New York City, NY

Stunning day hikes near New York City, NY to escape the city this weekend

The Nerdy Me

Just because you live in a big city such as New York does not mean you cannot see some of the most stunning landscapes and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet during the weekend.

There some of the most stunning and breathtakingly beautiful hiking trails just a few miles away from New York City which you can easily reach by car or public transport in a couple of hours or less.

A day in nature will not only lift your spirits a bit in this dull time but will also make up for a great exercise for your body.

So if you looking for ways to escape the buzzing city, here are some of the best hikes you can take near New York City!

John Muir Trail

Photo by Emon Hassan

This 3 miles John Muir Trail is perfect if you do not feel like driving hours or taking a two-hour train. The trail crosses the Van Cortlandt park from east to west and will take you through three distinct wooded areas: the Northeast Forest, Croton Woods, and the Northwest Forest.

You will be surprised that such terrain even exists near New York City. To reach the trail, you can take the 1 train to the end of the line in the Bronx and head to Van Cortlandt Park.

Ken Lockwood Gorge Trail

Photo by Will Mill on Flickr

55 miles west into New Jersey near the small town of Califon you can find the Ken Lockwood Gorge trail. This is a 3.8-mile short hiking trail alongside the beautiful South Branch of the Raritan River.

The trail is accessible all-year-round and is suitable for all fitness levels, so you definitely do not need to worry about getting out of breath. Well, maybe only because of the stunning views you will encounter.

Gertrude's Nose Trail

Photo by

This is a bit longer trail but just as beautiful or even more. The Gertrude's Nose trail is an approximately 7.8-mile hiking trail traversing through the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

The hike is loop shape, so you definitely won't get bored. Expect chalky white rock outcroppings and lush forest while there.

The start and the end of the hike are at Lake Minnewaska, so if you feel like dipping your toes into the water, don't forget to pack appropriate attire and a picnic basket for a filling lunch before the journey home.

Stairway to Heaven Trail

Photo by njHiking

If ever wanted to hike the Appalachian trail, this is your chance. Stairway to Heaven is a short 3-mile trek along the old Appalachian trail route.

You can choose different variations of this hike from a quick 2.6-mile to a longer 7.8-mile hike depending on your fitness level and mood.

Along the route, you will observe meadows, forests, the best bouldering spots, waterfall and maybe even beautiful wildflowers if you hike at the right time. You will need to climb Wawayanda Mountain, so good hiking shoes are advised.

Lake Skenonto Loop

Photo by Harriman Hiker

For an easier alternative, opt for the Lake Skenonto loop trail which is just an hour drive away from the city. The trail is 8.1-mile in length within the Harriman State Park and is rated moderately when it comes to difficulty.

So if you are looking for something more refreshing, a day spent on the shore of the lake is one of the best options. Especially on a super hot day when the city life just gets too much.

Have you been to some of these? Or maybe you have more suggestions for fellow hiking lovers? Let us know in the comments below.

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