Where to Go Hiking in New York

Where to Go Hiking in New York
New York is a state that is most famous for being the home of the largest city in the country. When New York is mentioned, the first thing to come to many people's mind is New York City and the Statue of Liberty, but that is just one city. New York is a much larger state that moves beyond the borders of that crowded urban environment and opens up into quiet, passive countryside. Rolling hills give way to mountains that are rich with forest and wildlife. All of these elements combine to give New York some of the most incredible trails a hiker could ever dream of. If you live in New York or will be visiting the area, spend a day or two exploring the scenic beauty that these trails have to offer.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Find the trail head for Breakneck Ridge two miles north of Cold Spring, New York., The hiking trail on Breakneck Ridge is one of the most challenging trails in New York, but also one of the most rewarding. Thousands of hikers flock to this area during spring, summer and fall to enjoy the stunning views, although the winter season is typically too icy and dangerous for hiking up the steep grades. Although you will encounter a lot of hikers at the start of the trail, the crowd quickly thins out as the trail ascends 800 feet within the first half-mile. At some points the grade is so steep that hand rails are needed to aid in the climb, but the rewards are worth far more than the difficulty of the challenge. A distant view of West Point Military Academy is followed by an unobstructed view of almost the entire Hudson River. The trail comes to an end at the Mount Beacon fire tower, where hints of Manhattan's skyscrapers can be seen in the distance.
Step 2
Consider that Mount Marcy is a hiking location that should be visited by anyone hiking in New York. This is the highest point in the State of New York, yet the gentle grade of the 15-mile hiking trail make the Summit relatively easy for anyone to reach. The first section of the trail, up to the Marcy Dam, has only a 180-foot change in elevation and is very easy to navigate. Beyond this point, the trail alternates between moderately steep grades and flat areas, making it easy to manage the hike. Along the way you will encounter the top of Indian Falls that provides scenic views of the entire MacIntyre mountain range, with Mounts Algonquin and Colden in the foreground. The trail ends at the Summit of Mount Marcy, high above the treeline, where you will find yourself surrounded by a sea of mountain ranges.
Step 3
Try the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. More commonly referred to as the Appalachian Trail, it is a hiking trail that runs nearly 2,200 miles. The trail navigates the countryside between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Katahdin in Maine. One of the many scenic locations along this trail is Bear Mountain, New York. Those who choose to hike on the Bear Mountain trail often choose to depart from the aptly named Bear Mountain Inn. Foresters built this lodge style building in 1915 from wood and stone that was present on site. The Bear Mountain trail that leads out from the inn is a combination of forest and exposed bedrock. Parts of the trail are steep enough to provide a challenging climb, but the views of the Hudson River and the surrounding woodlands. The 12-mile trail will eventually ascend several peaks before reaching Lake Tiorati.
Step 4
Visit the Catskills. No hiking trip to New York would be complete without a visit here. One of the best areas to hike in the Catskills is the Indian Head Mountain Trail. The best place to access this trail is Tannersville, NY. The trail takes nearly five hours to complete and loops around Indian Head Mountain and Twin Mountain. Breathtaking views of the Catskills can be seen at all points along the trail, making it a favorite location among those who live in the area. Unlike some of the steeper hiking trails in New York, the Indian Head trail is open all year, allowing you to appreciate the full beauty of the mountain range during each season.

Tips & Warnings

Avoid hiking alone. You can never predict when accidents will occur and you can't always be sure that other hikers will be on the trail to help you. Since most hiking trails are in remote areas that are far from help, use the buddy system when hiking, going with one or more friends.

Article Written By Wirnani Garner

Wirnani was born in the Philippines, where she had constant access to a rural jungle environment. In addition to exploring the island jungles, Wirnani spent much of her youth interacting with local wildlife, swimming in the Philippine Sea and rafting on the Davao River. She also routinely went on backpacking trips along the trails of Mount Apo, the highest peak of the Philippine Islands. Wirnani currently lives near the Ozark Mountains of Northern Arkansas. The location provides an abundance of hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and fishing opportunities. When she's not spending time outdoors, Wirnani enjoys studying biology and human health sciences.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.