8 Exciting New York Spots to Hike This Summer

Those hankering for a spectacular summer hike know New York is the place to be. From seascapes to mountaintops, scenic views abound in our beautiful state. Solo hikers, families of explorers and friends seeking adventure can all enjoy New York’s many trails. And hikers don’t have to stray far from home to take a walk in nature. These suggested New York hiking spots start on Long Island’s North Fork, wind their way west, and end upstate.

Related Content: 8 East End Hiking Trails To Try Now

Orient Beach State Park, Orient


Rocky shores are bordered by woodlands in Orient Beach. image: flickr.com/photos/rdwatson78

Did you know that there are native cacti growing on Long Island? Yep, people don’t have to go to the Wild West to find prickly-pear cactus, which blooms golden yellow flowers. Check it out along the sandy shores of Orient Beach State Park, a North Fork locale that encompasses 363 acres that are simply perfect for hiking. Along your journey, admire the majesty of an uncommon maritime forest with red cedar and blackjack oak trees. This Audubon Important Bird Area has avian species such as blue herons, osprey, egrets and black crowned night herons living in its extensive saltwater marshland. Phone: 631-323-2440 | Address: 40000 Main Road Click to hike

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Shirley


Discover both wildlife and breathtaking views at Wertheim. image: flickr.com/photos/usfwsnortheast

There’s so much to see while hiking the trails at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge. The massive area includes a variety of habitats. Visit with the family and explore Wertheim’s grasslands, oak-pine woodlands and wetlands. From a respectful distance, keep an eye out for foxes, deer, shorebirds, turtles, frogs and many other types of wildlife. The refuge also has numerous educational nature programs for kids and teens, including a Virtual GeoCache adventure that promises to reveal “the secrets of the forest” to participants. Phone: 631-286-0485 | Address: 340 Smith Rd Click to hike

Nissequogue River State Park, Kings Park


Long Island has all sorts of bodies of water to walk along, including rivers. image: flickr.com/photos/dougtone

At 152 acres, Nissequogue River State Park offers substantial hiking trails. There are also many animals and a bird conservation area to support migratory species traversing its landscape. Scenic lookouts are a bonus feature of the park’s nature trails. In addition to hiking, visitors can rent canoes and kayaks to explore the river for which the park is named. Click to hike

Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve, Lloyd Harbor

Combine a hike with a history lesson at Caumsett, located on the Long Island Sound. Visitors can take a tour of the Henry Lloyd Manor House, built in 1711, for a trip back to colonial times, and walk among an English-style garden, meadows, woods and marshland. Caumsett also has bridle and biking paths. Phone: 631-423-1770 | Address: 25 Lloyd Harbor Road Click to hike

Theodore Roosevelt Nature Sanctuary and Audubon Center, Oyster Bay


Peep the former president in tree form along the sanctuary’s paths. image: flickr.com/photos/sometimesong

The first National Audubon Songbird Sanctuary, the site aims to connect people with nature and promote a sense of environmental stewardship through natural science educational programs. Adults and children alike may enjoy the center’s wooded grounds while bird watching. Also fun: Look out for goats now roaming the property of this New York hiking haven to help with plant management. Phone: 516-922-3200 | Address: 134 Cove Rd Click to hike

Marine Nature Study Area, Oceanside

A truly unique Long Island gem, the Marine Nature Study Area offers boardwalk trails through 52 acres of marshland. Visitors can stop at eight points along the hike to learn about marine and estuarine environments. Information about glaciers, tides, beaches, birds and the flora and fauna of the preserve is also available. For more information and to take a guided tour, stop by the Marine Nature Study Area’s interpretive center. Phone: 516-766-1580 | Address: 500 Slice Dr Click to hike

Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain


Experience prime upstate mountain views at this park. image: flickr.com/photos/sgotterbarn

The mountains are calling, folks! Venture off the island and onto a New York hiking trail upstate. Travelers can hike to Perkins Memorial Tower to see Bear Mountain’s expansive views. The park also has multiple museums: The Herpetology House where reptiles reside, The Nature Study Museum full of educational displays, the Geology Museum that highlights the formation of the Hudson Highlands and The History Museum—a tribute to Native Americans and early European immigrants in the region. Lastly, check out Bear Mountain’s famous Merry-Go-Round with 42 hand-carved animals. Phone: 845-786-2701 | Address: Palisades Parkway or Route 9W North Click to hike

Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve, Cold Spring


Lush green foliage accents the landscape. image: flickr.com/photos/randylevine

Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve features challenging trails along steep and rocky cliffs. For those who can tackle the terrain, the views of the Hudson River are well worth the effort. A portion of the Appalachian Trail roams along 5.1 miles of the park. Before or after a hike, visit the nearby town of Cold Spring. It’s many restaurants and boutiques are too charming to miss. Phone: 845-225-7207 | Address: Route 9D Click to hike

rachel kalina

Rachel Morgan Kalina is the creative director of The Wood & Watch jewelry and a freelance writer. She knows how to wield a flame to shape metal; loves to travel; and is passionate about art, antiques, DIY, and nature. Visit her at TheWoodandWatch.com and RachelKalina.com