Sometimes it’s necessary to ditch the city life and experience a change of pace and environment. What better way to do this than an adventurous day hike? No worries if you are not an avid hiker because we have rounded up some of the most family-friendly hikes around and near NYC that anyone at any skill level can achieve! Scroll through and find the perfect fall hike for you and your family that are easy and range between one to three miles.
To find more nature, check out The Very Best Kid-Friendly Places to Find Nature in New York City
The Nature Center Trail, 700 Rockland Avenue, Staten Island NY 10314
Start your hike off at the wooden bridge on the eastern edge of the Nature Center grounds called Mitchell Crossing. From there, you’ll embark on a journey that leads you to a native fern garden that stretches out under a canopy of beech and birch trees. This hike is even for the tiniest of hikers with leveled terrain and short distance! Open daily, from dawn to dusk.
A hike within NYC? There are no mountains or natural lakes nearby, but Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir makes a great option when you need a little city escape without ever leaving. This loop is 1.7 miles and is a common place for New Yorkers to run, walk, hike, or just enjoy the changing of the leaves. Accessible year-round.
New York Botanical Garden
419 Botanical Square S, The Bronx, NY 10458
What better place to enjoy fall foliage than New York’s very-own botanical garden! This location is beautiful to walk through any time of year, but especially when the leaves are changing colors! The kids will love seeing the wildlife in this area, as well as participating in bird watching. Accessible year-round.
Tenafly Nature Center Red, Yellow and White Trail Loop
313 Hudson Ave, Tenafly, NJ 07670
Located not too far away from New York City are several trails that you can venture out on at Tenafly, New Jersey. Kids will love seeing the various types of birds in the area as you walk along the several paths covered with fall foliage! Accessible year-round.
Flat Rock Brook Loop
473 Cape May St, Englewood, NJ 07631
Another hike that is not too far from the City is located right in Englewood, New Jersey. Enjoy the foresty scenery along a two-mile path that picks up in elevation at around 270 feet. This trail welcomes all skill levels and is accessible all year-round.
Photo by Robert Rodriguez, Jr.
Black Creek Preserve
Winding Brook Road Esopus, NY 12429
This kid-friendly hike is a fairly easy one to do with the family that has a few uphill climbs you’ll have to power through. It’s all worth it though because the kids will have a blast crossing the giant suspension bridge that runs along the creek and the Hudson River shoreline. Hike through the forest and see a variety of endangered species, such as blueback herrings and alewives as they travel from the ocean to the Black Creek and deposit their eggs. Open daily, year-round from dawn to dusk.
Spook Rock via Gory Brook and Witch’s Spring Trail
Tarrytown New York, Sleepy Hollow Rd, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
This may be considered a moderate hike, but there is a whole lot of adventure and historical context packed into this trail! Explore foresty greenery from the legends of Sleepy Hollow and Washington Irving’s writings. As you venture through the paths, you’ll run into a witch’s shelter that seems to always be rebuilt by an unknown source. Open daily, year-round.
Tibbetts Brook Park Loop Trail
322 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers, NY 10701
If you are wanting to stay close to the City and do not want to venture out too far, this 2.2-mile hike located near Yonkers makes the perfect fit. Enjoy the woodsy scenery of fall colors as you walk, run, or bike along the partially paved trail. You can even bring the dogs along if they stay on their leashes. Accessible year-round.
Jack Harrington and White Whiteplains Greenery
33 Gedney Way, White Plains, NY 10605
Take a nature trip, go running, road biking, or follow the trail along the railroad line. Have a fun family day out exploring the White Plains and even bring your family dog along for the trek as long as they have their leash on.
Croton Gorge Park
35 Yorktown Rd, Cortlandt, NY 10520
Spend the day fishing, picnicking, and hiking with the family at Croton Gorge Park that spans over 97 acres of property. Venture out to see impressive views of the dam and spillaway when you take the trail with direct access to New York State’s Old Croton Aqueduct. And, if you visit during in the winter time, this location is prime to watch cross-country skiers and sledding. Open daily, year-round.