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Recommended Field Trips:
Family Hiking Trails in NYC and the Hudson River Valley

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Trails and Roads that show off autumn foliage.

Fall Foliage Don’t want to leave the city? Try going to Wave Hill or exploring Central Park for some beautiful views. See Best Fall Foliage in NYC

Drive, hike, or take public transportation, to see the autumn colors — about two hours will get you into the mountains with some breath-taking scenery, and many places are closer, allowing for day trips.

Day trips

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Family Hiking Trails in NYC

Family Hiking There are walking tours and great walks, from the High Line to Fifth Ave., but there are also park trails galore in every borough.
  • Here are five trails, one in each borough, highlighted by the NYC Parks Dept.
One of my favorite spots is Inwood Hill Park at the northern tip of Manhattan, accessibly by both the A and 1 trains. This is where Peter Stuyvesant “purchased” Manhattan from the Indians. Stroll by the Spuyten Duyvil River where it meets the Hudson and explore the Lenape Indian caves. Consider arranging a Natural Classroom program with the Urban Park Rangers, available in many NYC parks. In Inwood Hill you can even arrange for canoeing and overnight camping.
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Family Hiking Trails Beyond NYC

  • About 45 minutes north of the city, a perfect sidelight to stopping at Thompson's Cider Mill is a walk along Teatown Lake. There are lots of trails, some going along streams, and one encircling the lake. Trees are labeled, swans swim on the lake, and you have a good chance of seeing deer. Just before you reach the cider mill on Blinn Rd. there is a large parking area on the left that leads to the lakeside trail. Free samples of hot and cold cider, and free tasting slices of any number of apple varieties, makes for a refreshing stop after a hike. Teatown - Kitchawan Trail map.
  • Just across the George Washington Bridge is New Jersey’s Palisades Park, mostly wild except for a park road leading to a few marinas and picnic grounds, and a shore path, and a ridge trail that is part of the Long Path, accessible from the overlooks along the Palisades Parkway.
    • Only five minutes from Manhattan, you can be in Ross Dock, with a playground on the shores of the Hudson, walking a trail abundant with songbirds and wild rabbits.
  • In Scarsdale, off of Central Ave., is the Greenburgh Nature Preserve, with a small nature center, live animals, and an easy trail.
  • Aprox. 40 miles north of midtown Manhattan, there is a favorite family hike in Yorktown Heights called Turkey Mountain, often walked on Thanksgiving Day in an effort to walk off the big meal.
  • Rockefeller Preserve is about a half hour drive north of the city. This is one of my favorite places to stroll beside a pond and go birdwatching. This well-kept park is particularly good for family walks, with a lot of easy trails. A few horses might pass by, since locals use the trails for riding. You can also see geese, ducks, deer, songbirds, and more. There is a small art museum displaying local artists' nature scenes, which is a pleasant stop on your way back to the parking lot. Parking is free off-season.
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