New York may be synonymous with New York City to outsiders, but real New Yorkers know there's a lot more to the empire state, including some unique wildlife in our largest forest.

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According to a story for AZ Animal written by Abdulmumin Akinde, the state of New York being equated with New York City couldn't be more wrong. Over half of the land in the state is forest land, with the largest forest in New York being Adirondack Park.

Adirondack Park is host to a variety of unique animals you would never find in New York City and covers about 20% of all the land in the state. About 53 species of mammals and 35 species of reptiles and amphibians live in the park, which doesn't include all the species of birds, insects, and fish. And within the confines of New York City, you would never see most of them.

So let's take a look at some of the unique animals you can only find when you acknowledge that New York is more than the city.

River Otters

Washington's National Zoo Previews "American Trail" Exhibit
Allison Shelley/Getty Images

River otters, one of my personal favorite animals, are among those that can be found in certain areas of Adirondack Park. They may not be the most prevalent species of them all, but you can't tell me that you wouldn't cry tears of joy if you spotted a river otter while hiking through the forest.

Black Bears

Black Bear
Bill Pennell/Unsplash

I think my fear of bears has become pretty well-known in the Binghamton area, but even I have to admit that it would be pretty cool to see a black bear in its natural habitat. I just want to see it from really, really far away. And ideally from inside an armored truck that goes from 0-60 mph exceptionally quickly.


Shivam Kumar/Unsplash

Not once in my life have I ever seen a moose in the wild but I need to. No picture can accurately depict how sneakily massive these animals are and I want to see it for myself.

Peregrine Falcons

Peregrine Falcon Takes Flight At Taronga Zoo
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

There aren't as many things on this planet that are as cool as a bird of prey. According to All About Birds, a peregrine falcon can move up to 240 miles per hour and hunt prey from over half a mile in the air. Tell me you wouldn't want to see that in person at Adirondack Park.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle
Richard Lee/Unsplash

If you've never seen America's majestic mascot in person, now you know where you have a good chance to rectify that.

These are just a few of the animals you could find in New York's biggest forest, and they're a perfect representation of why everything outside New York City deserves more respect when talking about New York.

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