While waiting for the snow to melt, trails are clearing up and spring fever is upon us.

It's the first day of spring and I'm aching to feel the warm sun surrounded by lush green. Here's a few of my favorite places for a hike or nature walk, listed by the trail's approximate distance from Utica.

Wilderness Park: Deerfield, NY

Pixley Falls: Boonville, NY

Verona Beach State Park: Verona, NY

Clark Reservation State Park: Jamesville, NY

Pratts Falls Park: Manlius, NY

Chittenango Falls State Park: Cazenovia, NY

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park: Cazenovia, NY

Stoney Pond State Forest: Erieville, NY

Highland Forest County Park: Fabius, NY

Green Lake State Park: Fayetteville, NY

Buttermilk Falls State Park: Ithaca, NY

Robert H. Treman State Park: Ithaca, NY

Mulholland Wildflower Preserve: Ithaca, NY

Taughannock Falls State Park: Ithaca, NY

First & Second Dam: Ithaca, NY

(I went to Ithaca College and there's so many on this list because it really is GORGEous. Sorry, had to.) All of these can be easily found on google maps and most have convenient parking lots. The furthest trail on this list is about 2 hours away and can be achieved as a day trip.

If you're in the mood for an easy going stroll, the 840 Trail in New Hartford or Lock 20 Park in Marcy are good picks. Perfect during spring time before all the mosquitos start coming out! I didn't include any in the Adirondacks, but of course there are plenty trails up north. I've climbed Bald Mountain countless times but that view really never gets old. New York is beautiful and next time a friend tells you there's nothing to do around here, pick a place off this list and go explore!