Hike the Long Path: a day trip fit for your lazy Saturday

You slept in on Saturday and missed that early morning Breakneck Ridge-bound Metro-North but find that you’re still jonesin’ for a hike. Hope is not lost! Head to the George Washington Bridge, where you’ll find miles of trails, including the aptly-named Long Path.

In total, the Long Path is 347 miles long. It starts at the 175th Street subway station, crosses the George Washington Bridge and goes all the way up to Altamont, NY (near Albany). We joined the trail at Fort Lee Historic Park, about an hour away from midtown, where a New Jersey Transit bus from Port Authority drops you off just a few short blocks from the trail.

Don’t get us wrong. This isn’t the most scenic section of the trail—the Palisades Interstate Parkway runs alongside much of the path, and you’ll cross a few service roads and parking lots on your hike. But there are multiple scenic lookout points with views of the Hudson, the bridge and New York City. We even saw a few deer bounding through the woods.

Multiple trails connect to the Long Path, which means you can customize your loop depending on how much time you have. Eventually, you’ll want to swing down by the riverside to the quieter Shore Trail. While you may encounter some foot traffic coming from the bustle of various picnic areas and Fort Lee Historic Park, the hum of the highway is mostly drown out by the lapping of the river.

So let yourself enjoy a morning in bed. You can rest assured that you can still get some trail miles in later in the day.




Trip Tip: Blaze Ahead

As you hike down the Long Path you’ll see aqua rectangles painted on the trees along the way. Nope, this isn’t a modern art project, but rather the highly practical art of marking trails with blazes. In their simplest form, a blaze means, “Hey, you! The trail is this way!” In fact it’s possible to follow white blazes from Georgia all the way to Maine along the Appalachian Trail. In state and national parks, it’s common to see many different color blazes, each color representing another trail. The differently-shaped markers often have different meanings. So learn your blazes and you’ll stay on the right path, even if the falling leaves blanket the way.

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