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Moon Take a Hike New York City: 80 Hikes within Two Hours of Manhattan

Moon Take a Hike New York City: 80 Hikes within Two Hours of Manhattan

by Skip Card

Hiking around New York City is more than just treks between high rises. In Moon Take a Hike New York City, award-winning writer Skip Card shows you the best hikes in and around The Big Apple—all within two hours of the city. Card offers details on public transportation options and clear directions on how to reach trailheads, as well as lists of his


Hiking around New York City is more than just treks between high rises. In Moon Take a Hike New York City, award-winning writer Skip Card shows you the best hikes in and around The Big Apple—all within two hours of the city. Card offers details on public transportation options and clear directions on how to reach trailheads, as well as lists of his favorite hikes, such as:

• Best Hikes for High Peaks
• Best Hikes for Kids
• Best Hikes for Bird-Watching
• Best Paths to the Past
• Best Hikes for Interesting Geology
• Best Hikes for Escaping the Crowds

Let Card show you all the worthwhile hikes, from short, flat routes suitable for families to day-long, steep treks for more advanced hikers. Each hike profile contains practical information, including point-by-point trail navigation, contact information, facilities, fees, parking instructions, and an easy-to-use map for each trail. From Long Island up to the Shawangunks, from the Appalachian Trail down to New Jersey, your trip begins with Moon Take a Hike New York City.

Product Details

Avalon Travel Publishing
Publication date:
Moon Outdoors Travel Series
Edition description:
Second Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Moon Take a Hike New York City

80 Hikes within Two Hours of Manhattan
By Skip Card

Avalon Travel Publishing

Copyright © 2012 Skip Card
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781612381619

Exploring NYC Area Hiking Trails with Skip Card

1. Many people don’t associate New York City with the outdoors—are there really places to hike close by?

New York is such an interesting city that many residents rarely leave. So most New Yorkers don’t know about the many preserves and state parks that exist not far beyond the city limits. Preservation efforts began many years ago, as people saw the area’s population booming and undeveloped land becoming scarce. Today, thousands of acres of scenic or historic land are within easy reach of New York City, and virtually all have well-maintained foot trails just waiting to be explored.

2. What should beginners be wary of before a hiking trip?

On most trails, you’ll have to take precautions against poison ivy, which sometimes grows on the edges of the paths. To protect their skin, many experienced hikers wear long pants, and often a long-sleeve shirt. Mosquitoes and ticks are also founds in the woods. I always carry bug spray, and I give myself a “tick check” before I shower to make sure a tick hasn’t latched onto my body. I’ve had to use tweezers to pull off ticks, I’ve gotten rashes from poison ivy, and I’ve had many mosquito bites. But these are minor and avoidable nuisances, and they don’t keep me from hiking.

3. How can you reach good hiking trails without owning a car?

Some of the most avid hikers I know don’t own a car. Instead, they use the excellent network of public transportation that serves the greater New York area. Trains and buses often stop close to the trailheads I describe in my guidebook. To reach even more remote trails, folks often use local taxis. Once you start to study the train and bus maps, you’ll quickly realize there are few places you can’t reach. Using public transportation also lets hikers start in one area and finish in another, something you can’t easily do if you have to loop back to your car.

4. Does it feel safe in the woods?

New Yorkers frequently ask this. Personally, I often feel safer hiking in the woods than I do walking around the city — and, frankly, I feel quite safe in the city. Whether hiking in the woods or walking through Times Square, I use common sense and take basic precautions. My guidebook has a thorough introduction that tells beginners what supplies they should bring in their packs to stay comfortable and safe, and what medical supplies they should carry to cope with common minor emergencies.

5. Many beginners worry about getting lost. How do hikers stay on the trail?

Fear of getting lost is another common worry. But virtually all hiking trails in the region are very well marked and well maintained. My guidebook explains how trails are marked in “blazes,” color-coded plastic squares or dabs of paint placed on trees, rocks or posts. Blazes are found every 100 feet or so on marked trails. As long as you see the blazes, and carry a trail map showing what they mean, getting lost is rarely a problem.

6. In New York City, maps and guidebooks are only for tourists—can I skip them?

In the woods, only beginners don’t carry trail maps. It’s probably the one piece of equipment I never leave home without. My guidebook has basic maps showing the trail routes, but hikers should also carry detailed trail maps that show all the paths and all the landmarks in a particular region. Good maps are sold at many hiking stores. Or you can go to the web site of the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, the nonprofit organization that maps and maintains most of the trails in the area.

7. Breakneck Ridge is a common hiking destination—should beginners start there?

Breakneck Ridge north of the town of Cold Spring is one of the most popular hikes in the region, but it’s also very dangerous because it is steep and rocky. Many hikers I’ve seen on that trail should not be there, in my view. I’d suggest beginners start hiking somewhere else. Nearby Bull Hill, also called Mount Taurus, offers similar views but doesn’t force hikers to use hands and feet as they scramble up a steep ridge. After you’ve got some trail experience, come back and tackle Breakneck Ridge. You’ll have a much better time.

8. Are dogs suitable companions for hiking?

In most cases, the answer is yes — so long as you keep your pet on a leash. But some preserves don’t allow dogs. My guidebook lists which trails are dog friendly, and which aren’t.

9. Should hikers bring along their children?

Some trails are quite suitable for kids. A number are listed in my book. I’ve got a young daughter, and she often goes hiking with me. But I take care to choose a trail that fits her abilities. And we talk before we hit the trail, so she knows what to expect and what I expect of her. I also bring lots of kid-friendly trail snacks, to sweeten the deal.

10. What climate should visiting hikers expect and prepare for?

New York's weather varies dramatically with the four seasons. Tough hikers even head out in the dead of winter, when blazes on trees are the only signs of the trail. But for most of us, hiking is a spring-summer-fall sport. In spring and fall, temperatures can vary greatly, so pack extra clothes. Summer is often humid, hazy and hot, with temperatures regularly in the 80s or 90s. Wear lightweight fabrics, and always carry extra water. In all seasons carry a rain jacket, since brief but heavy downpours can sweep in with little warning.


Excerpted from Moon Take a Hike New York City by Skip Card Copyright © 2012 by Skip Card. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Skip Card grew up in Washington state, where at a young age he began eagerly exploring the Pacific Northwest's beaches, forests, and foothills. His love of hiking and nature eventually evolved into an interest in mountaineering: he has climbed most of the Northwest's highest peaks, including 14,410-foot Mount Rainier.

A newspaperman since 1986, Skip worked for many years as the outdoors reporter for The News Tribune in his hometown of Tacoma, where his work earned awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He often shot the photographs that accompanied his outdoors stories, particularly when his research took him to remote places. He was a copy editor and headline writer at the New York Post from 2005 until 2010, and his freelance work has appeared in magazines ranging from Outside to New York Family. He is the coauthor of the hiking guide Best Rain Shadow Hikes: Western Washington, and contributed to the second edition of Mount Rainier: A Climbing Guide. Today, he is a frequent contributor to the website InsideSchools.org, where he reviews New York City public schools and writes the “Elementary Dad” column.

During a visit to New York in 2002, Skip met the woman who would later lure him permanently to the city. Married in 2004, Skip and Jean Margaret Card now live with their daughter on Manhattan's Upper West Side. They are regular weekend visitors to Woodstock, NY.

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