Need a Break from the City? These are the Best Hiking Trails to Follow Nearby

August 22, 2020

Do you ever think about escaping the city and into paradise? A lot of us don’t have the money to spontaneously fly to Fiji or the Bahamas, but the good news is that escaping into a different type of paradise is still highly doable. And it’s right in New York’s backyard!

Hiking has been proven to lower stress levels, improve moods, lower risk for heart disease and even improve your blood pressure. So what are you waiting for? Go on a hike to somewhere secluded and enjoy nature at its finest!

Don’t know which hike you want to take? Below are a few options not too far from the city that’ll clear your mind.

Adirondack Mountains

A hike great for beginners and experts alike, there’s a trail out there for everybody at Adirondack Mountains. The official website,, boasts, “more than 2,000 miles of the most scenic trails in New York wind along forested paths, skip along waterfalls, leading to summits with 360-degree views that extend as far as the eye can see.”

Looking for a quick “in and out” walk? I suggest the Mirror Lake Loop, which is only a little over two miles long and features a breathtaking view of the lake.

Want a workout instead? Try the Siamese Ponds Trail. The trail is 13.1 miles that is a little steep and rocky until it flattens out for a nice cool down after the workout. Although the trail has been marked as difficult, many say that it is rewarding (and a great place to take pictures, too).

Catskill Mountains

The Catskill Mountains are a great place for all hikers. They have a range of trails for all types — whether you are just starting out, or are experienced. Their website states that hikers will create strong bonds with the trails that will have them coming back time and time again.

Giant Ledge has one of the best views of the Catskills. Marked for intermediate hikers, this hike is approximately four miles long. But you’ll feel rewarded at the end when you see the breathtaking views. Some recommend staying overnight to stargaze or waking up early in the morning to see the sunrise.

Want to see a waterfall instead? Head over to Kaaterskills Falls, where you’ll be met with a towering waterfall (which, according to the website, is higher than Niagara Falls). The trail has been marked for intermediate hikers. It’s pretty steep, but there are also stairs to make it slightly more accessible.

Mongaup River Trail

Located in Orange County, New York, this easy to moderate hike is great for hikers who love fauna as much as they do flora! The Mongaup River Trail gives hikers a great opportunity to see eagles and waterfowl. Stretching a little over two miles with an elevation of 108 feet, reviewers say it’s incredibly serene, especially when listening to the rush of the river.

Shadmoor State Preserve (Trail)

This particular trail is a little further away from the other hikes on this list. Located in Long Island, the Shadmoor State Preserve Trail spans about two miles that will bring you great views of the coast. Although an easy hike, it is best to not bring your dogs on this one as there are, unfortunately, a lot of ticks.

Bear Mountain

Last but not least, Bear Mountain. Hikers might have to be a little cautious with this trail as it has become incredibly popular in recent years…and for good reason! The Bear Mountain Trail (the most popular) makes hikers work hard to reap the benefits of the divine view of the Hudson. The trail fills up pretty quickly on the weekends, so better hurry and get there early!

Dunderberg, Bald Mountain, and The Time Loop

If you’re looking for a workout at Bear Mountain, give these trails a try. The recent Tropical Storm Isaias has uprooted some trees, making it slightly more difficult to climb. The loop spans across seven miles and has an elevation of 1.8K. This is a good hike for those who are experienced.

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