Need to get away from the concrete jungle of NYC? There are beautiful hiking trails and parks only a stone’s throw away from the city. Many people are not aware of the parks and hiking trails accessible to them right outside of the city’s limits.
Pelham Bay Park
The Bronx’s Pelham Bay Park offers the Kazimiroff Nature Trail, an approximately 2-mile hike that loops through an area of the park known as Hunter Island. You enter the trail from the northern corner of the Orchard Beach parking lot. You can choose to hike a shorter 30-minute loop or a slightly longer 45-minute path, both of which wind through a variety of beautiful landscapes including meadows, woods and the always beautiful views of the Long Island Sound.
Curbed NYC writes that easily the post popular day trip for city dwellers, Breakneck Ridge is just over an hour from Grand Central on the Metro-North. The hike begins at river level and ascends more than 1,500 feet up a steep ridge. This five mile hike is strenuous and does involve some maneuvering over large rocks, but hikers are rewarded with stunning views of the Hudson Valley at several points along the trail.
Palisades Interstate Park
Palisades Interstate Park is outstanding for one very good reason: approximately 2,500 acres of untouched Hudson River shorefront viewing. The Palisades—which are the cliffs overlooking the Hudson—provide awe-inspiring views over Manhattan and Westchester. Need more reasons to hike through Palisades Interstate Park? It is only a half an hour drive outside of NYC and hawk sightings are a frequent occurrence.
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Did you know there was a wildlife refuge right outside of JFK airport? The terrain of the land includes a mix of gravel trails and ponds. This beautiful refuge is also home to more than 330 bird species, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, and 60 species of butterflies. On a hike through Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, you will always come across fauna such as yucca plants and prickly pear cactus flourish.
Sometimes you just need an escape to nature, especially when living in New York City. Luckily these parks and all less and two hours from the big city. Pack up and enjoy the fresh air in one of these beautiful parks!