over an hour; domestic flights from Philadelphia, Detroit, and other major US cities fly to Stewart Airport.
TrainsAmtrak (www.amtrak.com) run a service from Penn Station in New York City to the Catskills; regular services also run from Niagara Falls, Montreal and Burlington.
AutomobilesThe Catskills are easily reached by car, with a number of interstate highways leading directly to the area. Once close, be prepared for multiple stops along the way; the dramatic alpine views make for snap-happy gawping.