Outdoorsy adventure near Manhattan
July 7, 2007 10:33 PM   Subscribe

City boy gets a car: what are some spur-of-the-moment outdoorsy-type things to do within two hours drive of Manhattan?

I have access to a car for the day tomorrow and want to make a little day trip to escape the hustle bustle of the city. I'm thinking of something along the lines of a small hiking expedition within 2 hours drive of Manhattan. Neither myself nor my friends are real hikers, so nothing too perilous or advanced, but it would be great to have a nice rewarding hike.

Any other outdoorsy suggestions would be totally appreciated. I'm up for anything! I'd ideally like to be gone for about 6 or 7 hours, so the shorter the drive, the better.
posted by kmtiszen to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
There's plenty of hiking to the north and west of the city. Bear Mountain SP has plenty to do and is easy to get to. Harriman State Park and the Seven Lakes Drive are lovely for hiking or cycling.
posted by janell at 10:48 PM on July 7, 2007

Harriman SP is only 30 miles from NYC, but I'm not a New Yorker, so I have no idea how long this would take to drive.
posted by mdonley at 12:36 AM on July 8, 2007

Fire Island National Seashore? My kids and I had some great mornings there.
posted by paulsc at 12:38 AM on July 8, 2007

For something totally insane, check out the Paulinskill Viaduct. Take the GWB to route 80 west to route 94 North (via exit 4). Go through the tunnel and make a right on the one way metal bridge - the street is called Station Road. Follow it around the corner and you'll see the viaduct looming over you. You can hike up the mountain a little and find your way into it. Bring flashlights!!! It's supposed to be hot today too so bring a bathing suit! I'm completely serious. Google it for more info. It's truly epic. Send me a message if you need further clarification.
posted by infinityjinx at 12:42 AM on July 8, 2007

Beth Page State Park on Long Island has nice easy trails.
posted by nicwolff at 1:24 AM on July 8, 2007

lots of great stuff in the Hudson Valley... get yourself an Appalachian Mountain Club guidebook and go at it. Check out West Point and Cold Spring... You can make it to the Catskills in two hours, see Woodstock, Opus 40, lots of hiking around there...
posted by objdoc at 3:50 AM on July 8, 2007

I would go up to Cold Spring. First I would hike BreakNeck Ridge ridge then I would walk around in the town of Cold Spring and see the antique shops and get dinner at a local restaurant. You can get there in two roads from NYC. Take the WestSide Highway north; it becomes the Henry Hudson. Stay on it as it becomes the Saw Mill River Pkway. Take it North to signs for the Taconic Parkway Albany. Get off on that exit but stay to the right. Go one exit on the taconic to the exit for 9A/100. Stay on 9A until you see signs for the Bear Mtn Bridge. Make that left around the traffic circle to the Bridge. It is a scenic and winding road. DO NOT get onto the bridge. Bear right at the bridge and stay on 9A until you reach Cold Spring.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:38 AM on July 8, 2007

There's also the Shawgunks, which are just south of the Catskills. These are all awesome suggestions. I am now woeful I never knew about the Paulinskill Viaduct...
There's also a tremendous amount of great food in the Hudson River Valley, Zagat's is a pretty fair guide.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:08 PM on July 8, 2007

not exactly a hiking adventure but Six Flags Great Adventure is only a short trip from NY.
posted by STHayden at 1:41 PM on July 8, 2007

Hike the Gunks! Check www.mohonkpreserve.org for details of the trailheads. There are three adjoining areas - mohonk preserve, mohonk mountain house, and minnewaska state park. I totally, completely recommend the preserve. $9 day pass for hikers and so, so worth it. I was there yesterday for a nice stroll. Check my flickr site (userid same there as it is here) for a few photos from the area.
posted by devbrain at 2:49 PM on July 8, 2007

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