New York, New York is no doubt one of the most famous urban jungles in the world. But did you know there's nearby nature to explore, too? If you’re looking to escape the bustling crowds and busy city life, check out these incredible parks and hiking trails!

photoPhilip Matarese Flickr cc by 2.0

Orange Trail

Inwood Hill Park

Length: 2 km loop

Welcome to the only flourishing forest on Manhattan Island. Here, hikers will find glacial formations and historic relics. The Orange Trail travels through the trees, past the Cock Hill Fort Site and Rock Formations, and showcases the Hudson River and Spuyten Duyvil Creek.

Read more: nycgovparks.org

Distance from NYC: 20 km

Salt Marsh Nature Trail

Marine Park

Length: 1.3 km

The Salt Marsh Nature Trail in Brooklyn's Marine Park is a must-visit for wildlife lovers. Marine Park is home to over 325 bird species, 50 butterfly species and 100 finfish species. This short trail features an important salt marsh which naturally helps filter pollutants from contaminating bays and oceans. 

Read more: nycgovparks.org

Distance from NYC: 16 km

 

Blue Trail

Forest Park

Length: 2.7 km

Located in Queens, Forest Park has a golf course, tennis court, carousel and (you guessed it) hiking trails. The Blue Trail takes visitors through oak-hickory forests and kettle ponds. Forest Park is a beautiful place to spend a day hiking and exploring.

Read more: nycgovparks.org

Distance from NYC: 19 km

John Muir Trail

Van Cortlandt Park

Length: 2.4 km

The Van Cotlandt Park is New York City’s third largest park and offers visitors a peaceful break from the busy Bronx area. The John Muir Trail crosses the park, leading through three unique forests along the way. Visitors will experience the Northeast Forest, Croton Woods and the Northwest Forest. All feature different types of trees and foliage, so you won't be bored.

Read more: nycgovparks.org

Distance from NYC: 25 km

Yellow Trail

Alley Pond Park

Length: 3.5 km loop

Alley Pond Park has diverse natural features including salt marshes, meadows and forests. The Yellow Trail takes hikers on a loop around Alley Creek. The trailhead is located beside the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC) where you can learn more about the natural history of the park.

Read more: alleypond.com 

Distance from NYC: 29 km

photojohn Flickr cc by nd 2.0 

Victory Boulevard

Clove Lakes Park

Length: 4.8 km

Clove Lakes Park is home to a rich ecological history full of lakes, ponds and serpentine rocks on Staten Island. Take the Victory Boulevard Trail and stroll alongside the park’s lakes and through forested hillsides. Hikers can enjoy walking across beautiful bridges as well as seeing New York City’s largest tulip tree.

Read more: nycgovparks.org

Distance from NYC: 23 km

 

Briarcliff-Peekskill Trailway

Blue Mountain Reservation

Length: 19.3 km

With over one thousand acres of forests, mountains, lakes, campgrounds and trails, there is plenty to do and see here. Horseback riding and mountain biking are available activities on other trails throughout the Blue Mountain Reservation. The Briarcliff-Peekskill Trailway takes visitors past ponds, lakes and an aqueduct.

Read more: parks.westchestergov.com 

Distance from NYC: 77 km

 

Skannatati Loop

Harriman State Park

Length: 4.8 km

Located in the Palisades Region, Harriman State Park is home to over 300 kilometers of trails, 31 lakes and reservoirs, multiple camping areas and plenty of wildlife. The park is also home to various bird conservation areas making it a great spot for bird watchers. Take the Skannatati Loop trail and enjoy beautiful views of Skannatati Lake.

Read more: parks.ny.gov 

Distance from NYC: 80 km

 

Wolfe’s Pond Trail

Wolfe’s Pond Park

Length: 1.2 km

Wolfe’s Pond Park is one of Staten Island’s largest parks. It is home to a beautiful beach and is also a wildlife and plant preserve. Take the Wolfe’s Pond Trail for a peaceful stroll and finish off by sunbathing at the park’s beach afterwards. 

Read more: nycgovparks.org

Distance from NYC: 32 km

Rainbow Falls

Adirondack Mountain Reserve

Length: 15 km roundtrip

This trail is the furthest from NYC on our list, but it's well-worth the four-hour drive to get there. Follow along a dirt path, watching out for deep canyon slopes, until you hear the beautiful waterfall. As you get closer, you can even feel its resfreshing spray.

Read more: lakeplacid.com

Distance from NYC: 430 km

    

Have you hiked these trails near NYC?

Comment below or tweet us!

   

Related content on explore-mag.com:

Plan your next great adventure with explore!
Off the beaten path locations, tips and tricks, interviews with intrepid explorers and more.