Best Places to hike in New York City, New York
New York City has captured many people’s hearts with its pulsing energy and never-ending sights and sounds. What many don’t know is that there is beautiful scenery in the area — more than just the buildings and city life. Several great hiking trails are located within the city and surrounding areas.
Hiking is a great option if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure but don’t want to travel too far from the city. There are plenty of great hiking trails near New York City, and they offer everything from challenging climbs to relaxing strolls. Here are the best hiking trails all throughout New York City.
Top 16 Hiking Trails in and near New York City
1. Manhattan Central Park Trail
Manhattan Central Park Trail is a popular trail for hikers, joggers, and cyclists located in the heart of New York City. The trail runs along the entire length of Central Park from 59th Street to 110th Street on the west side of Manhattan. This scenic route offers stunning views of some of NYC’s most iconic landmarks, including Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields, and Bethesda Fountain. Along with these picturesque sites are winding paths that provide a peaceful escape from the bustling city streets nearby.
The trail is relatively flat with few inclines which makes it an ideal spot for those who want to get their daily exercise without too much effort. Bicyclists can make use of designated lanes while pedestrians can enjoy leisurely strolls or brisk jogs depending on their preference. Whether you’re looking for a place to take in beautiful scenery or simply need an escape from everyday life, Manhattan Central Park Trail has something for everyone! With its lush greenery and diverse wildlife population there’s no shortage of activities available here which makes it one of New York City’s most beloved outdoor attractions!
Length of Trail: 3.7 miles | Cost: Free | Location: New York City, New York | Phone: (212) 310-6600
2. Stairway to Heaven Trail
The Stairway to Heaven Trail, located in the heart of New York City, is a popular hiking trail and a must-visit for anyone looking for an outdoor adventure. The three-mile hike takes you up and down some of the city’s most iconic staircases – from Central Park to Brooklyn Bridge Park – giving hikers breathtaking views of Manhattan along the way. With its convenient location and stunning scenery, it’s no wonder why this trail is so popular among locals and visitors alike!
The Stairway to Heaven Trail starts in Central Park at East 72nd Street before heading north over the Queensboro Bridge into Long Island City. From there, hikers will make their way through Astoria Park before crossing back over into Manhattan via Hell Gate Bridge. After that, they’ll pass by Randall’s Island on their way towards Brooklyn Heights Promenade and then onto Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Finally, after taking in all the amazing sights along the East River waterfront, they’ll end up at Pier 6 near Governors Island where they can take a break or enjoy one of many activities available there such as kayaking or biking around town. Along with its incredible views and easy access points throughout NYC boroughs, another great thing about this hike is that it passes by several historic sites including Grant’s Tomb Memorial Circle (the final resting place of President Ulysses S Grant) as well as Fort Totten which served as an important military fort during both World Wars I & II.
3. Bull Hill Trail
Bull Hill Trail is a popular hiking trail located in the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve in New York. The moderate-level trail offers stunning views of the Hudson River, rolling hills, and an abundance of wildlife. It’s a great option for those looking to get out into nature without having to venture too far from civilization.
The Bull Hill Trail begins at Breakneck Ridge and follows along the ridge until it reaches its peak at Bull Hill summit. From here, hikers can enjoy panoramic views of Storm King Mountain and Bear Mountain Bridge before continuing down to Lake Maratanza where they will find plenty of opportunities for swimming or fishing. Along the way, hikers will pass through lush forests with abundant wildflowers as well as rocky terrain perfect for scrambling over boulders or climbing up steep slopes. The trail also crosses several streams that provide excellent spots for bird watching or simply taking in the beauty of nature around you.
And while there are some challenging sections along this hike, overall it’s relatively easy going with only minimal elevation changes throughout most parts of the route – making it ideal for novice hikers who want to experience all that nature has to offer without overexerting themselves on their first outing! Whether you’re looking for a casual stroll through beautiful scenery or an intense workout among breathtaking vistas – Bull Hill Trail is sure to satisfy your outdoor needs!
Length of Trail: 5.4 miles | Cost: Free | Location: North Highlands, New York
4. Ice Caves and Verkeerderkill Falls Trail Hike
The Verkeerderkill Falls Trail Hike is a popular outdoor activity in New York’s Catskills region. Located near the hamlet of Cragsmoor, the trail provides an easy-to-moderate hike with stunning views of cascading waterfalls and lush greenery. The path begins by winding through a shady forest before emerging onto open ridges where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding countryside.
As you make your way along the well-marked trail, you will come across several large cascades as well as smaller falls that trickle down over mossy rocks and boulders. At just under two miles long, this moderately challenging hike is perfect for families or those looking to spend an afternoon enjoying nature at its finest. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks as there are no stores nearby!
5. Anthony’s Nose
Anthony’s Nose is a mountain in Putnam County, New York. It is part of the Hudson Highlands, and it is located on the east side of the Hudson River across from Bear Mountain. Its summit rises to an elevation of 1,364 feet (415 m). The mountain takes its name from Anthony’s Nose Mountain Pass which lies at its northern end, where US Route 9 passes through between Cortlandt and Putnam Counties. The trailhead for hiking Anthony’s Nose begins at Fort Montgomery State Historic Site just off Route 9W.
From there hikers can take several trails up to the top of Anthony’s Nose offering spectacular views along the way as well as at the summit itself. On a clear day you can see Manhattan Island and Long Island Sound from this vantage point! There are also some ruins left over from Revolutionary War times that make for interesting exploration opportunities during your hike.
Whether you visit for a day or camp out overnight, Anthony’s Nose offers visitors plenty of outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, biking and more! This popular spot is great for families looking to get away into nature without having to travel too far outside of New York City limits.
Length of Trail: 1.9 miles | Cost: Free | Location: Route 9D and Route 202, Cortlandt Manor, Cortlandt, NY 10567
6. Malouf’s Mountain Sunset Camp Trail
7. Yellow Trail at Mount Beacon
The Yellow Trail in New York is a popular hiking path located in the Adirondack Park. It is an 8-mile loop that takes hikers through a variety of terrain, including forests, meadows and wetlands. The trail can be accessed from several different points throughout the park, making it easy to customize your trip depending on how much time you have available. Along the way, hikers will encounter breathtaking views of Lake George and some of the most beautiful wildlife in upstate New York.
The Yellow Trail is rated as moderate difficulty due to its length and elevation change; however, there are sections that can be challenging for novice hikers or those with physical limitations. There are plenty of rest areas along the route for taking breaks or enjoying a picnic lunch before heading back out onto the trail. Although camping isn’t allowed along this path, there are numerous nearby campgrounds where visitors can spend their evenings after completing their hike during the day. For those looking for an exciting outdoor adventure close to home, look no further than New York’s Yellow Trail!
With its picturesque scenery and abundance of wildlife sightings, this trail offers something special for everyone who visits – whether they’re seasoned veterans or first-time adventurers alike!
8. Pine Meadow Trail
Pine Meadow Trail is a beautiful 1.7-mile loop trail located in the Pine Meadow Lake State Park, which is situated in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. This scenic and peaceful trail offers hikers an opportunity to explore the pristine lake and forested areas of this park while enjoying the spectacular views of nearby peaks and valleys. The trail begins near a parking lot off Pine Meadow Road, where visitors can access all that this area has to offer, including fishing opportunities at both Pine Meadows Lake as well as nearby Beaver Pond.
From here, hikers will travel along a wide gravel path for about 0.4 miles before reaching their first destination: The Falls Overlook Point—a stunning overlook with views of cascading waterfalls from above! From there, you can either choose to continue following the main path around the lake or take one of several side trails into more remote parts of this park; some paths lead up steep inclines offering breathtaking vistas over surrounding mountains and forests while others descend down towards secluded coves on Pine Meadows Lake
shoreline for swimming or fishing opportunities.
No matter what route you choose, be sure to soak up all that nature has to offer during your visit! For those looking for an even bigger adventure, consider taking advantage of camping sites available within walking distance from the trailhead; these sites provide campers with everything they need for an overnight stay including fire pits and picnic tables so they can enjoy their time outdoors without worrying about anything else! Whether you’re visiting solo or with friends/family members, everyone is sure to find something special at Pine Meadow Trail in New York’s Adirondack Mountains!
9. Lake Skenonto Loop
The Lake Skenonto Loop is a walking trail located in New York’s Adirondack Park. The loop encompasses about 3 miles of trails, offering hikers an opportunity to take in the beauty and solitude of this majestic region. The trail winds its way around Lake Skenonto, providing spectacular views of the lake from various points along the route.
The trail begins at a parking area off Route 28N near Indian Lake and heads south towards picturesque Little Tupper Lake. Along the way, hikers will pass through dense forests with occasional open meadows that offer breathtaking views. Wildlife sightings are common on this stretch as well; deer, bear, beaver and other animals can often be seen along the path or out on the lake itself. As you continue your journey around Lake Skenonto Loop you’ll come across several scenic overlooks which provide stunning views of both Little Tupper and Long Lakes below.
You may also catch glimpses of Mount Marcy – one of New York’s tallest peaks – peeking above tree line in certain areas as well! At just over three miles long (round trip), this pleasant hike is perfect for those looking for a moderate-level outdoor adventure without having to travel too far away from home base. Whether you’re looking for some quality time with nature or simply want to soak up some spectacular views while getting exercise – there’s something here for everyone!
Time: 5 to 6 hours | Level: Easy to moderate
10. Blue Mountain Reservation Loop
The Blue Mountain Reservation Loop is a scenic and challenging hiking trail located in the Hudson Valley of New York. It’s 8.5 miles long and features spectacular views, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and an abundance of wildlife. The loop can be hiked as one continuous trek or broken up into smaller sections – making it ideal for day trips or weekend adventures alike.
The trailhead is located at the Upper Lake Parking Lot off Route 9W South in Palisades Park near Bear Mountain State Park. From here you’ll ascend 1,500 feet over the course of 2 miles to reach the highest point on the loop – Blue Mountain summit (1,372ft). Along this section you’ll traverse rocky stairs and steep terrain that will test even experienced hikers! Once at the top you’ll enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Harriman State Park and beyond before descending down towards Anthony Wayne Recreation Area where you can take a break before continuing your journey back up towards Upper Lake Parking Lot.
Throughout this hike there are plenty of opportunities to observe local flora & fauna including deer, hawks & songbirds plus hundreds of species of plants like mountain laurel & wild blueberries! There are also several great spots for picnicking so pack some snacks along with your camera – this trip is sure to leave lasting memories! Whether looking for an invigorating workout or simply wanting to soak in nature’s beauty – Blue Mountain Reservation Loop has something for everyone!
11. Franny Reese State Park Trail
Franny Reese State Park Trail is a popular hiking destination in New York. Located on the western shore of the Hudson River, it offers breathtaking views of the Catskill Mountains and nearby towns. The park features several trails that wind through its lush forest, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore nature and take in stunning scenery.
The main attraction at Franny Reese State Park Trail is its 2-mile loop trail which meanders along both sides of the river and passes by numerous picturesque spots such as waterfalls, old growth forests, wetlands, and rolling hillsides. Along this scenic path are various points of interest including historic ruins from abandoned settlements, historic sites related to Revolutionary War battles fought here during George Washington’s tenure as commander-in-chief of American forces, and plenty of wildlife ranging from bald eagles to white-tailed deer.
In addition to offering great outdoor recreation opportunities for hikers and picnickers alike, Franny Reese State Park Trail also boasts a variety of amenities such as restrooms (seasonal), picnic tables (year round), access to boating/fishing areas (summer only) as well as camping facilities (primitive/semi primitive). Visitors can also make use of interpretive programs offered throughout the year that cover topics such as bird watching or local history. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll through nature or an adventurous exploration into one America’s most beautiful regions; Franny Reese State Park Trail has something for everyone!
Length of Trail: 2.5 miles | Cost: Free | Location: Johnson-Iorio Park, Haviland Rd, Highland, NY 12528 | Phone: (845) 473-4440
12. Storm King State Park
Storm King State Park is located in Orange County, New York and offers a variety of trails that are suitable for all levels of hikers. The park features more than 15 miles of trails, ranging from easy to difficult. These trails offer stunning views of the Hudson Valley and provide access to many scenic areas within the park.
The Storm King Trail is one of the most popular routes at Storm King State Park and follows an old railroad grade along the eastern side of Schunemunk Mountain. This trail offers breathtaking views over the Hudson River and provides access to several historic sites such as Bannerman’s Castle on Pollepel Island. Other popular trails include Bearfort Ridge, which runs through mixed hardwood forests; Breakneck Ridge Trail, which climbs steeply up the mountain offering spectacular vistas; Split Rock Loop Trail with its unique rock formations; and Fawn Lake Loop Trail featuring beautiful wetlands around Fawn Lake.
For those looking for a longer hike, there is also a 10-mile loop that links together some of these shorter hikes into one big adventure! There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing along these trails including birds, deer, foxes and other animals native to this region. No matter what kind of hiking experience you are seeking out at Storm King State Park you will find something enjoyable here!
13. Ken Lockwood Gorge Trail
The Ken Lockwood Gorge Trail is a scenic hiking trail located in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The trail follows the South Branch of the Raritan River and passes through over five miles of peaceful woodlands and spectacular rock formations. It is one of the most popular trails in central New Jersey and provides hikers with an opportunity to explore nature at its finest. The Ken Lockwood Gorge Trail features a wide variety of terrain ranging from easy rolling hills to steep rocky slopes that require careful navigation. Along the way, there are several points where you can take in stunning views of the river valley below or view wildlife such as deer, beavers, hawks, and even bald eagles!
The trail also passes by many historical sites including abandoned iron works factories and old canal locks. As you hike along this picturesque path you will see plenty of flora such as maples, oaks, birches and hemlocks while listening to birds sing overhead. There are also several picnic areas scattered throughout offering visitors a chance to relax before continuing their journey downriver. Be sure to bring your camera so that you can capture all the beauty that awaits around every bend! Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or an intense workout you seek; make sure to include a visit to Ken Lockwood Gorge on your next outdoor adventure!
14. Old Croton Aqueduct Trail
The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail is a multi-use trail located in Westchester County, New York. The trail runs for 26 miles along the old Croton Aqueduct, which was built in 1842 to bring fresh water from the Hudson River to New York City. Today, it serves as a recreational path and provides stunning views of the Hudson Valley. The terrain along the trail varies from flat and level sections to steep climbs and descents over rocky outcroppings.
There are numerous access points with parking lots throughout its length, making it easy to explore different parts of the trail at your own pace. Along the way, you’ll pass by several historic sites including Van Cortlandt Manor House, Jug Tavern Bridge and Old Croton Dam Park. In addition to hiking or biking on this scenic route, visitors can also enjoy bird watching or fishing in one of many ponds that line its banks. Picnicking is also popular among those who come here for some outdoor fun!
There are even interpretive signs scattered along the way which provide historical information about this important piece of infrastructure that helped shape New York City into what it is today. Whether you’re looking for an easy walk or something more challenging with great views of nature all around – there’s something for everyone on Old Croton Aqueduct Trail!
Length of Trail: 46 miles | Cost: Free | Location: 15 Walnut Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 | Phone: (914) 693-5259
15. Artist’s Rock & North-South Lake
Located two hours away from the city, Artist’s Rock & North-South Lake is an excellent option for those looking for a longer hike. The trail is five and a half miles long, and it’s considered to be moderate in difficulty.
Avid hikers have two options when it comes to this trail. They can either make a loop or choose from two paths. Regardless of which route you choose, you’re in for a treat. The trail features beautiful views of the Catskill Mountains, as well as beautiful streams, waterfalls, and a dry hemlock forest that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Large rocks are strewn along the trail, providing the perfect opportunity for a break. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning scenery.
Length of Trail: 5.5 miles | Cost: $10 per vehicle | Location: Hunter, NY 12436
16. Overlook Mountain Trail
Length of Trail: 4.6 miles | Cost: Free | Location: Woodstock, NY | Phone: (845) 256-3076
Woodstock is a small town in the Catskills and is home to Overlook Mountain. The mountain is popular among hikers and has a few different trails to choose from. The most popular trail is the Overlook Spur Trail, an old carriage road built in the 19th century to transport visitors to the Overlook Mountain House. You can still see the ruins of the house along the way.
An old fire tower is also located at the trail, providing stunning views of the surrounding area. The trail is considered moderately difficult.