While some folks may bash the state of New York for various reasons, there are still plenty of positive factors the area can lay claim. Just the simple act of breathing can be a struggle in some major cities around the world due to excess pollution. It may seem hard to believe we have some of the cleanest breathing air given the major industries in the area, and our close proximity to to NewYork City. But a study conducted here says some areas in the Hudson Valley actually have very clean air.

According to an American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report, Orange County had the cleanest air among Hudson Valley counties.

Clean Air

The Daily Freeman says that report gave Orange County a B grade for the number of high ozone days, compared to a C in the last report.  Dutchess County received a C for high ozone days compared to a D during the previous study. Putnam County improved from a D to a B. Rockland County, however, fell from a C to a D. Westchester bottomed out at an F, which is due to its closer proximity to New York City .Ulster County received an Incomplete. The reason the incomplete grade was not explained in the ALA's report.

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The American Lung Association says that a county needs three years of data for the association to adequately compare levels of pollution with the national standards.

Road Trip?

While gas prices remain a concern for many, there are those looking to get away somewhere for the summer. New York state has hundreds of miles of unique scenery, with plenty of forests, mountains, and state parks to visit here in the coming months. But is it really the best state for a road trip? The experts have weighed in, and this is what they found.


Where Did New York Rank? 

The website WalletHub has compared all 50 states, using three key dimensions: 1) Costs, 2) Safety, and 3) Activities. When all those factors were taken into consideration, it looks like New York did quite well. And while a category such as safety may make some living here not believe these findings, New York state ranked #1 overall when it came to the best states for a road trip. Some metrics of safety that were ranked include; quality of roads, low car thefts per 1,000 residents, and traffic-related fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled:

Other Nearby States

Maine ranked #5, Pennsylvania #17, Vermont #25, Massachusetts #35, New Jersey #45, and Connecticut all the way down at #49. Smaller, more densely populated states with not a lot of open land didn't do so well.

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.