New York’s mountain ranges are home to thousands of miles of inviting trails for people of all skill levels. From beginning hikes with informational plaques for families to true tests of endurance up windswept peaks, New York is home to some of the best hikes in the country, no matter who you are. Here are a few of my favorites:
**THANKS TO DEREK FROM OUTDOORS WITH DEREK FOR WRITING THIS GUEST POST**
Devil’s Hole Trail – Niagara Falls
Niagara is gorgeous, but it’s also completely swarmed with tourists most of the time. If you want to appreciate the region but keep a little bit of elbow room, Devil’s Hole Trail is a great place to explore.
Walking along the river, taking in beautiful views of the whitewater rapids and Niagara Gorge, as you work your way towards the enormous whirlpool that gives Devil’s Hole Trail its name. This hike is a moderate difficulty, as it involves a little bit of slick terrain here and there.
Overlook Mountain is a highlight of Catskills hiking. The trail does see some pretty heavy foot traffic, but with good reason. The view of the Hudson Valley and the sprawling mountain vistas are incredible.
The trail is home to an old fire tower, one of only a handful left in the region. Those who tackle climbing the fire tower and rewarded with a view so broad and so clear that you can see into six states.
Debar Mountain – Adirondack Park
Adirondack Park covers nearly 6 million acres of mountain peaks, gorgeous views, and sprawling green. With hundreds of miles of hiking trails and plentiful snowfall, it’s no wonder that the park has been ranked one of the top 10 spots in the country for winter camping.
Debar Mountain is lovely year-round, but winter is when the views really stand out. The fallen leaves give you a wider field of vision through the trees, and towards the end of a heavy snow season, you’ll be standing a few feet taller—all the better to take in the views.
Wetlands Trail – Staten Island Greenbelt
People who live in the city don’t have to wander the state looking for good hikes. There are some surprisingly great trails right in the city. (We’re not talking about the Highline.)
The Wetlands Trail is an easy, educational hiking trail in the Staten Island Greenbelt. It’s great for families or beginners. And if you’re looking for something more challenging, there are plenty of other trails snaking through the Greenbelt’s 3,000 acres.
Mount Marcy – Lake Placid
Ranked as one of 2018’s top hikes right here on Nate Meets World, New York’s highest point (and the tallest of the Adirondacks) is a must-see for those up to the challenge.
This one’s a long-haul, and the elevation is going to put your calves through their paces. But it’s a rare chance to see endangered alpine vegetation, and the view from the rock dome at the summit is unparalleled.
Like Debar Mountain, this hike feels like an entirely new world in the winter. But the summit can be a full 20 degrees cooler than the base, so prepare for the cold with plenty of extra layers, goggles, and more.
Anthony’s Nose – Westchester County
Anthony’s Nose is a peak along the Hudson River, located in Westchester County. The climb sees a decent amount of traffic, but there’s plenty of room. And if you don’t mind sharing the trail, the sights are well worth it.
Jaw-dropping views of the Hudson Valley, including the Bear Mountain Bridge, await you. All in all, the steepness (and stone staircase) of this trail will give you a workout, but at under 3 miles, it’s not likely to take more than a couple of hours.
Wittenberg and Cornell Mountains Trail
This popular trail wanders for 8.5 miles over not one, but two separate mountain peaks. Locals pride themselves on the overlook, one of the best in the state, and the hike is widely regarded as the best hike in the Catskills. Adventuresome folks may want to hike even further from Cornell to Slide, for a total trip of 9.3 miles. This trek is arduous, and best left to folks with some experience, but it’s richly rewarding for those who venture forth.
Grimes Glen – Finger Lakes
This short hike—just over a mile—takes you on an easy trek to the Finger Lakes waterfalls. The area’s hemlock groves and towering shale bluffs are a treat in and of themselves, but easy access to the falls are the icing on the cake!
Wear waterproof shoes for safety, but be ready for a short, pleasant trek. Those looking for an extra challenge can continue on to the second waterfall, but be advised that it’s much harder—you’ll need to use the installed ropes to reach the top.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re not where you can get away at all, you can always take this virtual tour of Grimes Glen, featuring videos of the park in all four seasons.
Author Bio: Originally from the tri-state area, Derek now resides in sunny San Diego. If you enjoyed this post, follow along with his adventures over on his blog at https://dedwards.me.