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Kid-Friendly and Easy Fall Hikes In and Near New York City in 2020

kid-friendly and easy fall hikes

Go for a kid-friendly and easy hike with the family near NYC! It’s starting to feel like fall and the leaves are even beginning to change colors. Although this fall season will be very different from the rest, there is still much to see and do this time of the year. That is why we have rounded up some nearby family-friendly hikes 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. And if you are looking for more fall activities for this upcoming season, we recommend that you head out to an apple orchard for apple picking or even check out the fall foliage.

**Parks are encouraging social distancing. Check with local authorities to see if parks and trails are open before heading out.**

Kid-Friendly and Easy Hikes Near NYC in 2020

Greenbelt Conservancy – Staten Island, NY
The Nature Center Trail, 700 Rockland Avenue, Staten Island NY 10314
1 mile

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. 

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir – Central Park, NY
Bridle Path, New York, NY 10128
1.7 miles

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. 

Photo via NYBG

New York Botanical Garden – Bronx, NY
419 Botanical Square S, The Bronx, NY 10458
1.8 miles

The New York Botanical Garden will open September 15-20 to first access for patrons and members. It will further reopen to the public on September 22.

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.

Tenafly Nature Center Red, Yellow and White Trail Loop – Tenafly, NJ
313 Hudson Ave, Tenafly, NJ 07670
2 miles

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!

Photo via Flat Rock Brook

Flat Rock Brook Loop – Englewood, NJ
473 Cape May St, Englewood, NJ 07631
2 miles

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.

Black Creek Preserve – Esopus, NY
Winding Brook Road, Esopus, NY 12429
2 miles

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.  

Spook Rock via Gory Brook and Witch’s Spring Trail – Sleepy Hollow, NY
Tarrytown New York, Sleepy Hollow Rd, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
2 miles

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. 

Tibbetts Brook Park Loop Trail – Yonkers, NY
322 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers, NY 10701
2.2 miles

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 – White Plains, NY
33 Gedney Way, White Plains, NY 10605
2.5 miles

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 – Cortlandt, NY
35 Yorktown Rd, Cortlandt, NY 10520

Spend the day at Croton Gorge Park that spans over 97 acres of property. Venture out to see impressive views of the dam and spillway when you take the trail with direct access to New York State’s Old Croton Aqueduct. Click here for the latest cancellations and COVID updates at this park.