The Best Hiking Near NYC...
The city might not offer a whole lot of nature, but there are plenty of great spots for hiking near NYC. Sure, we've got some of the best restaurants, art shows and parties around, and let's not forget the renowned NYC parks. Still, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city is a must. These outdoor adventures offer panoramic views of the Hudson River, serene paths through the woods and thrilling ascents up rocky cliffs. Best of all, access to stunning bucolic surroundings is just a train or bus ride away.
Anthony's Nose Hike
A small section of the Appalachian Trail leads you to Anthony’s Nose, a rocky ridge that offers spectacular views of Bear Mountain Bridge. After you climb up up a 500-foot rock staircase, the trail levels out for the remainder of the 2.6-mile hike to the overlook. On weekends, you can take the Metro-North Hudson line to the Manitou stop, then walk the remaining mile-and-a-half to the trailhead. Or, join a group hike with Vertically Inclined for bus or van transportation to the trailhead.
Time: Two to three hours
Ever have a day when you just want to take a break from real life and become one with nature? Before committing to all 2,168 miles of the Appalachian Trail, take a weekend to test it out by taking a quick train ride to a portion of the famous hike. The Metro-North Harlem line runs from Grand Central to the Appalachian Trail station on weekend mornings where you can pick your hiking pace and direction, making it a great hike for people of all levels. Self-described “wildman” Steve Brill also offers guided foraging walks of a small section of the trail on Saturday mornings, if you can’t decide which route to take.
Arden Point and Glenclyffe
It doesn’t get much easier then stepping off the train and on to the trailhead. After taking the Metro North to the Garrison stop, you’ll see two stone pillars and a sign for “Arden Point – Hudson Highlands State Park.” You’ll follow that for a 3.7-mile circuit passing several panoramic viewpoints over the Hudson. Bonus: you’ll get to walk along a historic road Benedict Arnold used to escape during the Revolutionary War.
Time: Two to three hours
Big Indian Mountain
Granted, this hike isn’t easily accessible on public transit, but several groups such as Vertically Inclined offer bus or van transportation to the trailhead. Meet your fellow hikers at a pickup point in the Bronx, then hop on the bus for the three-hour ride to the Biscuit Brook parking lot. Though the 9-mile roundtrip trail isn’t too steep, the terrain can be rocky and treacherous in bad weather. You will also have to cross four streams and venture off the marked trail to reach the summit—two more reasons to hike it with a professional guide.
Time: Five hours
Blue Mountain Reservation Loop
There’s no better motivation for getting some exercise than the promise of a crisp beer at the end. This 12-mile loop starts about a mile from the Peekskill Metro North stop and once on the trail, you’ll be able to hit to viewpoints over the Hudson River and pass a serene pond along the way. On your way back to the train, make sure to stop at the Peekskill Brewery to reward yourself for tackling the climb.
Time: Three to four hours
Level: Easy to moderate