New York : Safety by City
- Fair Haven
- Greenport Village
- Lake George
- Lake Placid
- Long Island
- Mt Vernon
- New Paltz
- New Rochelle
- New York City
- Niagara Falls
- Saranac Lake
- Saratoga Springs
- Seneca Falls
- Shelter Island
- Sleepy Hollow
- Watkins Glen
- White Plains
Saddling the southern tip of Otsego Lake in central New York, Cooperstown is a small village widely known as being home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Cooperstown was originally envisioned as a planned community for settlers moving west when it was founded in 1786 by William Cooper.
It is now a village in the town of Otsego, New York, but it does have its own leadership and essence.
It’s not just the beautiful summer weather of upstate New York that draws people here in the summer.
Baseball fans from across the country flock to Cooperstown each summer for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where new members are enshrined.
The village comes alive during Induction Weekend, with Main Street closed to vehicles and filled with baseball lovers browsing the many sports memorabilia shops.
The most precious artifacts of America’s Favorite Pastime are on display, from Babe Ruth’s jersey to Derek Jeter’s batting gloves; the museum’s collections help tell the story of the game fans love.
Beyond baseball, Cooperstown retains its original historic charm, with many 18th- and 19th-century buildings still lining its streets.
The Fenimore Art Museum celebrates the region’s folk art and cultural history, while the Farmers’ Museum explores agricultural practices from the 19th century.
Of course, the natural beauty of Otsego Lake provides a scenic backdrop for it all.
While near the popular Finger Lakes region of New York, Otsego Lake is not a finger lake since it’s 800 feet higher in elevation.
That height difference also makes for some challenging hiking trails around the shoreline.
For sports fans and history buffs alike, Cooperstown offers a unique blend of small-town charm, natural splendor, and American nostalgia.
You can still fall in love with Cooperstown if you aren’t a baseball fan, but for fans like me, this is the holy grail of the game that has shaped my life.
Warnings & Dangers in Cooperstown
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here, with violent crime numbers you can count on one hand going all the way back to 2000. Plus, you have so many things to do here in fun and safe places.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Cooperstown has a trolley that runs through the town from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A bus system goes between the village and Oneonta. Taxis and rideshares might be the best way to get around in the offseason, with limited parking in town. Of course, a rental car provides the most flexibility. All options are low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Statistically, it's a low risk, but you'll need to use common sense and smart safety practices to keep it that way. Just keep an eye on your stuff, and don't carry more than you need. It's really that simple.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
A wide range of weather issues can happen here, but you'll get plenty of warnings about an incoming storm if you're following the weather forecast. Winter can get blizzards and ice storms. Warm weather brings the risk of severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, and the occasional tornado. It's a medium risk since a storm can threaten your safety on a trip, but if you're using smart weather safety practices, you won't have an issue.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
This is another low risk. As far as I can tell from crime data between 2000 and 2020, the town has only had two robberies in that entire 20-year period.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
The risk stays low here with a small town and no hard targets or military installations nearby. You should always keep an eye out for anything suspicious since domestic terrorism can happen anywhere.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Most of the scams I found were targeted residents, the kind that threatens arrest if you don't pay a phony power bill or something similar. If you're renting a home or cabin here, just make sure the renter has the right permits and never pay someone via wire transfer.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
The risks stay low here with a safe community for families, solo travelers, and groups of females looking to enjoy the beauty of the area.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
I love it when a water utility is transparent right from the beginning and doesn't make users dig through confusing data. Such is the case with the Cooperstown Annual Water Quality Report from 2022, "We are proud to report that our system did not violate maximum contaminant levels or any other water quality standard." Visitors should be on the lookout for any time-sensitive water quality issue, like hydrant flushing or flooding problems, that could lead to water restrictions or discoloration temporarily.
Safest Places to Visit in Cooperstown
The name of the official tourism site for the village is “This Is Cooperstown.”
The free travel guide on this website is called the “Inspiration Guide,” and you can view it without having to give your name or phone number.
I always consider that a bonus!
If you want a copy mailed to you, then you can offer that information, and it will be sent quickly.
Overlooking sparkling Otsego Lake, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates the game’s history and honors its legends.
With over 40,000 artifacts, this immersive experience is baseball fans’ dream come true.
And here’s a fun fact – the July Hall of Fame induction ceremony is free and open to the public!
Cooperstown is filled with uniquely curious museums like the Farmer’s Museum, where visitors step back in time to the 18th and 19th centuries in an authentic village setting with heirloom gardens, farm animals, and historic homes.
The Fenimore Art Museum boasts an impressive collection of American folk and fine art.
Pop into the Cooperstown Bat Company to see handcrafted bats or indulge in hops at the Cooperstown Brewing Company.
The village offers small-town charm with eclectic shops, restaurants, and century-old architecture.
You’ll be surprised how much of a foodie town this is, from upscale dining to classic ice cream shops.
Nature lovers can hike the scenic trails of Glimmerglass State Park just north of town.
Meander through dense forests, view wildflowers in bloom, and spot birds from the shoreline along Otsego Lake.
For panoramic vistas, climb atop Mount Wellington and take in the gorgeous rural landscape.
The Fenimore Art Museum sits on Otsego Lake, a grand home residing on land once owned by renowned author James Fenimore Cooper.
This stunning natural backdrop complements the museum’s world-class collections of American fine art, folk art, and Native American artifacts.
Railroad tours are available, from train rides to custom rail bikes adapted to pedal along tracks across 12 miles of pastoral beauty.
Glassbottom boat rides are also available on the lake.
Winter visitors should check the “Get Outside” guide on the tourism website for the expanse of snowmobile and skiing trails.
A list of tour guides and charter services is available there too.
Places to Avoid in Cooperstown
Honestly, there’s not a single inch of Cooperstown to avoid.
There’s so much to do, even in the small town, because of the vast expanses of outdoor areas.
The only restriction would be to stay off of private property, as some of the lakeshore access points aren’t open to the public.
Of course, you need to be prepared for the weather.
Winters can be bitterly cold, and you’ll need to layer property.
Review the boating and paddling rules for life jackets.
A series of bicycle, car, and pedestrian accidents on roads in this region has prompted police to remind everyone to pay attention on the road.
You can review the laws and guidance for every mode of transportation on the village website and the Otsego County website.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Cooperstown
- Cooperstown has its own police department. You can find them on Facebook @CooperstownNYPolice. The main phone number is (607) 547-2500 if you have specific safety questions.
- I found some outdated information online, so I want to clarify how to get emergency notifications in Cooperstown. You’ll use the Hyper-Reach program that you can access from the county’s website. This will get emergency weather alerts to your mobile device as a text, email, or phone call.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. A license is required for anyone over 15 years old who wants to fish any body of water.
- Cooperstown is very walkable, but be aware of your surroundings and avoid unlit areas at night. Stick to main streets like Main Street and Chestnut Street, where there is more activity.
- Swim only in designated swim areas. Otsego Lake and Susquehanna River can have hidden currents and obstacles. Obey all posted signs and lifeguard instructions.
- Do not park on the street if snow is in the forecast. Snow plows need to get through, and parked cars can hinder that effort. Your car might also get towed or ticketed if it’s blocking a sidewalk. That rule applies when more than two inches of snow is in the forecast or on the ground.
- Buy a daily pass for the trolley at the kiosks located around town. A whole day of rides is just $2.50, and you can use a credit card to make the purchase. If you are paying the trolley driver, you’ll need cash.
- Cooperstown police and city leaders recently agreed to install security cameras around town. This can be very helpful in case of thefts or other safety incidents. The cameras are designed to deter crimes, not to spy on people. You can learn more on the city’s website, as well as see the camera locations.
- Use NY 511 to check road conditions across the town, region, and state. The real-time mapping provides accident reports, road construction, and conditions of most major and community streets.
- This region has several wineries that are popular with tourists. However, you’ll need a ride to get to and from them. Either assign a designated driver who won’t be consuming alcohol or use rideshares to get around.
So... How Safe Is Cooperstown Really?
Cooperstown police haven’t released crime data since 2020, which is disappointing, but considering the previous 20 years show incredibly low crime rates, there’s not really a reason to worry about crime.
If you’re visiting during the induction week, expect large crowds everywhere.
That will lead to a potential increase in thefts, which you can thwart by using common sense.
I did see just one report in 2023 of a woman having her purse stolen at a local brewery, and the police and employees made sure she got it back, and the thief was arrested.
This story made headlines in Cooperstown if that tells you how safe this community is.
Parking is a beast in this town, so if you find a parking spot, take it!
It’s safe to park 10–15 minutes away and walk.
Check Pine Boulevard for free, limitless parking.
Just be sure to check the road signs to make sure this parking gem hasn’t changed.
The outdoor options come with inherent risks, but studying the safety tips on each park and lake website will help you know the rules and best practices.
The roads to Cooperstown are mostly two-lane meandering roads, some with sharp turns.
There isn’t much of a distance between the lanes and the side of the road, so keep both eyes on the road.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from people is that Cooperstown is “in the middle of nowhere.”
How Does Cooperstown Compare?
|Belize City (Belize)
|La Paz (Bolivia)
|Sao Paulo (Brazil)
|Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
The same rules apply to international travelers as anywhere else in the United States. You'll need a passport and visa or visa waiver. Don't wait to get that visa since the process can be lengthy.
Only the U.S. Dollar will be accepted here. Exchange currency in a larger city or be prepared to pay high ATM fees to exchange it using a debit card. Your credit card offers the best fraud protection.
Summers are hot and humid, so prepare for casual clothing with the most comfortable shoes you can find. You will be doing a lot of walking. Sunscreen and bug spray will be important. Hikers should know the ticks are thick in the woods here, so bring a tick-removal kit. For winter, layer up and don't skimp on accessories. Spring and fall will fluctuate in temperature. Pack layers to be the most comfortable.
The closest major commercial airport is Albany International Airport (ALB), that's a 90-minute drive. Both Syracuse and Binghamton have airports less than two hours away. If you're using the NYC metro area airport, you'll have a four-hour road trip ahead of you.
Comprehensive travel insurance covers every step of your trip, from the flight to the roads to any accidents along the way. Be sure to purchase it early, as it goes into effect immediately.
Cooperstown Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month