Best Hiking Trails and Nature Walks in and Around NYC


If you love nature, you’ll be relieved to know there’s plenty of fun and interesting walks and trails in NYC. In order to show their breath and variety, we’ve put together a list of the best hiking trails and nature walks in and around NYC!

The Alley Pond Park Loop

Starting off our list of the best hiking trails and nature walks in and around NYC is the Alley Pond Park Loop. This location is extremely popular in NYC as a place to go running, hiking or just for a stroll. A lot of people also tend to spend their day here with their pets, so expect to see a bunch of people walking their dogs. If you want to explore most of the Loop, you can do it in just over an hour. The trails are also very easy to traverse, so even beginners just getting into the hobby of hiking will be able to do it with ease. Since the park is within Queens, you also have the benefit of being able to admire beautiful nature within the city itself. So, even if you get tired quickly, all the modern conveniences are just a few minutes away.

The Forest Park Loop

The second location we’d like to recommend within NYC is the Forest Park Look. This is another area where you’ll easily encounter others, and it’s a perfect place for mountain biking, hiking and even horseback riding. Of course, no matter what you opt for, remember that plenty of other people will be there and act responsibly! Especially if you are new to horseback riding and there’s a serious chance someone would get hurt if you’re careless. All the trails are extremely well maintained and clearly marked out, so there’s no chance of missing your path. Now, do note that due to the popularity of the park, it’s hard to park in the intended area. So, you’ll most likely have to find a parking spot in one of the nearby streets instead. Of course, if you visit due to the less popular seasons for hiking, this isn’t as big an issue.

The Central Park East and West Drive Loop

Central Park is already one of the best-known and popular locations to enjoy nature in NYC. You can see a ton of people in the park at all times, be they spending a day with the family or just taking their pets for a stroll. All the paths are properly paved and maintained, so even nature lovers who are wheelchair-bound can enjoy their time here. Especially since the Park takes care to be extra wheelchair-friendly. Due to how serene and beautiful the area is, as well as how easily accessible it is, this is the perfect place to de-stress after events such as a long-distance move once you have your items transferred safely.

The Prospect Park Loop

The final of the best hiking trails and nature walks in and around NYC within the city itself on our list is the Prospect Park Loop. This park shares a lot of its traits with Central Park, even though it has an appeal of its own. First, the park has a ton of attractions for children, so you can have someone watch them while you spend the day enjoying your walk. Second, the park is also wheelchair and pet-friendly, and you can even catch special concerts and band performances during summer. And, finally, a stable within the park offers trail rides, so it’s an amazing opportunity to try out something new! Of course, because the park is within the city and so popular, you’ll also really get to know the city you are exploring.

Anthony’s Nose Hike

Starting off our list of trails in the vicinity of NYC is Anthony’s Nose Hike. It’s a rather well known hike, both for its ‘moderate’ difficulty that stays challenging yet fun and the beauty of the sights you’ll get to appreciate. The hike offers some stunning views of the North-South Lake, and if you’d like and the weather allows for it, you can also bring a bathing suit and take a dip! Now, because of the difficulty level and rough terrain, do properly dress for the occasion. And remember to purchase a solid pair of hiking boots if you don’t have one already! Finally, as the storage experts from like to point out, a lot of people destroy their devices due to improper storage during hikes. So, you may want to rent a storage space for them while you adventure.

The Bull Hill Trail

Located within the Hudson Highlands State Park is the Bull Hill Trail. You can get here from NYC within about an hour and a half, so it’s not too far out of the way to visit. The trail is also considered to be of ‘moderate’ hiking difficulty. This means that there’s plenty of terrain to cover, and most of it is rather rough. Of course, it’s still possible to do it even for someone who’s never gone hiking before. As long as they’re in moderately good shape that is. If planning to do the whole trail remember it takes around three to four hours to complete and plan accordingly.

The Cornish Estate Trail

If you are looking for an easier hike within the Hudson Highlands State Park, we present to you the Cornish Estate Trail. The trail has the same starting point as the Bull Hill Trail, but provides a completely different experience. It is beautiful and picturesque, of course, but it’s also much, much easier and considered a ‘beginner’ trail. The trail also ends in the ruins of an old estate which it got its name from. The place is ridiculously picturesque and photogenic. So, if you’re in it for the photos, you’ll get some great ones without doubt. It’s also a great intro to all the great things to do in the Hudson Valley if you’re considering further exploration.

The Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze Trails

The final entry on our list of the best hiking trails and nature walks in and around NYC are The Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze Trails. They are linked, and located in the Mohonk Preserve, about two hours from NYC. A warning, however: they are hard. They come out to just about eight miles altogether. But those eight miles will make you climb, almost crawl under rocks, squeeze through what are, to some, uncomfortably tight spaces, and even travel through caves. The Lemon Squeeze is named that way because it literally involves squeezing your way through the passage, for example. You will find an occasional ladder to help you out, and that alone should indicate the difficulty of the experience. So, don’t go here unless you are an experienced hiker, know you can take it, and want to challenge yourself!

Picking from the best hiking trails and nature walks in and around NYC

Thanks to our guide to the best hiking trails and nature walks in and around NYC, you can pick out the ones that best suit your interests. Whether you want a leisurely experience or a challenge, you’ll find it here!

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