Hiking near NYC
April 23, 2009 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a good hike near NYC?

I have an unexpected day off tomorrow and want to get out of the city for the day (8AM to 6PM, give or take). I am basically looking to walk outside for a few hours - it can be easy or difficult, covered or exposed, long or short. I'm in shape but am not an experienced hiker. The big problem is that I don't have a car and would need to take public transportation. Before I spend three hours googling this stuff, has anyone had a good experience with this kind of thing? I'd love it if I could take a train there and not deal with taxis once I get to the station. Thanks!
posted by JamesWilson123 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Hey, if you google "good hike near nyc" you, cunningly enough, get this as the first hit:

ask #65854.
posted by devbrain at 2:37 PM on April 23, 2009

I am going to sound redundant since I posted an answer in the question that devbrain is posting, but...

Take the train to Coldspring. When you get off in the center of town (there is no way to miss it), you can either go to the bookstore on the left side of the street or the outdoor store on the right side of the street. Purchase a map of the trails (I have needed them) - it marks the trails by color (blue, yellow, etc.) Ask the person how to get to the trailhead, but basically you walk down a side street from that area and walk perhaps half a mile --->trailheads. Eighty perent of the time I pass someone going to the same place.

Most of the trails from there are pleasant - rolling hills at the most, and a few scenic overlooks. If you are ambitious and wanted to go for several miles, plot it out on your map and you can probably spend half the day out there. There are places in town that you can either get a really nice meal at the end or ice cream, YMMV.

Save the map -- and next time you go out to that area get off at Breakneck. This is a challenging hike (you go straight up for a mile or two), but there are no stores, maps, etc at that location so I would save it for the next trip when you the map in hand.

Have fun. I've gone hiking in that area 5 or 6 times and am still not bored by it.
posted by Wolfster at 3:10 PM on April 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: That's weird - I searched MeFi before I asked. Plugged in 'hike New York City' or something and got 4 hits but not the one above. Oh well. Thanks...
posted by JamesWilson123 at 3:21 PM on April 23, 2009

Just to up the redundancy factor, a friend in the area seconds Breakneck Ridge.
posted by hippugeek at 4:00 PM on April 23, 2009

Seconding Cold Spring. It's a nice train ride and Wolfster's description is entirely accurate. We bought our maps at the outdoor store.
posted by rustcellar at 4:16 PM on April 23, 2009

The other thread also mentions Tuxedo, NY, which I can also recommend.
posted by rustcellar at 4:18 PM on April 23, 2009

+1 on Breakneck Ridge/Cold Spring It may be muddy after the initial scramble up. 3 Days of heavy rain.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:18 PM on April 23, 2009

If you want to get some culture with your hiking, you could try Storm King Art Center. I went for my birthday a few years ago and it was gorgeous. There's public transit available.
posted by funkiwan at 6:12 PM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

breakneck ridge is freaking amazingly awesome. and the train stops a 5 minute walk from the trailhead.

make DAMN sure you pick up a map from little wooden thingy at the start. check out my pics, i have a snapshot of the map as well, MTA directions too: http://tinyurl.com/breakneckblogentry

but you should wait until it's a little warmer. you could easily visit this place 4-5 times and try different trails each time.
posted by exhilaration at 1:16 PM on April 24, 2009

Response by poster: Just got back from Cold Springs. Great suggestion. The white trail was a lot harder than I expected at first.
posted by JamesWilson123 at 5:35 PM on April 24, 2009

I looked at #65854 myself last night and this morning before heading out for a hike (I ended doing a mostly road-based hike near Katonah).

I can also recommend the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference site, which has a nice searchable/filterable hike finder.
posted by anarchivist at 8:30 PM on May 3, 2009

In the past few weeks, I've also discovered a couple of good blogs covering NYC-area hiking: Day Tripper and Trail Tramps.
posted by anarchivist at 6:10 PM on June 28, 2009

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