Did you know that spending time in nature increases the sense of well-being and boosts happiness? It also helps reduce stress and improve sleep.
So wear your most comfortable shoes, grab a bottle of water and prepare yourself to enjoy five trails you can easily reach from N.Y. to take a one-day trip into nature!
Kazimiroff Nature Trail
The first trail is right in the Big Apple, to be precise, in the Bronx. The Kazimiroff Nature Trail is part of the largest New York City park, the Pelham Bay Park.
The Kazimiroff Nature Trail was dedicated on June 19, 1987, to Dr. Theodore Kazimiroff, a dentist who worked with dedication to explore, protect and preserve the park's ecosystem.
The Kazimiroff Nature Trail consists of 3.3 miles of loop trails that run through 189 acres of Hunter Island. The trails are marked with two different colors, red and blue. You can find a map on the Friends of Pelham Bay Park website.
It's a short and mostly flat hike, suitable for families and everyone willing to relax and enjoy the surrounding natural scenery.
Mount Beacon Park
Easily reachable thanks to the Metro-North line, Mount Beacon Park features a steep trail that starts on a staircase that follows the route of the Beacon Incline Railway, once the world's steepest funicular.
Observation platforms located atop the stairs allow you to enjoy a stunning view of Hudson Highlands and the Catskill Mountains.
If you keep going for an extra mile, you can reach the South Mount Beacon fire tower, which is the highest point in the whole of the Hudson Highlands, and enjoy the breathtaking view over the Hudson Valley.
Stairway to Heaven
The Stairway to Heaven Trail is 2.6 miles long path located near Vernon and part of the Appalachian Trail. It is open year-round, and despite being rated as moderate, it has a very steep climb up to the top of Wawayanda Mountain on the Appalachian Trail that makes you feel like you're about to climb up into the clouds.
Once on top, you will enjoy a great view of the Vernon Valley, Pochuck Mountain, the Kittatinny's, Catskills, and the Black Dirt region. The trail then traverses the top of Wawayanda Mountain to another lookout and then starts descending, passing close to some cascades.
The Stairway to Heaven trail is about 50 miles away from N.Y.C.
Breakneck Ridge Trail
One hour's drive away from N.Y.C., the Breakneck Loop is an excellent option for experts as a hiking day trip out of the city.
The hike is rated as difficult as it includes some steep climbs and rock scrambles over ledges very slippery when wet. It runs for about five miles, from the west side of Route 9D, heads up Breakneck Ridge, and winds down Wilkinson Memorial Trail, passing Sugarloaf Mountain on the descent.
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