5 Tranquil Escapes Right Outside Of NYC

Saundra Kornbluth

Whether visiting for the first time or a born-and-bred New Yorker, it is always nice to get away from the bustle and fast-paced atmosphere of the Big Apple. Here are 5 hikes a short while from the city that will help you clear your head and provide a necessary reprieve from the city that never sleeps.

Englewood Boat Basin – New Jersey

1. The Englewood Boat Basin

Natural Feature

Bear Mountain Bridge
© Mark Wyman/Flickr
While The Englewood Boat Basin is only minutes from the city, it’s easy to forget how close you really are. The Englewood Boat Basin is an independently-owned marina that is completely opened to the public (including dogs). On the weekend this is an excellent place to come with family or friends, set down your picnic basket and enjoy a beautiful view of the New York skyline. The Boat Basin offers over 30 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging, all of which surround the water.

2. Bear Mountain State Park


Sitting on the mountains arising from the west bank of the Hudson River, Bear Mountain is a true escape from NYC. With picnic areas, swimming pools, fishing access, cross-country skiing, hiking, and biking trails, there is something for everyone. The Bald Mountain Loop is one of the most popular hikes of the park; this tough uphill hike culminates in breathtaking views atop Bald Mountain at an elevation of 1,080 feet. This hike will leave you with an incredible view, and a real sense of accomplishment. The park has dozens of other scenic hikes, ranging in length and difficulty. Mohonk Mountain House from above | © WalkingGeek/Flickr

3. Mohonk Mountain


The Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze trails at Mohonk Mountain in the Hudson Valley are famous for their beauty, but infamous for their difficulty. The hikes are ranked nine out of ten for difficulty and include squeezing through tight cracks, climbing ladders, and even a bit of rock climbing. Once you reach the top, however, you will have a priceless view of the whole Mohonk reserve and beyond.

4. Apshawa Preserve

Ruins, Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool
© Andy Arthur/Flickr
This moderate hike in Passaic Valley offers great exercise, and even better views. Along the trail one will encounter waterfalls, water tank ruins from the 1900s and scenic views, including a glimpse of the city skyline. There are various loops, all ranging in difficulty and boasting unique scenery.

Buttermilk Falls, Crater Lake, Hemlock Pond

The hike begins at the highest waterfall in New Jersey, the 200-foot Buttermilk Falls. The waterfalls do not require any hiking to see, though there are elaborate sets of stairs leading to various different magnificent viewpoints. Once you are done taking in the view head uphill to the Appalachian Trail to Crater Lake, then onto Hemlock Pond. The whole hike is 7.5 miles, though there are different routes that vary in length.
Buttermilk Falls, Mountain Road Walpack Township, NJ, USA
By Saundra Kornbluth

Saundra Kornbluth is a student at Muhlenberg College and a future special needs educator. Last year, Saundra spent several months studying creative writing in London, and had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe. She has three brothers, and can discuss the New York Yankees with the same ease as fashion and literature. Unfortunately, she recently discovered she has a gluten allergy – bad news for a girl who loves cookies and pasta.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article