Known for its pockets of authentic culture and cuisine, New York City continues to impress with its diverse scenery. Sprawled across different boroughs, the city's nature parks and trails will make you rethink NYC.Less
Located on the northeast side of the Bronx, Pelham Bay Park is worth a visit. Get lost for a day in the tranquility of the wooded areas or bask in the sun on the sandy shore of the self-proclaimed “Riviera of New York," Orchard Beach. Visitors can enjoy several miles of hiking trails, a playground, golf courses, a variety of flora and fauna, and a beautiful view of the shoreline.
This beautiful trail takes you through the famous Central Park, located right in the heart of Manhattan. The park is a tourist attraction, and is popular among hikers, walkers, and runners. The mostly flat loop will highlight the natural beauty of the park amongst the breathtaking backdrop of towering skyscrapers. Enjoy the rolling meadows, the green wooded paths, or watch the sun glisten over the lake. Experience the tranquility of being out in nature right in the middle of Manhattan.
Explore the middle portion of the three-segment Bronx River Greenway Trail. Popular among both bikers and walkers, the multi-use waterfront trail is a peaceful respite from the city. This paved walkway is surrounded by trees and you are often enveloped by the tranquil sound of running water. If you’re up for the challenge, continue on and complete the full Greenway ending at the beautiful and historic Kensico Dam Plaza.
Located on Staten Island, the Greenbelt is a beautiful natural area with a network of parks and trails. Sprawled across various parks, this begins in LaTourette Park. Popular among hikers, walkers and adventurers, this nature-rich area will make you forget that you’re in the city. This easy walk offers a gorgeous backdrop of green trees, wetlands, streams, and ponds. There is opportunity to see abundant flora and fauna, and it’s not uncommon to spot a white-tailed deer while visiting.
The Ridgewood Reservoir is a popular paved path on the Brooklyn-Queens border in Highland Park. The now decommissioned reservoir is a public park where you’ll find plenty of walkers, runners, bikers and skaters. You’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, such as the snapping turtle or garter snake. If flora’s your thing, you can get lost among the Black Cherry or Red Maple trees. There are some incredible views, such as nearby cemeteries, the Rockaways and even the Atlantic Ocean.
Brought to you by the masterminds of Central Park, this is a less crowded option right in the heart of Brooklyn. With some intricate wetlands, a green space, and a breathtaking forest, visitors can enjoy walking, running, skating or just exploring. With hundreds of species of trees and annual visits by migratory birds, this is a nature-lover’s paradise. However, the park also has a number of attractions, like a zoo, ice rink, and carousel for those seeking more fun activities.
This awesome elevated rail track transformed Manhattan. While less traditional than a “normal” park, the High Line offers wildflowers, greenery, and outdoor art installations. The High Line stretches along Manhattan’s West side, which includes Hell’s Kitchen and West Chelsea. Perfect for families or for an evening stroll, the views against the Hudson River will make you forget about the busy city life below.
Running parallel to the iconic Hudson River is the Hudson River Greenway, a segment of the much longer Manhattan Waterfront Greenway and the cross-state Empire State Trail. While heavily trafficked, it is a must-do because of the outstanding views of New York. The trail is popular among walkers, runners, and bikers. This route passes by the Chelsea Piers, while the longer path links with other cultural and historic sites, such as the 9/11 Memorial.