With so much to offer, most people don’t associate New York City with the great outdoors. Even New Yorkers are often unaware of the hiking opportunities that exist in and around their city. Thousands of acres of scenic and historic land and dozens of state parks and preserves all lay within two hours of the Big Apple waiting to be discovered.
Skip Card, award-winning author of the new guidebook, Moon Take a Hike New York City, offers an assortment of trails within reach of the city ideal for expert and novice hikers. Here are 10 of Skip’s selections of the best hikes in the NYC area:
Best for Bird Watching:
-Central Park from End to End—Stroll along the length of America’s finest urban park, which pays special attention to its wild side.
-West Pond Loop—This trail encircles a popular coastal stopover for birds migrating along the Atlantic flyway.
Best for Escaping Crowds:
-Turkey Mountain—Walk through forests and wetlands up to scenic mountaintops in this loop through a historic preserve.
-Scofield Ridge—Trudge up a gruelling slope to the crest of the ridge, which offers views of the north and south peaks of Beacon Mountain.
Best for Kids:
-High Line—Families can stroll atop a converted elevated rail line on Manhattan’s most popular urban walkway.
-New York’s Native Forest—Take a trip to the Bronx with the kids to discover New York’s largest tract of ancient forest.
-Black Rock Forest Loop—This path through woodland features reservoirs and ridge tops, giving hikers a lake-to-summit experience.-Perkins-Fahnestock-Cabot Loop— This hike follows a relaxed course past forest, streams, ponds, and the rare open field.
Best for Public Transportation:
-Palisades Shore Trail—Hike down to the Hudson River to a quiet riverbank path at the base of the Palisades cliffs.
-Breakneck Ridge to Sunset Point—Fantastic views make this one of the most popular trails in the region, but the path involves difficult scrambling in its first vertigo-inducing mile. May not be ideal for beginners.
About Moon Travel Guides & Moon.com
Moon Travel Guides make independent travel and outdoor exploration fun and accessible. With expert writers delivering a mix of honest insight, first-rate strategic advice, and an essential dose of humor, Moon guidebooks ensure that travelers have an uncommon and entirely satisfying travel experience. Moon not only guides, Moon inspires. Based in Berkeley, Calif., Moon is published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Visit Moon at http://www.moon.com.