Featured HIKING TRAILS
Above the Hudson River, the 23 mile Escarpment Trail runs a thin ridge of stone above the scenic valley below. The hiking route passes mixed hardwoods and dark hemlock groves on its way north to the Blackhead summit at 3,900 feet.
North of NYC near Bear Mountain, the 5,000 acre Bear Mountain State Park is in the rugged mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River. The best hike in the park is the 4 mile loop to the top of Bear Mountain (1,300 feet) along an original stretch of the Appalachian Trail.
Running from Fort Lee north to Albany, a 95 mile stretch of the 329 mile Long Path hikes through the Catskill mountains. This stretch is the most rugged and rocky section where it crosses the high peaks trio of Slide, Cornell, and Whittenberg.
The Long Island Greenbelt Trail is a 32 mile route along the Connetquot River and Nissequogue River from Heckscher State Park on the south shore to Sunken Meadow on the north shore. The hiking route follows beaches and bluffs past ponds and pine forests. The Greenbelt Trail is a National Recreation Trail.
North of NYC and southeast of Newburgh, the Clarence Fahnesock State Park has over 70 miles of trails. Many trails are shared with mountain bikers and equestrians. All the trails are blazed with round plastic discs of varying colors, or painted rectangular marks. A strech of the Appalachian Trail passes through the park.
The Finger Lakes Trail is a 562 mile trail system routed through southern New York. The hiking route stretches from Allegany State Park in the west to Lewiston-Queenstone Bridge on the Niagara River to the Finger Lakes National Forest, and on eastward to the Catskills. The trail is marked with 2x6 inch vertical paint blazes or by plastic blazes on posts or trees along the route.
Southeast of Syracuse and east of Fabius in Onondaga County, the 2,700 acre Highland Forest County Park has over 20 miles of trails. Known as the Adirondacks of Central New York, this area is covered with rugged forest terrain. These multi-use trails are also shared with mountain bikers and equestrians.
The Erie Canal Heritage Trail (aka Canalway Trail) is a 220 mile hiking route from Lockport to Fairport. The gravel trail follows old canal towpaths and abandoned railway corridors.
East of Syracuse and northeast of Fayetteville, the Green Lakes State Park has 20 miles of trails that loop around both lakes, which were carved by water flowing off glaciers. These meromictic lakes are deep with distinct water layers forming the intense blue-green color. Beyond the lakes, the trails pass through mature upland hardwood forests.
The Long Island Pine Barrens Trail is a 50 mile hiking route from Rocky Point to Hampton Bays. Please note that you MUST obtain a permit to use this trail, as the land is owned by the NY State DEC and is part of the Pine Barrens Preservation Project.
East of Copake Falls in Taconic State Park on the Connecticut border, the 5,000 acre Taconic State Park has an extensive trail system through challenging terrain with spectacular views. The best place to start is from the Bash Bish Trailhead, which provides access to 3 hiking trails totaling 22 miles.
Southeast of Syracuse near Sherburne, the 130 mile Brookfield Trail System traverses the 13,000 acre Brookfield State Forest. In southeastern Madison County, theses multi-trails are shared with mountain bikers and horseback riders in the summer, and by snowmobilers and cross-country skiers in the winter. The rolling routes combine trails and closed forest service roads, which are all marked and numbered.
Northeast of Albany and Grafton, the Grafton Lakes State Park has over 20 miles of trails. The park is located on the 1,500 feet forested mountain plateau between the Taconic and Hudson Valleys. The 2.5 mile Spruce Bog Trail is a popular starting point for exploring this park.
Northwest of Ithaca, the Taughannock Falls State Park has 7 miles of trails along and in the gorge formed by the Taughannock Creek. The two best hiking trails in the park are the Rim Trail and the Gorge Trail. The Rim Trail is a 5 mile route encircling the gorge. The Gorge Trail is a 1 mile route through the gorge to Taughannock Falls (215 feet tall).
East of Seneca Lake and Burdett, the Interloken Trail is a 12 mile route that traverses the Forest north to south and is a branch of the Finger Lakes Trail system. It passes through various terrain and vegetation; southern portions are somewhat steeper and more forested; northern portions are flatter and more open through some pastures.
South of Walton in the western Catskills, the 7,200 acre Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management Area has 24 miles of marked hiking trails rolling through forest and meadows. The scenic routes pass lakes and waterfalls. The best trailhead is located at the campground off East Trout Road.