If you are a hiker and headed to New York, please check out this list of excellent trails. It’ll start with easier and shorter hikes that can be done in less than a day and move on to longer and more difficult hikes that may take more than one day. These trails are some of the best hiking in New York with excellent views, wildlife, and more!
Easier, Shorter Hikes
First on our list for the best hiking in New York is Breakneck Ridge.
Breakneck Ridge is located just sixty miles north of New York City. This may be a shorter hike, but it is not as easy as some of the others in this section. Some parts of the trail involve climbing over steep rocks. Don’t let this scare you away, though, because the views are breathtaking. You will pass Sugarloaf Mountain and get some excellent views of the Hudson River.
This short piece of the Appalachian Trail at Anthony’s Nose trail is located just an hour’s car ride from New York City. It is 1.3 miles and includes a 500-foot rock staircase. The trail does continue for another three to four miles at the top of the staircase, but many choose to just climb back down. If you want a longer hike, then you have the option of continuing at the top. Enjoy the views at the top as well!
Constitution Marsh Trail Garrison, NY
The Constitution Marsh Trail in Garrison, New York is a beautiful, easier hike with a visitor’s center. This beautiful spot has lots of birds to watch for the bird enthusiast in your family. There are benches along the trail where you can stop and take in the local wildlife. At the visitor’s center, there is a large aquarium where you can get a close-up look at the local fish and plants in the Hudson River. Additionally, there are beautiful views of Indian Brook Falls along the trail.
The Ausable Chasm is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks.” It is a beautiful site to see. Luckily, the trails are fairly easy for hikers of all abilities. There are four trails to trek, and each one is two miles or less. One can see these beautiful trails on a guided tour and float through the chasm on a tube. This is a place for you and your family to make lots of great memories.
Robert H Treman State Park Ithaca, NY
Last but not least in this section is the Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, New York. The trails feature over a dozen waterfalls. Some of the larger ones include the 115-foot Lucifer Falls and the seventy-foot Lower Falls. You can also get beautiful views along Enfield Creek on the trail. If you are looking to spend the night here, there are multiple camping and RV sites as well.
Lake Senonto Loop
This short trail is near Tuxedo Park, New York in Harriman State Park. This beautiful 8.1-mile trail is about an hour’s drive from New York City. The hike is medium-difficult and can be completed in less than a day. You can see lots of local wildlife here and enjoy fishing and swimming in the lake as well. If you are looking to stay the night in Harriman State Park, there are plenty of campsites.
Watkins Glen Gorge Trail Watkins Glen, New York
If you want some amazing views while hiking in New York, then Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park is where you need to go!
The Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen state park is a beautiful, short hike. The trail itself is only about a mile-and-a-half long, but the scenery and waterfalls along the way are gorgeous. Visitors can come for a day or stay the night at one of the many campsites. Additionally, there are guided tours along the gorge if you are interested in learning more about the area.
John Muir Trail New York City
Finally, the last trail in this section is the John Muir Trail is located in Van Cortlandt Park and is just three miles long. However, you will enjoy three different wooded areas: Northeast Forest, Croton Woods, and the Northwest Forest. The Northeast Forest is more marshlike with red oak trees and many frogs. In the Old Croton woods, you will see hickory, sugar maple, oak, and beech trees. Finally, the Northwest Forest features more hilly terrain. This beautiful park, which is over 1,000 acres, also features playgrounds and play areas for the little ones.
Longer, More Difficult Trails for Hiking in New York
High Rock Park Staten Island
If you are looking for a longer trail for hiking in New York, look no further than High Rock Park in Staten Island, New York. This park is recognized by the United States Department of the Interior as a Natural Environmental Education Landmark. There are six different trails ranging in difficulty. So, you can walk all of them for a longer hike or just one of them for an easier day trip. One of the more difficult of these trails is the 260-foot hill at Moses Mountain. Additionally, the entire park is home to beautiful views, numerous birds to be seen, and other wildlife to take in.
Buttermilk Falls State Park
The trails at Buttermilk Falls state park near Ithaca, New York are fairly short for this section, but they are very strenuous. There are five trails and a beautiful waterfall to be seen. However, the terrain is very steep, so be prepared to get your heart rate up. There is also swimming at the base of the falls, so bring your swimsuit.
Another challenging, long hike can be had at Devil’s Hole State Park at Niagara Falls. These trails have gorgeous views along the Niagara River. There is also a large whirlpool, Devil’s Hole, that you can see along the trail. This is considered a very challenging hike because the terrain is difficult. However, there is also amazing wildlife and scenery to take in. The park also has picnic areas and is a popular spot for fishing.
Overlook Mountain Trail Woodstock, NY
The Overlook Mountain Trail is a beautiful hike along the Catskill Mountains in the Hudson Valley. There is a sixty-foot fire tower along the trail that is recognized by the National Historic Lookout Register. There are also ruins of the never-completed Overlook Mountain House from the 19th Century. This trail does have some challenging terrain. There are loose paths and small rocks that you must pay attention to while hiking. This park is usually hiked over multiple days or a weekend. There are also lots of climbing up and down the various mountains. However, the views are spectacular and there is lots of interesting wildlife to see.
Verkeerderkill Falls Trail Ellenville, NY
The Verkeerderkill Falls Trail is a long and beautiful trail to hike in Ellenville, New York. This trail has a little bit of everything to see along the way. The first part of the trail features a network of the largest known ice caves in the United States. Next, you will see the Verkeerder Kill, which is a braided stream. The trail also features Sam’s Point, which has a sign boasting that it is one of Earth’s “last great places.” Additionally, there is a 187-foot waterfall to be seen along the trail. There are other trails nearby, so you can make this a short hike or a longer, multiple-day hike.
Stairway to Heaven Trail Wilmington, NY
This beautiful trail is known as the Stairway to Heaven near Wilmington, New York. There are both easy and difficult sections to hike. You can also take in the Whiteface Mountain, which is the fifth tallest in the state. There are multiple other trails to be hiked as well. You will see beautiful scenery along the Adirondack Mountains. In the fall, the foliage is stunning. During the winter, you can access the trails by snowshoeing across them. Although, this is not the easiest way to hike.
Saranac Lake 6er
This unique trail at Saranac Lake is what is called a “6er.” The trail features six different peaks that surround the lake. If you’re a hardcore hiker, you might be able to do the trails in twenty-four hours. If you are less experienced, the hike could take a few days. The entire trail spans over thirty-one miles. Don’t let this scare you away. The amazing scenery makes these trails worth it. There are amazing forests, cliff bands, and serene mountain ponds.
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail
Last but not least of our picks for the best hikes in New York is Bear Mountain State Park, which is one of the longest networks of trails in New York.
This 5,000-acre park offers lots of beautiful scenery. There are over fifty different trails to hike in this park spanning over 235 miles of terrain. There is even some of the Appalachian Trail present here. There is also the Bear Mountain Loop, Major Welch Trail, and more. In the nearby park, there is a zoo, an outdoor ice rink, cross country skiing trails, and even a merry-go-round with handpainted animals on it.
Wrapping Up The Best Hiking In New York
If you are an experienced hiker or not, there are plenty of places for hiking in New York to see here. Which of these do you plan on visiting? Tell us in the comments below.
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