New York City is a jungle all its own, with a towering canopy of skyscrapers and the ceaseless chatter of its inhabitants filling the air. Trying to escape the Big Apple for a rejuvenating nature fix can seem like a challenge, but fresh air and peaceful stroll are within reach.
Here's a list of seven awesome adventures that are easily accessible from New York City via train or car.
The High Line: Need a dose of nature when you're marooned in the city? Get above all the hustle and bustle on the High Line, a long-retired elevated rail line that's been transformed into a verdant park and picnic area.
Coney Island Beach + Boardwalk: This classic NYC destination can offer a peaceful seaside walk in the off-season. Accessible via public transit, take a lazy weekend ride to the beach and walk along the shore...don't forget to stop at Nathan's for lunch!
South Mountain Recreation Complex: Featuring a 2-mile ADA-accessible paved loop around the Orange Reservoir, this is a great escape for families. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail, so your dog can get some fresh air, too. The Complex is only about an hour from the city via public transit or car, and it offers several options for free parking.
Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park: Escape the modern city by taking a step back in time at this awe-inspiring historic park. Learn a bit about the president that inspired Broadway's hit musical, "Hamilton," as you explore the power station he created at the top of Great Falls at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Sandy Hook: A coastal getaway only an hour and a half from the city, Sandy Hook is the perfect spot to spend a day or a weekend exploring both sides of this barrier spit. With hiking, boating, fishing, wildlife-watching, and educational opportunities, there's something for every adventurer at Sandy Hook.
Greenwich Audubon: Trade in the cacophony of hoking horns and subway trains for a chorus of chirping birds at the Audubon Society's incredible educational center and trail system in Greenwich, Connecticut. Seven miles of trails wind through fields, forests, and marshes offering incredible opportunities for bird watching. Since this slice of nature is a haven for wildlife, dogs are not allowed on the trails, and a $6 entrance fee for non-members helps to support the Kimberlin Nature Center and trails.
Lakeville Ironworks Trail: Hop in the car and drive about an hour and a half northwest of the Big Apple and you'll discover a cluster of state parks and state forests. The Lakeville Ironworks Trail is smack dab in the middle of these protected plots and offers hikers a short adventure steeped in history and intrigue. Discover historic buildings and protected ruins under the dense forest canopy.