Treks in the City?
June 9, 2008 7:43 PM   Subscribe

What are some moderately intense / refreshing hikes within easy reach of New York City?

Some things I'm looking for: moderate elevation change, preferably in the 7-8 mile range (give or take, depending on elevation), maybe exploring upper level fir forests around Harriman Park? Recommendations for overnight trips a plus - I've been doing day hikes for WAY too long, am eager to get back into full immersion.

Added points if people can recommend hiking meet-ups in the NYC area that head out to the Catskills / Bear Mountain area. I'm a bit out of the loop on this, any advice would be appreciated. As far as the hikes go, I've checked out and 60 hikes and have a good sense of what's out there, but I'd love personal recommendations. What are some good routes to check out?

Caveat: Must be accessible by train / subway, or close enough to get to either one by cab.

Thanks in advance!
posted by puckish to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

I don't know how much these links will help, but I will try to describe and send you on a few of my favorite hikes:

Coldspring. Ride Metro North, and get off at this stop. There is an info booth right next to the train stop (and they will tell you where the various trailheads are located). If you want more info such as a map, stop at a book store within the next two blocks and purchase maps. Some of the hikes in this area have slight elevation (up and down hills). Don't know if it is rigorous enough for you, but I find this area very beautiful and easy to get to by train.

Now a place with a LOT of initial elevation is Breakneck Ridge. This is also at a train stop. You can't miss the place to get on the trail as this is within feet of the train (and everyone else gets off at this stop, just to go hiking). Steep, steep climb. Great views. Ends in coldspring if you follow it out for several miles. I would suggest a map and that may be the reason you should go to Coldspring the first time -- buy the map there and come to Breakneck another time.

If you want to do group hikes, I would suggest Appalachian Mountain Club. Relatively inexpensive and you can canoe with them, hike, bike, etc. Many of their hikes meet near trains and subways. They will send you a monthly booklet with a description of the hikes and where to meet and how to get there.

Have fun.
posted by Wolfster at 9:55 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Check out Shorewalkers. They do really neat walks and hikes around the New York City area (have covered the Pallisades) all near water. They're most well known for "The Great Saunter," a 32 mile walk around the perimeter of Manhattan. I did it in 2005 and it was great fun. That's their most intense hike. There is also a social aspect to all of their walks, which is a nice plus.

You'll see parts of the city and its surrounds that you never knew existed.
posted by brookeb at 11:16 PM on June 9, 2008

Time Out New York had a feature about Great NY Walks a couple months ago.
posted by spec80 at 6:36 AM on June 10, 2008

The Appalachian Mountain Club also sometimes facilitates rides.

How about a hiking meet up?
posted by shothotbot at 11:30 AM on June 10, 2008

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