Updated on September 22, 2016
TAKE A HIKE!
When I travel, I love to seek out outdoor activities like hiking. For some reason I never put much effort into hiking around the New York City area. I changed that recently and started to explore the local area where there are many incredible hikes. Though its fun, it is not necessary to travel to the other side of the planet to find amazing views. To search for hiking trails, I've been using a great free search too provided by New York New Jersey Trail Conference.
HOW TO FIND HIKING TRAILS IN NEW YORK NEW JERSEY
Last year I discovered the free search tool created by New York New Jersey Trail Conference. I can search for trails by location, difficulty, length and features like views and fees. In the past, I also tried using ILOVENY.com but the listings are only good to get ideas. To find a hike, I need a specific location and details on a specific hike. NYNJTC does just that. Do you have other favorite sites?
Have you ever tried to follow a map to a trail head only to get lost and end up not hiking at all? Its happened a few times in the past where we didn't get up as early as planned, followed by not being able to find the poorly marked trail head, followed by skipping the hiking entirely out of frustration. NYNJTC website gives you the exact GPS coordinates and lets you avoid that. Just paste the coordinates into google maps and it brings you to the right place (assuming you have call service).
WHERE ARE THE BEST HIKING TRAINS?
The “Best” trails means something different to everyone and the filters let you find what you are looking for. Some might like a easy stroll where you can walk your dog. Others, like me, want a longer more remote and challenging trails. For example, here are all the hiking trails within 25 miles on New York City. Lots of options on both sides of the Hudson.
Moderate – Strenuous Trails
Next, I searched for trails within 50 miles from NYC which have a difficulty of moderate to strenuous and are longer than 3 miles. I also filtered only trails that end at the start (so I can get back to the car), have nice views and waterfalls.
Clicking on any trail will give you a summary including the distance and how long it takes to get there by car. This hike has “two viewpoints and crossing several streams with cascades” and, of course, the more difficult, the less people you will likely see.
DO I NEED A CAR?
No. You can reach many hikes by public transportation, although a car rental may be more convenient depending on how many people in your group and where you live. The NYNJTC site provides “You Don't Need a Car” information on how to use public transportation to go hiking.
Find promo codes for car rentals on my cheat sheet. I usually get 1 free weekend day with most rentals or at least an upgrade.
TRAIL MAPS & GUIDE BOOKS
NYNJTC creates maps and guide books. Many are provided for free while others can be purchased Amazon.com as well as on their site. These are not necessary but certainly helpful on longer hikes. Some trails may not be clearly marked so, like me, you may get lost from time time… but that's part of the fun!
Get involved! NYNJTC would love to have your help. Check out their volunteer page.
What are your favorite hikes in the NY NJ area? Are there any other websites you use to find trails?