New York may be synonymous with urban landscapes, the statue of liberty, and big city living, but the state is also home to several gorgeous hiking trails! From short, beginner-friendly nature hikes to more challenging ventures, here are 10 hikes to check out in this beautiful state!
1. West Branch Nature Preserve Loop
This 3-mile loop trail is located near Walton, New York. The trail follows a creek, with several places to stop and take in the beautiful and peaceful scenery. It can get a bit muddy, especially after rain, so you may want to consider bringing shoes you don’t mind getting dirty.
2. Fall Creek Valley Loop Trail
Head over to Ithaca, New York to check out this hiking trail! A 2.1-mile loop trail, it’s perfect for both beginners and more advanced hikers. The trail features a suspension bridge as well as a river. On-leash dogs are also allowed on the hike, and it is open year-round!
3. Bear Spring Mountain Loop Trail
Bear Spring Mountain Loop Trail is located outside of Downsville, New York. It is a great option for those looking to do a section or a trail or embark on a longer hike! The full loop is 13 miles, and in addition to hiking, it’s also a popular area for hiking and horseback riding.
4. Russel Brook Falls And Mud Pond Via Snowmobile Trail
This 2.5 mile out and back trail takes you past several scenic sites, including a gorgeous waterfall. This is somewhat of a hidden gem, and often isn’t too busy, making it a great option for those looking for a peaceful nature experience.
5. Kelly Hollow Loop
Another gorgeous hidden gem, Kelly Hollow Loop is a 3.7-mile excursion. Passing a bubbling creek and winding through gorgeous forests, this trail does a great job at showcasing what the Catskills have to offer.
6. Rock Rift Fire Tower Trail
Rock Rift Fire Tower Trail is located outside of Tompkins, New York. This is another great option for those up for a bit of a challenge or workout! Though the trail is only 3.7 miles long, there is an elevation gain of around 1,200 feet. The trail leads to an old fire tower and showcases the area’s gorgeous scenery along the way.
7. Crystal Lake Loop
Here’s one that’s great for beginners as well as those looking for a more casual hike! This 1.4-mile loop trail winds around Crystal Lake, letting you take in the gorgeous scenery and lake. The trail also allows on-leash dogs! Due to its short distance and relatively easy terrain, this is a great option for beginner hikers as well as those looking for a relaxing hike.
8. Mount Sherrill Via Shaft Road
This 4.3 mile out and back trail is located near Shandaken, New York. The trailhead can be a little difficult to find. It’s more than worth it for the beautiful views this trail offers. Potential visitors should keep in mind that there are steeper, sometimes overgrown sections of the trail – still possible to traverse, but possibly unideal for families with young children or those just looking for a short and sweet hike.
9. Slide Mountain Out-And-Back
Here’s another longer hike! This trail is 5.3 miles, and also offers a pretty decent incline – it gains almost 2,000 feet of elevation. Offering great views of the surrounding area, this is a great option for those looking for a day trip. Because of the distance and elevation gain, you’ll want to make sure you allow plenty of time to complete the trail. Additionally, be sure to wear sturdy shoes – this isn’t the sort of trail you’d want to attempt in flip-flops!
10. Stone Arch Bridge Trail
If you’re looking for a short and sweet trail with a beautiful destination, look no further! Stone Arch Bridge Trail is just short of a mile long. It features lush foliage, a river, and of course, the titular stone arch bridge. This is also a great spot for picnicking or taking photos, making this a great option for families or those looking to enjoy a bit of nature without having to prepare too much time or energy.
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