It’s finally spring! The longer days and blooming trees just call you outside for some fresh air.
There’s undeniably a TON to do in the city for spring; of course, there are the top-rated parks scattered across the city, along with farmers’ markets, food festivals, and outdoor shows. But what if you want a more intense afternoon activity?
I love a good hike, and I think a lot of my fellow city dwellers do as well. So let’s dive into some of the best hikes close to NYC!
This is one of my favorite hikes near the city, just a 40-minute drive away into NY’s neighbor, New Jersey. Going clockwise on the blue Tripod Rock trail, which begins you on a moderately steep rocky stretch for a good quarter mile, you are treated to a beautiful vista point just off the trail. On a clear day, you can see the New York City skyline in the distance from there. It’s great for some perspective!
From there, the hike is easy, winding through the woods before reaching the iconic tripod rock for a photo op or a rock climbing break. Shortly after, switch to the orange line that will take you on a stroll next to the reservoir and then deliver you back to the parking lot.
This is a great lazy day hike. I always start the season with this one to warm me up to hiking again after the holidays.
If you’re looking for a change of scenery from the city, look no further! Instead of skyscrapers and traffic, you’ll find towering deciduous trees and winding gravel switchbacks… and all that before reaching the cliffs, the falls, and even ice caves!
This hike is super easy to get to from the city, taking the bus to Ellenville and then a quick Uber or cab. This is another easy hike, although it can take a bit longer than Pyramid Mountain. It certainly has enough to keep you occupied!
Bring a sandwich and a drink and take a break at Sam’s Point to soak in the views over lunch.
Want to skip the bus? The Long Path starts in Fort Lee Historic Park, just across the George Washington Bridge, so feel free to get started with a walk across the river!
This path is indeed quite long, spanning 356 miles, and crosses the New Jersey/New York border. The first several miles follow along the Hudson River, right up into Rockland County. Not only are you treated to some up-close-and-personal views of the skyline, but you get to spend some time with the majestic Hudson.
FUN FACT: Did you know the Hudson River flows both ways?
Okay, this one is a bit of a hike (pun intended) from the city. BUT, it is well worth the journey!
This is one of the most stunning ruin hikes I’ve ever been on, and it’s balancing the line between hike and walk. This out-and-back trail is just under 2 miles and can be completed in under an hour… but that’s only if you want to skip the photo op.
These ruins of the Cornish Estate have stood since the fire of 1958, and people have been visiting for many years since. I love walking through the old stone arches and imagining the estate as it used to be. It’s a contrast to the architecture of the city, and a reminder that there are some things that remain through the seasons.
Okay, now this one is a challenge.
I first hiked this trail last season, and let me tell you, when I was halfway up those stairs, I thought I was going to have to turn around. BUT this just meant I got to take lots of breaks to look out over the valley below as I climbed.
I like to start this hike up the stairs (it’s like visiting your friend in their 6th floor walk up, like 60 times in a row!) because, as tiring as it is, the other way is quite a scramble. At the end of the looooooong set of stone stairs, you’re treated to a mostly flat path on the top of the ridge before getting to the visitor center on the top of the hill.
Then, you begin the descent, which at times can be quite treacherous on very steep stone faces. At times, I had to scoot. The descending scrambler is rewarded with an easy ending stroll alongside the water. That being said, if you want something a little less intense, you can always head back the way you came.
What’s your favorite hike? Put these on your To-Do List, and let us know how you liked them!
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Written by Jordan McAndrew