Discover New York's Itty-Bitty Counties: Small Size, Big Charm

New York State is celebrated for its diverse counties, ranging from bustling urban centers to serene rural landscapes. While counties like Kings (Brooklyn) boast millions, Upstate New York is home to some of the smallest and most charming counties in terms of population. Despite their size, these counties offer a wealth of attractions that draw visitors year-round.

Washington County

Washington County, located east of the Capital District, covers over 800 square miles of natural beauty. It is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, including historic covered bridges such as Bushkirks and Rexleigh. These bridges, along with quaint countryside towns like Fort Edward, attract numerous tourists, especially during the vibrant autumn months when the foliage paints the county in stunning hues.

Livingston County

Spanning 640 square miles, Livingston County is anchored by the charming town of Geneseo and serves as the eastern gateway to Letchworth State Park, renowned for its spectacular gorges and waterfalls. The county is also home to the State University of New York at Geneseo, established in 1871, adding a youthful vibrancy to its historic roots.

Columbia County

Discover New York's Itty-Bitty Counties: Small Size, Big Charm!

Southeast of the Capital District lies Columbia County, encompassing 650 square miles of scenic beauty. The county seat, Hudson, is steeped in history and boasts architectural treasures like Lindenwald, the former home of President Martin Van Buren. The village of Kinderhook, Van Buren’s birthplace, offers tours of his estate, reflecting on its significant role in American political history.

Otsego County

Otsego County, nestled in Central New York, is renowned for cultural landmarks such as the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. This picturesque county also hosts the Farmers Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum, showcasing art and artifacts that highlight its rich heritage. Otsego Lake, a popular destination for boating and fishing enthusiasts, adds to the county’s allure as a recreational hub.

Greene County

Covering 658 square miles, Greene County is known for its rugged landscapes dubbed the “Irish Alps,” offering outdoor enthusiasts a variety of activities from hiking and skiing to exploring quaint villages like Catskill and Coxsackie. Historical sites such as the Bronck House, the oldest structure in Upstate New York, provide insights into the county’s colonial past.

Chenango County

Discover New York's Itty-Bitty Counties: Small Size, Big Charm!

Chenango County, sprawling over 900 square miles in Central New York, thrives on its rural charm and agricultural heritage. The county’s largest city, Norwich, is home to the Northeast Classic Car Museum, which showcases vintage automobiles and attracts car enthusiasts from near and far. The Rogers Environmental Center in Sherburne offers nature lovers trails and educational programs amidst its scenic landscapes.

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Seneca County

Spanning 390 square miles, Seneca County is steeped in historical significance, notably as the birthplace of the women’s rights movement in Seneca Falls. Visitors flock to landmarks like the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, commemorating the first Women’s Rights Convention held in 1848. The village of Waterloo, known as the birthplace of Memorial Day, hosts the National Memorial Day Museum, honoring America’s fallen soldiers.

Despite their modest populations, these counties enrich New York’s cultural tapestry with their natural beauty, historic landmarks, and vibrant communities. Whether exploring covered bridges, hiking scenic trails, or visiting cultural museums, these counties prove that size is no measure of significance in the Empire State.

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