New York is a state in the northeastern United States. It is sometimes called New York State when there is need to distinguish it from New York City. Because a significant majority of the population is concentrated in the southern portion around New York City, the state is often regionalized into Upstate and Downstate.
New York's borders touch two Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario, which are connected by the Niagara River); one former Great Lake (Lake Champlain); the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada; three New England states (Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut); the Atlantic Ocean, and two Mid-Atlantic states (New Jersey and Pennsylvania). In addition, Rhode Island shares a water border with New York.
While the state is best known for New York City's urban atmosphere, especially Manhattan's skyscrapers, most of the state is in fact dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes. New York's Adirondack State Park is larger than any U.S. National Park outside of Alaska. Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River as it flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is also a popular attraction.
The principal highland regions of the state are the Adirondacks in the northeast and the Appalachian Plateau (Southern Plateau) in the south. Approximately 40 percent of New York State has an elevation of more than 1,000 feet above sea level. The highest point, Mount Marcy, reaches a height of 5,344 feet above sea level. With the exception of the Blue Ridge of North Carolina and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, these are the loftiest mountains in eastern North America.
The climate of New York State is broadly representative of the humid continental type. Cool winters with varied amounts of snow fall present. Warm summers with precipitation and coolness possible.