Hiking in New York City

Category New York

What! That’s what about 98% of the readers just yelled, and they’re right to first think this is a crazy idea. But it does make sense if you are a hiker that can’t get out of the city, a visitor that is in the city for a few days, or someone that likes to walk and wants something entirely different.

New York City is a very interesting place where every neighborhood offers something different and also happens to have one of the coolest parks in the world – Central Park. Everyone goes to Central Park, and that speaks volumes about the human need for nature. In a place that has the best museums, restaurants, theaters, music venues, conferences, and architecture, folks still go to Central Park.  With everything New York has to offer, the natural world provided by the park is still one of the most popular attractions.

Hiking Central Park is easy thanks to an abundance of maps. You’ll find maps in old school paper formats, online, and on map boards around the park and city. It’s a good idea to plan your hike early by looking at a map online or a paper map. A fun way to plan a hike is to start on 59th Street and 5th Avenue and hike the East Drive through the park for about two miles to the Guggenheim Museum. On this hike you can detour at the Central Park Zoo and the Boathouse.  You’ll pass several ponds, encounter a few hundred birds, and see the Kennedy lake. Water and food won’t be a problem if you have cash so pack light.

If you want to hike the island of Manhattan a nice four mile hike that’s fun is from Times Square down to Battery Park. Map this first because there are several routes you can take including 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue and it’s confusing as you near the park.  The last mile is very interesting and you’ll see old New York before arriving at the park where you can take a ferry over to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island (buy your tickets far in advance). If you don’t want to hike back you can easily jump on the subway to return to your hotel or hostel.

And this brings us to a great way to hike New York: stay at one hostel one night and hike to another the next night. This is a very affordable option when visiting Manhattan. This hostel list for New York will provide you with prices, reviews, and locations so you can easily plan your stay. If you want to truly experience New York – or any city – the best way to do it is on foot. You’ll never capture all the sounds, smells, and feeling of the city on a tour bus or by hanging out in the same places as everyone else.

2 comments on “Hiking in New York City

  1. I also wanted to let you know that there are hiking groups in the city that will drive you from Manhattan or Brooklyn out to the state parks. Brooklyn Outfitters is the one I work with and they are awesome. So in case the urban hike is not your cup of tea, you can still get to the hiking trails within an hour of the city with BKO!

  2. That seems like fun and something different as usually people hike in parks or mountains or by the beach but not in a fast-paced, crazy busy city. I am definitely willing to try it out. Thanks for the idea!

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