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Land. During the Ice Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago, a thick sheet of ice spread across almost all the area of what is now New York. It formed many of the state's most striking natural features.
New York City has one of the world's great natural harbours. The state's most important rivers, the Hudson and the Mohawk, form one of the country's important trade routes. Most of New York's several thousand lakes lie in the Adirondack region of northeastern New York. Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, which form part of the U.S.Canadian border, are New York's largest lakes.
New York has eight distinct land regions. The Atlantic Coastal Plain covers Long Island and Staten Island, residential districts of New York City that lie off the south-eastern tip of the state's mainland. Fishing and farming take place on the plain. Long Island is also a popular summer resort area.
The New England Upland, a region of hills and low mountains, extends along the lower half of New York`s eastern border. Also in the region is Manhattan Island, the heart of New York City.
The Hudson-Mohawk Lowland covers most of the Hudson River Valley and the Mohawk River Valley. The lowland provides the only natural navigable passage through the Appalachian Mountains.
The Adirondack Upland is a roughly circular hill and mountain region in northeastern New York. The Adirondack Mountains are perhaps the oldest in North America. The region is a popular recreation area.
The Tug Hill Plateau, an isolated part of the Appalachian Plateau, is a relatively flat, rocky area with a harsh climate. It receives more snow than anywhere in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.
The St. Lawrence Lowland lies along the south bank of the St. Lawrence River and north of the Adirondack Upland. The land in this region is level or rolling.
The Erie-Ontario Lowland is a low plain south and east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It has many swamps and oval-shaped hills called drumlins. Fruit farming is a specialism in its fertile soils. The Niagara River forms its famous waterfall in this region.
The Appalachian Plateau, also known as the Allegheny Plateau, covers much of the southern half of the state. In the western and central portions of the plateau, ice-deepened valleys separate broad uplands. At the Finger Lakes, the deepest valleys are now occupied by long, deep lakes. The Catskill Mountains, an all-year- round holiday area, rise in the south and east.

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