60 Hikes within 60 Miles New York City  by Christopher & Catherine Brooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: New York City Guide Book

by Christopher & Catherine Brooks (Menasha Ridge Press)
60 Hikes within 60 Miles New York City  by Christopher & Catherine Brooks
With so many superb trails in the New York City area, planning a hike can be a frustrating endeavor, but with this newly revised and updated edition of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City finding the right trail is a snap. From secluded woods and sun-struck seashores, to lowland swamps and rock-strewn mountain tops, these hikes showcase Paleolithic rock shelters, ruins from the Revolutionary and Civil War periods, a bat cave, ghostly ruins, and much, much more.

© 2013 Christopher and Catherine Brooks/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "60 Hikes within 60 Miles: New York City" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 60.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 60.

After a few hours of rolling along the rocky ridges of Hewitt, you’ll swear you’ve been magically airlifted to the middle of Maine. A big reason for that is the stark, natural beauty of your surroundings, which range from bubbly puddingstone plateaus to an abundance of pitch pines, laurels, and scrub oaks, to the extended views of lakes in several directions, to near-total solitude. The only things missing for a truly authentic Down East experience are incessant swarms of mosquitoes. In spring-time, fuchsia-yellow penstemon and rare moccasin flowers add a touch of magic to this jagged, antediluvian environment. From there, the sharp descent grows more earnest, with the path snaking by one sentinel stone after another, part of a valley of boulders that rolled off the high bluffs eons ago.
Awosting, NJ - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.3
Whether the quarry is birds, the backwoods, or beautiful bodies of water, Allamuchy has what it takes to make your outing a success. In fact, the combination of a wild, untended woodland with countless streams, several swamps, and a couple of lakes adds up to an environment that birds find irresistible. A good many hikers do, too, what with the miles of trails that snake through an underpopulated backcountry.
Hackettstown, NJ - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.2
Put away your fishing rod: the fun at Angle Fly has less to do with fly-fishing than with a lively jaunt along densely forested trails. The array of ecosystems highlighted here, from lowland swamps and bogs to upland meadows, from old-growth hardwoods to new-growth cedars and saplings, makes for a memorable hike. Toss in a few stream-hops and a historic ruin, and how can you go wrong?
Goldens Bridge, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.4
It’s not all uphill at Anthony’s Nose—it only feels that way for much of the hike. The payoff for this strenuous out-and-back’s double ascent is an extended passage through an eyefetching series of granite uplift and dramatic outcroppings, as well as one of the most striking vantage points along the entire Hudson River. The first part of this hike follows yellow blazes along the dirt road by the kiosk. It is usually possible to drive a mile farther to a different parking lot, one that is closer to Deer Park Pond, but we suggest you walk this stretch. It is attractively overgrown by cedar, maple, flowering dogwood, oak, apple, and tulip trees, with a lowland swamp below the road’s right shoulder.
Peekskill, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.2
Only ogres and elves are missing from this enchanting hike, which threads by bogs, boulders, and fallen trees along several meandering trails. Stone walls and catbrier carpet the undulating forest floor, making this charming preserve seem far larger than it actually is. The dogwoods and mountain laurels explode with blossoms from late May to early June. Cross-country skiing is a popular winter activity. Horseback riding for Greenwich Riding and Trails Association members is allowed on designated trails.
Armonk, NY - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 3.5
High country meadows, distant vistas, rugged mountain climbs, and the overgrown ruins of an old village are among the many highlights of this tiring yet delightful calorie-burner of a hike, which also features possible sightings of turkey vultures, hawks, goldfinches, red foxes, white-tailed deer—even black bears and rattlesnakes. No question: this is one of the more exciting moderate-length treks in the New York area, but a couple of challenging stretches are not for those of tender feet. Bear Mountain State Park is, along with its contiguous neighbor to the west, Harriman State Park, one of the most popular nature preserves in the Northeast, reportedly drawing more annual visitors than Yellowstone National Park.
Jones Point, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.1
What’s not to like about wandering a densely forested woodland, complete with a couple of ponds (one of which is patrolled by swans and beavers), where you are more likely to encounter wildlife than other hikers? The only thing we can think of is that eventually—after several heart-thumping climbs to boulder-filled ridges, with a few scenic swamps in between— you will have to leave this wonderful park.
Ridgefield, CT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.1
Take a pinch of iron-mining history, combine that with a highly scenic river, add a few successional fields, a conifer-covered hillside, and the possibility of seeing wildlife, and what do you have? The makings of a tremendous hike along the Black River Trail. This one manages the neat feat of carrying you deep into a wilderness and back in time, all within the confines of a well-populated suburban community. A cabin ruin and hidden cascade add to the fun in a trek you are likely to savor long after its finish.
Chester, NJ - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 6.6
Historians report that Rome was built on seven hills. That’s one more than Black Rock Forest can boast of, but then Black Rock also has half a dozen bodies of water, and because it sees relatively few visitors, you are apt to have many of those features exclusively to yourself. Between the rock-scrambling to vistas and stream-hopping through swamps, you’ll enjoy a great workout in a diversity of habitats that virtually guarantees wildlife sightings.
Storm King Mountain, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 13.5
On lacing up your boots and heading into the Butler Sanctuary, a Nature Conservancy preserve, you will hardly be traveling to Timbuktu. It may seem that way, though, for while it’s a scant half-mile from the Westmoreland Sanctuary, the bite-size Butler sees very few visitors— none at all on some of the days we’ve trekked through.
Mount Kisco, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.1
You don’t have to be a big fan of the Colonial era to enjoy Caleb Smith State Park Preserve— but it doesn’t hurt. Wander beyond its historic house and first-rate nature center, though, and you’ll be on your own—on a really fun hike, that is, through successional fields, pine barrens, swampy hollows freckled with wildflowers and skunk cabbage, with birds all around. Caleb Smith is a tranquil oasis in the heart of suburbia, with trails suitable for even the littlest Bigfoot in your tribe.
Smithtown, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.9
It’s all downhill once you get past Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve’s most obvious landmarks, a dairy farm and brick manor house. Literally, as the extensive trail system meanders among open fields and mature stands of hardwoods, reaching a physical low point by a series of bluffs abutting Long Island Sound. Abundant wildlife—including gray foxes—and a wealth of birds endow every step in this beautiful park with the possibility of surprise or discovery. Springtime, when blossoms color the trees and wildflowers carpet the ground, is our favorite time to visit.
Caumsett State Park, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.3
Do you enjoy traipsing through cedar swamps and backwoods bayous while bounding over boardwalks? Cheesequake is well endowed in each of those categories, with plenty of raw, natural beauty left over to appeal to other tastes. The birding is great by its lake and marshlands. Then there are several notable forests, populated by stands of monumental oaks, tulip trees, and white pines. And the wide, swiftly flowing Cheesequake Creek is so alluring you may be tempted to portage your own canoe.
Matawan, NJ - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.5
It may be hard to believe, but many of Manhattan’s buildings and sidewalks were once made from the clay drawn from the ground of this pocket-size park. The 19th-century brick plant is long gone, replaced now by a fun series of lilting trails that loop by idyllic swamps and peaceful ponds, which serve as a backdrop for a colorful variety of birds and wildflowers.
Carteret, NJ - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.7
Critics carp that this is a long, arid hike without the payoff of vistas or dramatic scenery. They’re missing the larger picture, one that starts with a nucleus of historic houses by a placid lake and loops through pretty pine barrens, enticingly lush fields, and swampy streams, achieving a rollicking climax by an active fish hatchery. Much of the time you’ll be all on your own, with only birds, butterflies, and white-tailed deer for company.
Oakdale, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.6
Talk about bang for the buck: at the David Weld Sanctuary, you get blufftop vistas of Long Island Sound, flowering fruit trees, a hardwood forest highlighted by colossal tulip trees, colorful swamps, a remote group of kettle- hole depressions, and even a few glacial erratics. All that and more, without being nicked for an admission fee! From scattered stands of pines and red cedars to one of the tallest tulip trees on Long Island, from bluffs that rise 50 feet above the Sound to vestigial farms, this easy hike offers something for just about everyone over terrain that as recently as 1920 was largely a clear-cut pasture.
Nissequoque, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.2
The extensive trail system of this sanctuary offers something for every level of walker, from tyros of turf to foot-hearty highlanders. It slices through a rich variety of woodland habitats, showcasing a large pond and numerous streams, a rocky ravine, several granite-wracked gorges, high plateaus with expansive views of the surrounding hills, and even the ruins of a 19th-century lumber mill. Wild turkeys and white-tailed deer teem through these woods, and moist weather brings an intoxicating mix of mushrooms. A “taste of the trail.” Think of this section as a snapshot focused on the historical landmarks, beautiful vistas, and other sights you may encounter on the trail. The information in the key at-a-glance boxes gives you a quick idea of the specifics of each hike. There are 13 basic elements covered. LENGTH The length of the trail from start to finish. There may be options to shorten or extend the hikes, but the mileage corresponds to the described hike. Consult the hike description to help decide how to customize the hike for your ability or time constraints.
Weston, CT - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 7.8
These fun trails undulate so much you may be reminded of a roller-coaster ride. From mossrimmed swamps to granite-struck ridges, this hike passes through an extraordinary clutch of boulders and includes a side trip to a hidden pond that appears to have been forgotten by time.
Putnam Valley, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.8
Relatively smooth, wide pathways make this a foot-friendly environment, one in which you may see an array of avians at any of three ponds and their related wetlands. Glacial erratics, rocky uplift, ridgetop rambles, and a dynamic stream-crossing lend extra frisson to the shady terrain, while an elusive air of mystery emanates from the overgrown remnants of 19th-century iron-mining operations.
Cold Spring, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.7
This is not one of those blow-your-boots-off sorts of sorties, with killer views, phenomenal waterfalls, or anything else of a superlative sort. Its appeal is of a far more subliminal, cerebral nature, in which a rolling up-anddown terrain draws the hiker far into an unpopulated wilderness, a place in which the squealing of hawks overhead is more common than the squawking of other people, and mushrooms on the trail are a more frequent sight than hikers’ litter.
Cold Spring, NY - Hiking - Trail Length: 13.5