I am so fortunate to live in New York City. Music, culture, and the arts… this amazing city has everything you could ask for. While the city fills so many of my wants the one thing it does not have is MOUNTAINS. Unless I can get a hike or trail run in the mountains at least once per week I begin to go a little stir crazy. While there are limited options to go hiking in NYC, fortunately, there are a number of great hiking options close by.

Listed below are my Top 5 Favorite Hiking Trails Near New York City:

1) The Giant Stairs

2) Bear Mountain State Park

3) Mount Tammany

4) Ramapo Valley County Reservation

5) The Labyrinth

 

Top 5 Hiking Trails Near NYC

1) The Giant Stairs

  • Driving Distance from Times Square: 30 – 45 Minutes (~20 miles)
  • Location: Palisades Interstate Park, New Jersey

One of my favorite trails in the northeastern United States is called The Giant Stairs. 4.5 miles in length, it is one of the best places to go hiking in New Jersey. It snakes along the Palisades Cliffs and Hudson River just north of the George Washington Bridge. For those who live in New York City, it is only a 45-minute drive from midtown Manhattan. What makes the Giant Stairs one of the best hiking trails near NYC is not only its close proximity but also its diverse terrain. From steep ascents to giant rock boulders to a waterfall there is a little of everything. I’ve done this hike over 25 times and it never gets old.

For more information on the hike check out the link below at The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference website:

http://www.nynjtc.org/hike/giant-stairslong-path-loop-state-line-lookout

 

2) Bear Mountain State Park

  • Driving Distance from Times Square: 50 to 70 minutes (~40 miles)
  • Location: Rockland County, New York

When I want to go hiking in New York, Bear Mountain State Park is one of my Doodletownfavorite go-to spots. Bear Mountain State Park is located on the west bank of the Hudson River in New York State. Comprised of over 5,000 acres, the park contains 3 mountains: Bear Mountain, Dunderberg Mountain, and West Mountain. A 6-mile section of the Appalachian Trail is also located in Bear Mountain State Park making it one of the most popular hiking destinations in New York. There are over 50 hiking trails covering 235 miles at Bear Mountain State Park but one of my favorite is the 1777E trail. What’s special about this trail is that it is the route that British soldiers took during the American Revolutionary War on their way to capture Forts Clinton and Montgomery in the Hudson Highlands.

Another special thing about the 1777E trail is that you will pass through Doodletown. Settled in the 1800’s, Doodletown was an isolated village that was located in Bear Mountain State Park. It had over seventy homes along with a schoolhouse and church with nearly 350 inhabitants at its height. The village was closed in the 1960’s and many of its buildings were destroyed; however, you can still see the remnants and original photographs of Doodletown while hiking on this trail. The combination of history and adventure at Bear Mountain State park makes this NY hiking spot a great option.

For more information on Bear Mountain State Park check out the link:

http://nysparks.com/parks/13/details.aspx

Explore West Point and the Hudson Highlands

3) Mount Tammany

  • Driving Distance from Times Square: 90 Minutes (~70 miles)
  • Location: Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey

2013-08-20_12_34_09_Panorama_south_and_west_towards_Mount_Minsi,_Pennsylvania_from_the_overlook_on_Mount_Tammany,_New_Jersey

Approximately 90 minutes west of New York City lay the Delaware Water Gap. The Delaware Water Gap is a section of the Delaware River that cuts through a ridge of the Appalachian Mountains on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 28 miles of the Appalachian Trail runs through the Delaware Water Gap. One of my favorite hikes at the Delaware Water Gap is Mount Tammany. This 3.5 miles loop offers varied terrain and beautiful scenery. It follows the Dunnfield Creek and climbs steeply through rocky and rugged terrain. If you are looking for a short but challenging hike then Mount Tammany is right for you.

Mount Tammany is a great option for hiking trails near NYC and the area also offers a host of additional outdoor activities such as kayaking and camping.

For more information on the hike check out the link below at The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference website:

http://www.nynjtc.org/hike/blue-dotred-dot-loop-summit-mount-tammany

 

4) Ramapo Valley County Reservation

  • Driving Distance from Times Square: 50 Minutes (~33 miles)
  • Location: Mahwah, NJ

One of my favorite day hikes near NYC which happens to be conveniently located less than an hour from mid-town Manhattan is Ramapo Valley County Reservation. Ramapo Valley County Reservation is a 4,000 acre public park containing nearly 20 miles of trails. From well-maintained flat trails to rugged rocky trails the Park offers a number of diverse options for hikers.

Be on the lookout for wildlife while hiking in the Park as I have come across snakes while trail running there. Also, the park was closed for a few months in 2015 due to bear sightings. Fortunately, there are always hundreds of people hiking here on the weekends so you are rarely alone.

If you are looking at various day hikes near NYC Ramapo Valley County Reservation is a great option.

For more information on the hike check out the link below at The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference website:

http://www.nynjtc.org/park/ramapo-valley-co-reservation

 

5) The Labyrinth

  • Driving Distance from Times Square: 2 Hours (90 miles)
  • Location: New Paltz, New York

Many people don’t realize that there are so many great options for hiking near New York City. The Labyrinth, which is located 90 miles from Times Square, happens to be one of the best hikes near NYC and is also one of the most unique trails that I have hiked in the United States. Located at the beautiful Mohonk Mountain House lodge in New Paltz, New York, it is a gem of a trail, which begins near the hotel lake and forces you to navigate through enormous rock boulders, up wooden ladders, and through rock caves. Once through the Labyrinth there are miles upon miles of hiking trails on the property for those looking for more adventure.

It is important to note that you have to pay a guest fee to go on the Mohonk Mountain House property for the day. However, it is 100% worth it, as you won’t find a trail like the Labyrinth anywhere. Also, the grounds of the Mohonk Mountain House are absolutely stunning which adds to the overall experience.

For more information, check out the Mohonk Mountain House website at:

http://www.mohonk.com

 

If you have a bad case of the hiking bug and live in or are visiting New York City fortunately there are a number of options for you close by.

I look forward to seeing you on the trail.

Jeff

We would like to know what are some of your favorite hiking trails near NYC are? If you would like to learn about our hiking adventure near NYC CLICK HERE!

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