The huge state of New York is commonly tucked behind the shadow of New York City, one of the world’s greatest metropolises. But do you know that NYC is less than 1% of New York State’s landmass? Yet 64% of the NY population lives in NYC? That typically leaves many people New Yorkers hungry to get out of our tiny apartments and discover the wonder and natural wonders of our state which offers so many hidden gems! So if you’re like many of us New Yorkers, on the lookout for one of the best day trip hikes near NYC and free issues to do in NYC then this insider’s guide to hiking from New York City is for you. Below are hikes that are lower than 2 hours from NYC.

As all the time, please verify on any COVD-19 restrictions in all places you go as a outcome of issues are constantly changing. And when you don’t feel comfortable using the practice but, then contemplate renting a automotive to discover these beautiful out of doors gems.

Important Things to Know Before Planning Your Hike Near NYC
But first, some necessary things all hikers want to remember of. This is especially helpful if you’ve just begun hiking in the outdoor.

* If the rubbish bins are overflowing, take the garbage with you and eliminate it elsewhere. Unlike the street corners of major cities, these parks don’t have rubbish removing every single day.
* Have compassion should you see someone not doing something listed above. A lot of us are new to hiking within the outside and didn’t have the privilege of growing up with access to it. So please prolong some empathy for others who’re nonetheless studying.
* Consider bringing a bag to select up any plastic trash you may even see. Unfortunately, this is turning into an enormous downside.
* Please do not play loud music. Most individuals are within the outdoors to flee the sounds of society and embrace nature’s tunes.
* Stay on the paths. Veering off designated trails damages the terrain and pure ecosystem.
* Tick checking a hundred and one: Take ticks very significantly, as they can transmit incurable Lyme Disease to humans. This is a giant downside in New York State, so check yourselves/your dogs for ticks afterward!
* Reconnect and refresh and attempt to let go of that phone!
* Do not park illegally; you’ll both get a hefty ticket or have your automobile towed. Yikes!
* Carry out every single factor you brought. Please don’t leave any garbage anywhere. Leave no trace.

A Note On Outdoor Racism in Upstate New York & Gatekeeping
Gatekeeping is when somebody or some individuals restrict others from sure spaces, information, hobbies, or actions. Many gatekeepers take it upon themselves to decide who should have access to the New York outside. You’ll see that is significantly rampant in much of New York, from hiking trails in upstate New York to pockets of Long Island.

Thus, many out of doors areas in New York State have deliberately been saved secret so that others do not achieve access to these natural wonders and spaces. It sounds innocuous initially, but there’s a real disdain that many of us experience from villagers who don’t need “outsiders” in these public parks. Yes– you learn that right. They are not looking for us in the public spaces in the direction of which we New Yorkers all pay taxes.

The prejudice is worse if you’re from New York City; and if you’re a person of color? Forget it. The disdain and nasty feedback on my Tik Tok movies, Facebook posts, and New York weblog articles that I’ve acquired from racist residents of Upstate New York telling me “you’re not welcome here” or “GO AWAY!” or “Dominicans are [insert something racist and unwelcoming].” It’s significantly jarring to listen to after a joyous day embracing the healing properties of nature.

We all deserve access to the outdoors!

Read extra: Five Reasons Why You Should Keep Geotagging

More of Our New York State Travel Guides
If you’re excited about exploring more of our beautiful New York State, listed here are some of our high New York travel guides to proceed studying:

19 Most Beautiful Hikes to Visit Near NYC
Remember, you’ll have the ability to at all times flip this right into a enjoyable in a single day experience by staying in some of the greatest glamping spots in New York or combine your hiking journey with a visit to one of many many charming small cities in upstate New York. Now that you’re extra prepared and informed, with out further ado, listed below are 17 hikes from NYC!

If you have other hikes that you suggest, please go away them under in the feedback. We can reduce the impact on the overcrowded parks by sharing different spots, thus thinning out the visits to several as an alternative of a zillion individuals in the identical few mountains.

1) Artist’s Rock & North-South Lake
Stephanie & Travis @witdaworksNorth-South LakeThis refreshing and rejuvenating hike is a favorite amongst avid hikers because it provides slightly little bit of everything with out crowds. The hike can be carried out as a loop or as two different trails (red and blue). Along the trail, you’ll move a wonderful waterfall, streams, cliffs, dry hemlock forest, and heaps of others locations to cease, including three magnificent viewpoints. The prized gem level of the hike is: North Point which overlooks the Hudson River.

Please notice there shall be areas with steep uphill walking over large rocks. If you wish to select one trail as a substitute of doing the loop, don’t miss the waterfalls on the purple trail!

Hiking boots are a should, especially if it’s rained (for the mud) and contemplate bringing a showering suit to swim within the North-South Lake. This is amongst the most underrated lakes in New York to go to.

* Location: Catskill Park
* Distance from NYC: 2 hours
* Difficulty: Moderate with some scrambles
* Length: 5.5 miles
* Entrance fee: $10 per automobile on the North Lake campgrounds parking (cash only)
* Elevation: 1,000 toes

2) Anthony’s Nose
This piece of the Appalachian Trail is a perfect mixture of simple and reasonable. Cardio and relaxation. You begin with a steep incline of vertical rocky stairs as you zigzag your way as a lot as the summit. After about half a mile of going up, the path opens up to a flat, peaceable oasis for an additional half mile till reaching the summit. At the highest, you’re rewarded with views of the Bear Mountain Bridge, Bear Mountain State Park, the Hudson River, and other bucolic sights from above.

There are a few ways to get to the summit of this trail. The hottest route is by parking your automotive on the side of the highway near the official trailhead, right where you see the “Westchester County” signal. Another is the Camp Smith Trail which presents even nicer views, but it’s a bit longer (2.7 miles).

On your method home, cease by Farmer & the Fish restaurant in Tarrytown. Everything they serve there might be amazing! And/or, seize some lobster rolls at one of many many seafood restaurants on the town overlooking the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

* Distance from NYC: 1 hour and 15 minutes
* Difficulty: Moderate (first half); straightforward (second half)
* Length: 1.9 miles
* Elevation: 675 ft
* Route: Out & back

3) Awosting Falls + Minnewaska Lake
This hike is super straightforward, flat, and comparatively accessible for newbies. All while providing two main payoffs: Awosting Waterfall and Minnewaska Lake, amongst other treats in between. There are also different parking tons, which determine how long your hike will be. We parked in the southern parking zone, so it was about quarter-hour of strolling to Awosting Waterfalls and then 30 minutes walking/hiking up to Minnewaska Lake. From there, you can turn round or proceed exploring the various trails around the lake.

Before going home, stop by Mountain Brauhaus for some German food and drinks in a cozy cabin-esque setting. They even have sizzling cider and mead! Or, head to Rough Cut Brewing Co. for some yummy beers and good meals. Or go to both! Since they’re nearby stops.

Distance from NYC: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy peasy
Length: 1-2 miles +
Elevation: ft
Route: Out & back

4) Bash Bish Falls
Grant KettnerBash Bish Falls is technically in Massachusetts. But it’s on the New York/Massachusetts border and you can entry it through Taconic State Park in New York. Pictures of Bash Bish Falls never appear to do it justice. It’s a lot bigger in particular person. The hike to the waterfalls from the Massachusetts aspect is brief however steep. The hike on the New York aspect is a little longer but extra gradual. The former is ideal if you’d like something short that packs a punch.

* Difficulty: Easy
* Length: 1.5 miles
* Route: Out-and-back
* Entrance Fee: $5 at Taconic State Park
* Distance from NYC: 2.5 hours

5) Overlook Mountain
Overlook Mountain is near the hippie town of Woodstock, one of the best small cities to visit in New York. This hike mixed with a visit to downtown Woodstock makes for a perfect getaway from New York City. The trail begins as an old carriage street that led to the Overlook Mountain House, a once-popular trip resort. The path begins fairly flat but rapidly begins to ascend and continues to do so until the summit is reached.

The continuous uphill journey makes the trail tougher for newbie hikers, however still doable. At the mile and a half mark, hikers will run into the concrete outer wall remnants of the Overlook Mountain House. The ruins are pretty safe and hikers are permitted to explore them. Continue past the ruins for one more half mile and you’ll soon attain the rocky summit and hearth tower. Heed the indicators and watch your step-the area is populated by rattlesnakes. Once you reach the summit you can see the fire tower, a small museum in regards to the mountain’s history, and immediately behind the museum, you will discover a ledge providing you with great views of the encircling mountains. – Navigation Junkie

* Location: Near Woodstock, New York
* Distance from NYC: 2 hours
* Difficulty: Moderate
* Length: 4.6 miles
* Elevation: 1,397 ft
* Route: Out and again

6) Kaaterskill Falls
Kaaterskill Falls is the highest “cascading waterfall” in the state of New York and likewise one of the most well-liked waterfalls to go to in New York. This simple 30-minute hike each way takes you thru a wonderful bosque of forested trails and pine trees. You can also take small detours to discover magnificent viewpoints, camping grounds, and completely different components of the waterfall.

The waterfall is definitely broken up into two, the bottom part is definitely far more crowded as a result of many vacationers fail to spot the detour to the top half of the waterfall. From the bottom, the highest half appears like a cliff but it’s really virtually like a beach and allows for a lot easier entry to swimming without the tall flight of stairs to achieve the underside half.

This trotted trail is certainly one of the hottest hikes on the East Coast, so vacationers must arrive early to avoid crowds and get a parking spot. Otherwise, you danger waiting 2+ hours in line for parking. Despite seeing dozens of cars parked on the facet of the highway, do not be tempted to do the same. It is unlawful and you would possibly be virtually assured to get a $150 ticket.

* Location: Near Hunter Mountain, NY within the Catskills
* Distance from NYC: 2.5 hours
* Difficulty: Easy
* Length: 1.7 miles
* Elevation: 416 ft
* Route: Out and back

7) Sam’s Point, Ice Caves & Verkeerderkill Falls
Brandon LordWalk by way of a uncommon and endangered ecosystem featuring one of many final Rare Dwarf Pitch Pine barrens on the planet. On this epic trail, you’ll see gorgeous viewpoints, ice caves, and the waterfall pictured above.

Begin at Sam’s Point Visitor Center to pay on the entrance and begin the hike towards Verkeerderkill Waterfall’s footpath, then the Ice Cave trail, and end at Sam’s Point for a magnificent panorama view. There is also slightly seaside on the backside of the lake.

The Ice Cave consists of crevices and caves fashioned from boulders of the cliffs. Because of its distinctive formation, the air throughout the caves stays trapped throughout the caves thus permitting for a cold enough temperature that may maintain snow/ice inside even within the summer!

This park is crowded so arrive very early to get a parking spot.

* Location: Minnewaska State Park Preserve near New Paltz, NY
* Distance from NYC: 2 hours
* Difficulty: Moderate
* Length: 7+ miles
* Elevation: 994 ft
* Route: Loop
* Entrance fee: $10

8) Gertude’s Nose
This is likely considered one of the most scenic hikes from New York City, enveloped in tall pine timber that offer hikers a verdant path no matter what time of the year. This is a difficult but rewarding trail that leads hikers via a conglomerate of steep slopes and plateaus, typically alongside cliff ridges the place you’ll be climbing up/down boulders, some easier wooden sections, and likewise elements along a cliff over rock formations. But don’t worry there are many dramatic panoramic views to keep you impressed between summits.

* Location: Minnewaska State Park Preserve near New Paltz, NY
* Distance from NYC: 1 hour and forty minutes
* Difficulty: Hard
* Length: 7.eight miles
* Elevation: 1,187 ft
* Route: Loop
* Entrance payment: $10

9) Blydenburgh County Park
One of our favorite hikes on Long Island, this 6-mile hike is ideal for novices with its gradual inclines/declines and beautiful waterscape views. The trail is mostly shaded so you can come on one of many hottest days of the yr (we did) and it’s still fresh and breezy to stroll through.

Visitors can select to hike, bike, or horseback ride this trail which also provides several off-trails to discover. The whole time often 2 hours, or three hours should you make stops alongside the way to benefit from the views, take photos and eat some snacks.

You can simply attain this park by taking the LIRR to Brentwood after which from there taking an Uber/getting a ride for about 10 minutes to the park’s entrance to begin your hike.

* Location: Smithtown, Long Island, New York
* Distance from NYC: 1 hour (or ninety minutes by train)
* Difficulty: Easy
* Length: 6+ miles
* Route: Loop
* Entrance fee: $15

10) Breakneck Ridge
Breakneck Ridge is probably one of the greatest hikes from NYC because it is straightforward to get to, difficult to finish, and has spectacular views. However, please note that a great portion of the hike is a rock scramble. It’s simply not easy. And at times, it’s not easy finding the method in which up. I was tempted to just flip around, but then I appeared down at how steep it was and continued to climb. The views of the Hudson Valley on the summit are beautiful. The trail going again down was not as steep, so I may relax and benefit from the woodlands. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment once I had accomplished the hike! It took us slightly over 5 hours to do the three.7-mile loop. But hiking over giant boulders is not for everyone. It is HARD.

There is a direct practice from Grand Central Station in New York City to Breakneck Ridge on the weekends– making it the perfect add-on to an NYC Day Trip. After a scenic 90-minute practice ride, it’s only a short stroll to the trailhead. It’s best to go early as it is a well-liked hike and the paths will get crowded!

* Location: Beacon & Cold Spring, NY (Hudson Highlands State Park)
* Distance from NYC: 1.5 hours
* Difficulty: HARD AF
* Length: three.7 miles
* Elevation: 1,250 ft
* Route: Loop

11) Bull Hill + Washburn
Mellow & KiwiBull Hill/Washburn trail in is the guts of the Hudson Highlands State Park. Its many rewards embody views of the Hudson River, Cornish Estate Ruins, sights of Storm King Mountain, and the summit of Bull Hill. Bull Hill/Washburn is certainly one of no much less than 4 hiking trails that begin within the town of Cold Spring, NY (which you probably can take the Metro North practice to). And this trail, ultimately also connects to one of many Breakneck Ridge trails (mentioned above).

* Location: Cold Spring, New York
* Distance from NYC: 1.5 hours
* Difficulty: Moderate
* Length: 4.5 (short loop) and 5.5 miles (full loop)

12) Cornish Estate Trail
This brief and simple hike provides plenty of distinctive rewards. Just the start of this trail opens as a lot as magnificent views of the mountains alongside the Hudson River. Most of this trail is paved and thus very easy. It ends whenever you hit the ruins of an old property. There, you’ll find a way to learn up on the history of this deserted mansion and get some cool pictures. Perfect for youths, outdoor newbies, and elderly. Or, when you just need to relax on a simple trail.

Note: This trail is positioned within the town of Cold Spring, NY, within the Hudson Highlands State Park. This means you can even take the practice into city and stroll to the trailhead. The begin of this trail is also the beginning of the Bull Hill trail mentioned above. It’s all connected!

* Location: Cold Spring, NY
* Distance from NYC: 1.5 hours (or seventy five minutes by prepare from Grand Central)
* Difficulty: Easy peasy
* Length: 1.eight (round trip)

13) Labyrinth + Lemon Squeeze
@@@ you’re in search of distinctive hikes near New York City, make positive to check out the Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze trails within the Mohonk Preserve.

The first portion of the hike feels leisurely. However, when you reach The Labyrinth that is the place the fun begins. This portion of the hike is just ~1 mile however it includes climbing, ducking into caves, sliding under rocks, and squeezing through tight areas in your method to the top.

The ultimate stretch is the Lemon Squeeze, named as such because you’re actually squeezing your way by way of this opening. As you stroll by way of a slim pathway you might be surrounded by rocks on each side. You also will find ladders here to help you with climbing by way of to the highest.

Once you get to the very prime you’ll be rewarded with views of the preserve which are absolutely stunning.

If you may have time, contemplate spending more time in the Hudson Valley the place you’ll find a way to go wine tasting, apple choosing, and testing some of the other hiking near NYC. – Taima Ramsey

Please be suggested that this hike could be very well-liked. Visit during the weekdays when there are fewer crowds or VERY early on a weekend!

* Location: Mohonk Mountain House (private), New Paltz, NY
* How far is it from New York City? 2 hours by automobile
* Difficulty: Medium / Hard
* Length: 1 mile (Labyrinth) + 7 miles (Lemon Squeeze)
* Entrance Fee: $15-$26/per individual

15) Bear Mountain
One of the most stunning and well-liked locations for hiking from NYC has received to be Bear Mountain State Park. Located on the west bank of the Hudson River, this 5205-acre state park is located only a short 1-hour drive away.

This spacious state park features numerous trails of assorted difficulties, however the one which yields the best views in your effort is the Perkins Memorial Tower Trail, generally simply known as the Bear Mountain Trail because of its recognition. This trail begins conveniently on the Hessian Lake Parking and reaches the summit of Bear Mountain at 1000+ ft above sea stage.

The path up is filled with steep sections and big rocks, requiring hikers to have good mobility and suppleness. Once you arrive on the peak of Bear Mountain, you’re rewarded with views of the gorgeous Hudson Valley. – Sean

Don’t have a car? Take the prepare to Peekskill after which a 10-minute taxi journey to Bear Mountain.

* Location: Hudson Valley, inside Rockland & Orange Counties
* Distance from NYC: 1 hour
* Difficulty: Easy to average trails
* Length: three.8 miles
* Elevation: 1,154 ft
* Route: Loop

15) Poet’s Walk
Poets’ Walk is recognized as after several writers who used to stroll right here and had been impressed by the location. In fact, Washington Irving supposedly got here up with the concept for Rip Van Winkel while admiring the view of the nearby Catskill Mountains from this walk.

Along this trail, there are pretty views of the Hudson River, the Mid-Hudson Bridge, and the Catskills. This path is actually a created panorama, designed as ‘outdoor rooms’ with a number of landscapes separated by trees and rock partitions. The first part is through fields of grass and wildflowers. Then through the big open-air Overlook Pavilion the place it dips down into woods. The trail additionally passes over three small bridges and ends in an overlook of the river at one finish and a small ‘summerhouse’ gazebo on the different.

The trail is open all year but is very beautiful on a sunny summer’s day and in the fall when the gorgeous fall shade makes this one of many high Hudson Valley fall actions. Dogs on a leash are allowed.

Bonus: After a rejuvenating hike, contemplate fruit picking at Greig Farm, just minutes from Poet’s Walk in Red Hook, New York.

* Location: Red Hook, New York
* Distance from NYC: 1 hour and forty minutes
* Difficulty: Easy peasy
* Length: 2.2 miles
* Elevation: 203 ft
* Route: Loop

16) Storm King Mountain
Rising greater than 1,300 feet above the Hudson Valley, Storm King Mountain provides extraordinary for these in search of hikes near New York City.

While the trek to the scenic viewpoint isn’t long, think about doing a little early stretches because the trail might challenge your leg muscle tissue with steep climbs. With 600+ toes of elevation and some rock scrambling, the trail provides a pleasant leg exercise. After the intermediate strenuous ascent, the trail softens in problem and starts to disclose the majesty of the Hudson River.

The trail is marked fairly nicely, however it will be smart to have a cellphone app information helpful. As you venture toward the summit of Butter Hill, the views open up for a glance of the Hudson Valley. The highest elevation of the trail \ gives you a sensational panorama overlooking the Hudson River.

Storm King Mountain only scratches the floor of locations to explore in the Hudson Valley and heading farther north uncovers more beautiful sights of Upstate New York. – Daniel

Please notice Storm King Mountain’s trail is not to be confused with Storm King Art Center.

* Location: Cornwall-On-Hudson, New York
* Distance from NYC: 2 hours
* Difficulty: Moderate (some scrambles and steep climbs)
* Length: 2.6 miles
* Route: Loop
* Elevation: 620 ft

17) Meadow Lake Trail (Harriman State Park)
There are approximately 500 trails and 200 miles of hiking to select from in Harriman State Park; a park that expands through Rockland and Orange nations just 30 miles north of New York City. So it’s in all probability no shock that Harriman State Park is the second-largest state park in New York.

Busy long lake however after hiking away from the water, the trail should lighten as you enter narrow trails in deep woods and open fields.

* Distance from NYC: 1 hour
* Difficulty: Moderate
* Length: 5.4 (out and back) or 10.9 miles (loop)
* Elevation: 500+ ft
* Route: Out and again OR loop

18) Island Pond (Harriman State Park)
TurduckenTurduckenInterested in in the future doing the famous Appalachian Trail that stretches for over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine? Island Pond’s trail in Harriman State Park is a part of the very Appalachian Trail, which permits you a style of this famous hiking experience! This grounded hike permits for views of the Island Pond and the Lemon Squeezer slot canyon.

* Distance from NYC: 1 hour and 20 minutes
* Difficulty: Moderate
* Length: 3.7 miles
* Elevation: 1,056 ft
* Route: Out and back (not a loop)

19) Reeves Brook Loop (Harriman State Park)
Located near Sloatsburg, New York, this trail features views of an attractive lake, waterfalls, plenty of rocks/boulders, scrambles, and a stream to dip your legs in to cool off afterward. Chipmunk Mountain is the place hikers will have to scramble up rocks however might be rewarded with nice views.

Tip for newbies: go counter clock-wise if you are a beginner hiker to keep away from happening superior rock scrambles. The trail is broken down into white, blue (rock scramble), orange, and red. The majority of the hike is shaded. And it additionally merges with Pine Meadow Trail.

* Distance from NYC: 1 hour and 40 minutes
* Difficulty: High reasonable (due to a VERY difficult rock scramble)
* Length: three.eight miles
* Elevation: 882 ft
* Route type: Loop

20) Bushkill Falls
This wood trail contains a waterfall (Bushkill Falls) which you’ll have the ability to admire from a bridge-like railing perched on a cliff. Unlike different waterfall hikes, right here you cannot dip your toes in the water or climb any of the rock formations. This looped trail is also divided right into a blue and purple trail. We counsel doing the complete loop, so you’ll be able to read the lower gorge to see each Bridal Veil Falls and Bushkill Falls, the perfect view.

Avoid weekends as there will be crowds, especially with tourists traveling by way of the Poconos. Visiting within the early morning on weekdays is strongly beneficial.

* Location: Bushkill, Poconos, Pennsylvania
* Distance from NYC: 1 hour and 30 minutes
* Difficulty: Easy
* Length: 1.8 miles
* Entrance charge: $16.50

Prepping & Packing List for a Day Hike From NYC
SLEEP & EAT: Always attempt to get a full night’s sleep and have a full meal earlier than embarking on a hike. This method you’re energized in your hike and don’t danger getting extraordinarily tired halfway. Or worse, fainting.

DOWNLOAD ALLTRAILS: One of the most effective ways to plan your hike extra seamlessly is by downloading the AllTrails apps. The app will provide: offline maps (which turn out to be useful if you lose signal), interactive trail maps (that usually are not on typical maps like Google’s), can record your trail (so you understand how many steps you took, how lengthy you hiked for and precisely what type of loop you made on the map), and up-to-date trail information!

And here’s a primary packing listing of the things to convey on your day hike:

More of Our New York State Travel Guides
If you’re interested in exploring more of our stunning New York State, listed below are some of our prime New York journey guides to continue reading:

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23 Beautiful Hikes Near New York City For All Levels
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