You can live in NYC and still escape into the wilderness. When you feel the need to get outside the city, beautiful hiking trails near NYC are only a couple of hours away. While there are some amazing parks and outdoor activities to take advantage of in NYC, nothing beats getting away from it all by switching out the urban landscape for nature and tranquility.
If outdoor space is a priority for you, rentals with outdoor amenities can be found in Blueground apartments in NYC. Guests can opt to stay in residential buildings with sought-after shared outdoor facilities like a rooftop or outdoor pool. Work out in the water or sit and take in the breathtaking views of the city, right outside where you live!
Public parks in NYC
You can still find some greenery in the concrete jungle at one of the best public parks in NYC.
The High Line
On Manhattan’s West Side, you can experience an outdoor park elevated on a former railway. Lush horticulture paves a linear park that you can walk along to escape the busy city below. This scenic urban park also features seasonal food vendors, pop-up events, and public artworks curated by the Friends of the High Line.
The doyenne of NYC’s parks has to be Central Park. Highlights of this oasis in the city include the historical monuments and attractions like the Central Park Zoo and Carousel. People explore the park by bike, on boats, and even on horse and carriage. This beautifully landscaped 843-acre site is an iconic outdoor area in NYC not to be missed.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
This waterfront park designed by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates has gorgeous views overlooking Manhattan. Located underneath Brooklyn Bridge, there are plenty of cool outdoor events popping up here year-round from free movie screenings to fitness classes. The grassy areas and gardens make a great place to get a nature fix inside the city.
How to plan a hike in NYC
Do your homework on where you want to go hiking and how you’re going to get there prior to setting off. Take your laptop out to your neighborhood coffee shop and get organized by pre-ordering tickets online. There are often long lines for tickets at transit stations, especially over the weekend. Remember to charge devices and have alternative camera equipment ready to capture the breathtaking scenery along the way.
Appropriate clothing and footwear are also essential for a comfortable hike. You can wear trainers for leisurely hiking, but hiking boots are always more sensible. Remember to pack some water and something to snack on. If you want to check out the local area afterward do some research before you set off. See what eateries are open nearby and read review ratings online.
Hiking spots near NYC
All of these hiking spots neat NYC can be reached on public transport and offer distinctly different views.
Malouf’s Mountain Sunset Camp
It’s easy to get to the Malouf Mountain hiking area near NYC via an 80-minute Metro-North train from Grand Central to Beacon. On arrival, embark on easy and unique hiking trails that can lead you to casino ruins and railway tracks from a bygone era. Those who are new to hiking and aren’t fully equipped can rent gear from the base camp. Other outdoor activity options here outside the forest include fishing and kayaking. If you want to extend your stay you can experience authentic camping with clean wash areas, bathrooms and showers, and outdoor cooking facilities.
Ice Caves Verkeerderkill Falls Trail Hike
A one-of-a-kind hiking trail can be found on the Shawangunk Mountains, taking the Ice Caves and Verkeerderkill Falls route. Located within the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, the site can be reached via the Short Line bus from NYC to Ellenville. The Sam’s Point Preserve area where the trail begins is a short taxi ride from here. Particularly striking during winter, you can hike through the largest ice caves in the United States. The experience includes carved stairs, wooden bridges, and warmly lit passageways. Equally stunning is the natural beauty of the Verkeerderkill Falls waterfall that flows over the cliffs.
One of the most famous places to hike near NYC is the Appalachian Trail which offers easy to intermediate routes. You can get here in under two hours on the Metro-North Harlem train from Grand Central, alighting at the Appalachian Trail station. The hiking area here is vast, encompassing almost 2,190 miles that include eight national forests and six national parks. Whether you’re in the mood for day hiking or a more adventurous multi-day hike, there’s plenty of wildlife to encounter. A guided foraging walk is a great way to discover edible plants and fungi safely.
Blue Mountain Reservation
Combine a hike in the Blue Mountains with a cool beer at the Peekskill Brewery. The Blue Mountain Reservation park features peaceful trails, stunning rock formations, and scenic views over the Hudon River. It’s a great spot for some solitude.
The hiking area is less than two hours away from NYC on the train from Grand Central to Peekskill Metro-North station. The easy-to-moderate trails can also be explored by bike, and there is a mountain biking center on-site. The 1,600-acre park is particularly popular with dog walkers and families with young children. They love the picnicking areas next to freshwater ponds and play areas in the open terrain.
For an easy hike only one hour away from the city try the one-mile hike along the marshes of Long Island Sound. To get here from NYC, take the Metro-North train from Grand Central to Harrison Station. It’s a perfect place to unplug and soak up the scenic water views, meadows, and salt marshes. In the more secluded areas, you may even spot a deer. There are also up to 300 species of birds within the marshlands conservancy. As well as marsh wrens and seaside sparrows, other points of interest include historical landmarks. Such as the 1838 Greek Revival mansion that was the childhood home of John Jay.