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10 Best Hikes Near NYC You Can Reach by Train

best hikes near nyc
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / roverguy1

New York City is the most populous city in the entire country. Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and connect with nature by hopping on a train to check out some of the best hikes near NYC.

Whether you’re a regular weekend warrior, or just looking for a change of scenery at the end of a workweek, getting out into nature is a great way to unwind and de-stress. Some of the best hikes in the state are reachable by train from the city. Public transit helps to reduce the number of people driving single-occupancy vehicles, which conserves more fuel and reduces air pollution. So grab a few friends, hop on the trains and get out there to enjoy some of the best hikes near NYC!

While you’re out enjoying the best of what nature has to offer, remember to treat nature respectfully. That includes disposing of waste properly, leaving what you find, and respecting wildlife. You can find more tips on that here.

1. Best Hikes Near NYC: Stump Pond Loop

  • Getting There: LIRR to Brentwood
  • Length of Hike: 6-mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy

Head out to Blydenburgh County Park on Long Island for a nice getaway from the city. Bring your dog along and enjoy the easy Stump Pond Loop. On average, it takes about 2 hours to complete, and proper footwear is recommended due to plenty of exposed tree roots along the path. Weekends are an incredibly popular time to visit, so plan accordingly.

2. Greenbelt Conservancy Trails: Just a Ferry Away

You'll need to catch the ferry to reach these hikes near NYC.
You’ll need to catch the ferry to reach these hikes near NYC. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / suddenshutter)
  • Getting There: Ferry to Staten Island
  • Length of Hike: varies
  • Difficulty: Easy

Head over to Staten Island and make use of the Greenbelt Conservancy Trails. There are four woodland trails, varying in length and difficulty. Although you aren’t that far from the hustle and bustle of city life, you can still get a healthy dose of nature. Bikes and motorized vehicles are forbidden on these trails, so you can hike in peace.

3. Arden Point and Glenclyffe

  • Getting There: Metro-North to Garrison
  • Length of Hike: 3.7-mile circuit
  • Difficulty: Easy

This is one of the best hikes near NYC due to ease of access with public transit. It couldn’t be easier to reach as the trailhead is located right at the train station. Enjoy an easy jaunt with panoramic views of the Hudson. Just be sure to keep an eye on the trail markers and stick to the path, otherwise, it’s easy to get lost.

Read More: What Is a Forest? Describing Our Most Important Ecosystems

4. Walkway Loop Trail: Easy Hike Near NYC

Do the Walkway Loop Trail to see the Mid Hudson Bridge in all its glory.
Do the Walkway Loop Trail to see the Mid Hudson Bridge in all its glory. (Foto: CC BY 2.0 / Flickr / Prathamesh Kale )
  • Getting There: Metro-North Hudson Line to Poughkeepsie
  • Length of Hike: 4.6-mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy

By doing the Walkway Loop Trail, you’ll be able to walk over the world’s longest elevated pedestrian span and enjoy an excellent view of the Mid-Hudson Bridge. Plus, you can connect up to a further 2.5 miles of trails in Franny Reese State Park to extend your day out even further.

5. Best Hikes Near NYC: Ramapo Dunderberg and Triangle Trail Loop

  • Getting There: Take the train to Seacaucus Junction, then hop on the Port Jervis Line to Tuxedo Station
  • Length of Hike: 8-mile loop
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Enjoy some beautiful lake views as you make your way through the forests of Harriman State Park, which is home to some of the best hikes near NYC. The start of the hike might be a bit challenging for some, but don’t let that scare you. You can actually make this hike as long as you’d like, due to the vast amount of trails (500+) scattered through the state park.

6. Anthony’s Nose: Best Hike Near NYC for Stunning Views

Bear Mountain Bridge is visible on the Anthony's Nose hike.
Bear Mountain Bridge is visible on the Anthony’s Nose hike. (Foto: CC0 / Unsplash / Clay Banks)
  • Getting There: Metro-North Hudson Line to Manitou
  • Length of Hike: 1.9 miles, out and back
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

The route is steep for the first ½ mile, and includes a 500ft rock staircase, but then becomes a bit easier to manage as it levels out. You’ll be rewarded for your hard work with sweeping views of the Hudson River and surrounding area, making it one of the best hikes near NYC.

7. Blue Mountain Reservation Loop

  • Getting There: Metro-North Hudson Line to Peekskill
  • Length of Hike: 12 miles
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

If you’re looking for a way to escape the city, look no further than the Blue Mountain Reservation Loop. Located about a mile from the Peekskill station, you’ll enjoy a relatively smooth journey surrounded by forest. Be warned that you do share the trail with mountain bikers, so keep an eye/ear out for them. Reward yourself at the end by heading to the Peekskill Brewery.

8. Best Hikes Near NYC: Bull Hill (Mt. Taurus) Trail

A glimpse of what awaits you on the Bull Hill trail.
A glimpse of what awaits you on the Bull Hill trail. (Foto: CC0 / Unsplash / Spenser Sembrat)
  • Getting There: Metro-North Hudson Line to Cold Spring
  • Length of Hike: 5.4 mile
  • Difficulty: Intermediate – Expert

If you want to avoid some of the crowds and don’t feel like scrambling over rocks, check out the Bull Hill hike. Located less than a mile away from the more popular Breakneck Ridge Trail, you’ll be able to enjoy the views in a bit more peace. Peak season is between April and October, but you can still luck out with the fall colors into November. The hike is slightly easier than its popular counterpart, but you should still come fully prepared to sweat.

9. Breakneck Ridge Trail

  • Getting There: Metro-North Hudson Line to Breakneck Ridge
  • Length of Hike: 3.5-mile loop
  • Difficulty: Expert

One of the best expert hikes near NYC, the Breakneck Ridge Trail often comes up when discussing the best hikes near NYC. It’ll take approximately 2 hours to reach here by train from the city, but the journey will be worth it. Located in the Hudson Highlands State Park reserve, the Breakneck Ridge Trail is a steep and challenging 3.5-mile loop. You’ll be scrambling over rocks, so be prepared to get your hands dirty! You’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of the Hudson.

Note: Due to its proximity to the city, this is an incredibly popular hike in the summer months, meaning the trails can easily get overcrowded. Be respectful of the vulnerable environment, don’t litter, and stick to the paths.

10. Best Overnight Hike Near NYC: Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail

Don't forget your camping gear if you're doing any overnight hike.
Don’t forget your camping gear if you’re doing any overnight hike. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / LUM3N)
  • Getting There: ShortLine bus to Suffern
  • Length of Hike: 23 miles
  • Difficulty: Expert

Seasoned hikers might be able to get this lengthy trail done in one day if they start early enough, but for most casual hikers this requires camping overnight. This hike does involve trails that are part of the Appalachian Trail, so it can be busy at times. While there are two huts to spend the night in, they can often be full, so make sure you come prepared with sleeping gear. When you get to the end, you’ll cross a busy street and make your way to Manitou station where you can take the Metro-North Hudson Line back to NYC.

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