New York State

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New York State is a Northeastern State in the United States. Hitchhiking is generally easy and pleasant. In winter, make sure to dress warm and have alternate transportation plans if you get too cold.


§1157. Pedestrians soliciting rides, or business.

(a) No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, or to solicit from or sell to an occupant of any vehicle.

§ 140. Roadway. That portion of a highway improved, designed, marked, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder and slope. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways the term "roadway" as used herein shall refer to any such roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.


102.4 Hitchhiking; loitering. The solicitation of a ride, commonly known as hitchhiking, or stopping any vehicle for the purpose of picking up or discharging a hitchhiker, on any portion of the Thruway system, including toll plazas, is prohibited. Loitering in or about the toll plazas or any other portion of the Thruway system, for the purpose of hitchhiking or for any other purpose, is prohibited.

It is definitely illegal to hitchhike on any part of the New York State Thruway including the on-ramp and the service area:

Federal Districts

Note:All land owned by the National Park service prohibits hitchhiking under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 section 4.31: Hitchhiking or soliciting transportation is prohibited except in designated areas and under conditions established by the superintendent.

  • Gateway National Recreation Area

4.31 has not been amended here, so hitchhiking is prohibited.



The Thruway is a toll road running across the state. Although many cars have electronic toll cards (EZPass), its still possible to get picked up at the toll booths, although this is illegal (see above).


Local hitchhiking along busy roads works well. For longer distances, most of the busy roads in town turn into highways in the country and will get you slowly towards your destination. For fast but less scenic trips, take the interstate:

  • To go east: stand on the 490 on-ramp on Monroe Ave.


Heading west

Take a bus to McKinley Mall. Just before it gets there you will pass by an entrance to the toll road. The bus stop is literally right in front of the entrance and you just need to cross the street.

The "Champlain-Lacolle" Border on I-87 (This route is known in New York as "The Northway")

Try to get a ride on the Canadian side. Forget about hitching on the other side of the border, like you would do in civilized countries. Once you're taken by American customs personnel you can't walk back. They will be very confused and your best bet is that someone tells you to walk to the truck stop at Exit 43. There are also some gas stations at Exit 42, which is not far. It's not unheard of for a U.S. Border Patrol agent to drive you to the ramp off Exit 42 which is a dynamite place to hitch south.

Saying that, since Champlain-Lacolle crossing is such a bastard, most locals avoid it. You can too by using the more civilized alternative at Overton Corners (about 2 miles east).

To get there, follow Exit 42 to US-11 and head east about 2 miles. Past the shopping centers, there's a small green sign that says "Lacolle 7". This is NYS Route 276. It's then another mile north to the border which links to Quebec Route 221. Guards (on both sides of this border) are much more chill than at Champlain-Lacolle.

uncle_sam01 (EU citizen) walked to Canada at Overton Corners in April 2017 and it was very easy. Apparently they have people walk over all the time. The traffic there was quite scarce (around 3-4 cars within about 45 minutes), but it's supposed to be much busier in the summer according to the officers there.

Erie Canal

New York State sports several long-distance canals which were major thoroughfares for barge traffic in the early 20th century. Today, the New York State Canal System is still maintained, though mainly now for pleasure cruising rather than commerce. There are unconfirmed rumors of folks "hitchhiking" on canal boats.


Hitchhiking was about average here from my limited experience. Binghampton can be scary at night... I was surprised by how humid and hot it was in the summer. Thewindandrain (talk) 00:03, 2 June 2013 (CEST)

September 2018 Getting out of Long Island for free is challenging, but not impossible. Metrocarda are littered all around the island and some bus drivers will let you on with partial funds(I personally found one with .28$ and was let on). I left Rockville Centre on the N4 bus to Jamaica, and from there the subway emergency door was opened and I joined a group of rebels just sneaking in. From there I took the E train and transferred to the A uptown to 180th and walked over the George Washington Bridge into NJ. I headed about 2 miles up the 95 along sidewalks and approved pedestrian roadways and hitched onto the 95 towards the 80. Waited about 45 minutes but someone stopped.

July 2016

I found hitchhiking along Route 20 as an alternative to 90 to work quite well. Most of my my rides were 20 miles or less but I almost never waited more than an hour and usually only about 30 minutes at the most. The people who picked me up were extremely friendly with many of them driving me a bit out of there way to bring me to better spots and I was also offered money several times. Even had someone teach me to drive a manual car and then buy me a hotel room for the night.

In Caledonia I got a ride from a very friendly police officer to the next town but I got the feeling he had just wanted me out of town since he pretty much dropped me on the very border of the town. Then when I got to Batavia I went over to the toll road for lack of a better spot and soon got approached by police. But after running my ID the officer said he didn't mind me standing where I was at the entrance where cars turn to drive up to the toll plaza. (TheLoneBaker)

"I am from NYS and have hitchhiked many thousands of miles here. It is a huge state. Important to note in all months but the high summer - seasonal depression, as well as economic depression, make people, well... depressed. I find many more rides, much faster, when the weather is good, moreso than in other places. People are quite poor and quite conservative in most of the state. It is somewhat like a very cold version of Mississippi in this regard. Hitchhiking on the Thruway not recommended, though note this: The section of I-90 from Albany to MA is known as "free 90" because it is not a tollway, and the same is true of I-87 north of Albany to the border. Both areas are decent hitching. State route 20 is a good east-west alternative to the Thruway through central NYS, and the various iterations of route 9 - 9w, 9s, 9j, etc etc - are scenic routes through the Hudson Valley that can be decent ways to get to NYC, and the same is true of the Taconic Parkway. Note that the closer to NYC you get, the more bourgeois the crowd gets, and rides can be tougher to find - and cops will harass you more. " "In the Adirondacks, tourists abound in the summer, most of whom are wealthier and have no interest in picking you up. The locals will be the ones who give you the most rides. In the off-season, many Adirondack highways become very low-traffic - be careful you have cold weather gear, because you may get stuck. I got stuck at Sevey's Corners before WBD on route 3 overnight in very extreme conditions. Nevertheless, the area is gorgeous and definitely worth exploring. Overall, NYS is a great state to explore - just be strategic and ready for long waits and cold weather most of the year." (Hillbilly Castro)

wikipedia:New York