Hiking Near New York City
No plans for a weekend? Don't stay home! We have some amazing hiking near New York City. I will go to the ends of the earth (like Patagonia, Chile or Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand) to find some amazing views and beautiful hikes. Too often. I forget to look in my backyard. A quick weekend getaway is easy and inexpensive. To figure out where to go, I used a cool free tool I previously wrote about here “finding the best hiking trails“. The tool is called New York New Jersey Trail Conference.
Looking to kill two birds with one stone (hiking and getting SPG elite stay credit), I started by searching for Starwood hotels near both nyc and the hiking areas. The 3 SPG hotels that made the most sense were Sheraton Tarrytown, Four Points Newburgh Stewart Airport and Four Points Scranton (Check them out on Booking or Agoda). There are a few others if you head farther north east into Connecticut and Massachusetts which I may try out in the future.
I used 7k SPG points to book one night at Four Points Newburgh Stewart Airport, which I reviewed here. This hotel stay is not really necessary and the price was a bit steep as I could drive to the trail in a bit over an hour from Manhattan. Anyway, I wanted to get an early start and of course, get one stay towards my platinum status.
One mistake: We planned to buy water on the way. We had to back track almost all the way back to the hotel as there were no stores around. Argh! That's a waste of more than 30-40 minutes when I was really itching to get out on the trail! So much for getting an early start. Forget about finding any stores nearby!
Mt. Misery/Rattlesnake Hill/Black Rock Mountain
We choose this moderate-strenuous 7.5 miles hike: Mt. Misery/Hill of Pines/Rattlesnake Hill/Black Rock Mountain Loop. The name was really appealing to someone like me who likes all sorts of wildlife including scary reptiles. It is about a 25 min drive from the Four Points Newburgh Stewart Airport hotel and there are no stores in the area so you'll need to bring or buy supplies near the hotel. True to the name, we met another hiker who saw a rattlesnake on Rattlesnake Hill, with a picture on his phone to prove it.
Unfortunately we didn't see any rattlers. I can't lie…I was really hoping to see or hear a rattler! There were handwritten signs posted to keep away from the stream due to rattler sightings. Meanwhile, it wasn't very deserving of the “Mt. Misery”. The “misery” part was a short steep 10 minute section – pah-leese. Too easy. The best views were found at the peak of Black Rock Mountain. It was here where we ran into other hikers who, we learned, took the “easy route”. That would be a short walk from the parking lot to the viewpoint. I was wondering how all those people got up there!
This is a fairly long trail which offers some fantastic views. I really enjoyed it…especially having lunch at the peak!
This particular trail does have public transportation options, however with a car rental costing about $60 for one day (Avis), I thought getting the rental was an easy decision. Once you add up the cost of train tickets for two, subways/Lyfts plus all the time savings, the car rental works better. Check out this panoramic view! Love it and it's so close!
I only saw a little bit of wildlife like a couple small snakes and this chipmunk:
And this wild Fearow near the parking lot! I don't play anymore but was curious if it would work out there.
My Cameras: These photos were taken using my Canon S110 Digital Camera (which has been replaced by the S120) as well as my iPhone 6. I love the S110 – it’s tiny, fits in my pocket, and takes amazing pictures/videos.