Spring hike checklist: Trails near New York City

We were discussing some of our favorite hikes near the city at Outdoorfest’s Mappy Hour last night which stirred the project manager in us to start creating a list of trails we’d like to explore over the next few weeks. Check out our picks below and let us know what’s on your spring hike to-do list. 

Popolopen Gorge/Popolopen Torne Loop
New York, Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks
We saw a reccomendation for this five mile loop near Bear Mountain pop up on Twitter. According to the description, the trail follows the Popolopen Gorge to views of the Bear Mountain Bridge, the Hudson river and the East Hudson Highlands.

Kaaterskill Falls
New York, Catskills
We’ve passed this trail a few times on trips this winter and can’t wait to get out on it. The hike is short but steep and takes you up to a large waterfall. We’ve seen people walking along the shoulder of the highway to the trailhead which looks precarious so keep an eye out when approaching the trailhead from the nearby parking lot.

Stairway to Heaven
New Jersey, Pochuck Valley
The photos of the boardwalks and waterfalls that you encounter on this hike have us curious to experience it first hand. We hear that the trail is rather popular but that getting to the summit requires scrambling up a steep rock staircase that we expect to see less people on.

Almost Perpendicular/Claudius Smith Den Loop
New York, Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks
Krysti Sabins recommended this hike recently on her site Unboring Exploring and pointed out that it’s perfect for people coming from NYC because the trailhead is accessible from stops on the Metro-North. The hike from the train station extends the loop to six miles but you’ll be rewarded with unique rock formations and a view of the town of Tuxedo.

Header photo by Emile Hallez

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