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May 30, 2018
It’s been about a month since spring has sprung, but it’s taken until now for the weather to match the season here in New York. Now that us city dwellers are crawling out of our apartments, we’re looking for a day out that will really knock our socks off. The city is beautiful in the warmer weather, though some of its most well-known parks become congested with tourists and residents alike as everyone scrambles to be in the sun. Pull up your transit socks and hop on the subway with us as we tour some of New York’s best outdoor spots where you can at least feel like you’re escaping!
Some of the best short hikes in NYC are sandwiched smack in the middle of the 5 boroughs on Roosevelt Island. Trails through marshy swampland connect visitors with the city’s distant past, along with sites passing by historic monuments and through denser forests. Best of all, getting to the island is also accessible by gondola that allows for a sky-high look at some of the city’s best panoramic views.
Off the 181st Street stop in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood is a hike that combines city and nature together. Walk your first mile across the George Washington Bridge and soak in the sights of the Hudson River, an expansive view of boroughs from the Bronx to Brooklyn, and cross state lines into New Jersey on the other side. Once you’ve crossed, the options are vast: hike down to the barge on the Hudson, or take a wooded path to hidden gardens.
At the edge of the Bronx lies one of New York’s best and largest parks. Sunbathe in the enormous terrace, join the runners circling the track or wander down one of its seemingly endless trails. Don your anti-mosquito socks while you forage for wild edibles in the woods, go fishing in one of the creeks, or simply sit and enjoy true urban solitude. Hidden beyond the park is a golf course and equestrian stable!
For those looking for a more adventurous hike (for the city, at least), Queen’s Forest Park boasts several longer trails and 165 acres of wooded land to explore. Like Van Cortlandt, Forest Park also has both a golf course and a stable where visitors can rent horses to ride around the park. The onsite bandshell also hosts a number of outdoor concerts throughout the warmer weather.
At the very edge of Brooklyn, on the last stop of the A train lies Rockaway Beach - a trek for those coming from most of New York, but worth it for having a seaside experience that you don’t have to leave the city for. Aside from normal beach fare, visitors can experience a great selection of concessions along the boardwalk, beach yoga, a number of sports, and New York’s only legal surfing spot.
~Ben LoPiccolo - Content Creator for Ozone Design