Spring is finally here! That means it’s time to get out of the house after a long winter and step into the nature blooming all around us. When I first moved to the city, I had trouble finding a good New York hiking trail to take my dog on.
After a few years of trial and error, I finally found a handful of amazing spots to take both of my dogs. Below is a list of the 10 best hiking trails in New York State.
Gardiner County Park
697 W Montauk Hwy, Bay Shore, NY
Originally owned by the Gardiner family, this 231 acre park is located on Long Island right next to the Great South Bay.
This park is known for being extremely dog friendly, with several dog runs for large and small dogs, doggie water fountains and several waste stations.
There are several easy hiking trails with different terrains to do with your dog. Prepare for about a 2 hour hike through meadows, woods, and marshlands. There’s even a trail that leads right to the ocean!
Just make sure to bring your hiking boots instead of your sneakers as it can get a little muddy around the marshlands. But believe me, the views make up for it!
Cornish Estate Trail
3200-3244 Lake Surprise Rd, Cold Spring, NY
This beautiful 2.5 mile hike is located upstate right along the Hudson River. Hike along these heavily wooded trails and see the ruins of the old Stern-Cornish Estate.
The trails are easily marked and mostly paved so you don’t get lost. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash no longer than ten feet, but are not allowed in the picnic areas.
The trails are very shady which would be especially great for dark colored dogs that get too hot in the sun. This trail is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves change.
Make sure to check it out and get pictures of your dog with stunning views of the Hudson.
Hardscrabble Wilderness Area Trail
372-378 Hardscrabble Rd, Briarcliff Manor, NY
If you’re looking for your dog’s new favorite New York hiking trail, this might be it.
This 235 acre park has a 3.5 mile hike through the woods that will take about 2 hours to complete. If your dog is well behaved and has good recall you can let them off leash which is great for your dog to get their energy out.
This park is a favorite for many dogs because of it’s rolling hills, streams, and a refreshing pond. Tulip trees, hemlocks, sassafras, red maple, and flowering dogwood can be seen throughout the park and make the trip even more beautiful.
Make sure to bring along bug spray and a tick collar for your dog since this is a heavily wooded trail and make sure to check your dog for ticks before you leave.
Inwood Hill Park Trail
22-90 Payson Ave, New York City, NY
Take a hike through Manhattan’s last natural park at the Inwood Hill Park Trail. This easy trail is only 2 miles long and takes about an hour to complete.
There are some moderate slopes in these trails so your dog can get some great exercise. Just make sure they are on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
There are great views of the city here, along with a forest full of tulip trees, oak, and maple trees. There is even a historic highlights trail that will lead you to two Cottonwood trees at the top of the hill that were planted before the park was even established.
I have to admit that seeing trees older than Manhattan were pretty impressive. Not to mention getting in a weekend hike without leaving the city was pretty great as well.
1669 US 9W, Cornwall, NY
If you’re looking for a more difficult New York hiking trail for you and your pooch, you might want to check out Storm King State Park.
Personally, I would say that this park is more suited for medium or large sized dogs because the hike is a little tougher.
Offering jaw dropping views of the Catskills and Hudson Valley, this 3.5 mile hike will take you about 3 hours to complete. Dogs are allowed on a leash no longer than six feet and make sure to keep your dog on leash here during hunting season.
Unlike most of the other parks on this list, this park isn’t as developed so there are no bathroom facilities and limited parking so make sure to make necessary arrangements.
161 Millwood Rd, Chappaqua, NY
This gorgeous 126 acre park is a great choice if you’re looking for upstate New York hiking spots.
The best time to take your dog here is on Sunday’s before 10AM, when your dog can legally be off leash anywhere in the park. Any other day dogs are allowed off leash only on the trails.
There are also plenty of streams and brooks for your dog to play in. Most of the trails are about a mile long and are clearly marked by different colors. There are also bathrooms and water stations for humans scattered around the park for convenience.
Rockefeller Preserve Trail
455 Old Sleepy Hollow Rd, Tarrytown, NY
By far the most scenic New York hiking trail is the Rockefeller Preserve Trail.
Located 30 miles north of NYC, this beautiful nature preserve has a nice long 8.25 mile hiking trail that will take about 5 hours to complete, though there are other smaller trails if you choose.
As you walk down the old carriage roads, you’ll see unspoiled, lush forests, meadows and wetlands. If you happen to be a bird watcher, this preserve has 202 recorded species of birds along with countless other wildlife.
Make sure that your dog is leashed in this park at all times as the park rangers are very strict in this park to protect the surrounding wildlife.
Robert H. Treman State Park
105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY
If you are a fan of camping along with hiking, this beautiful park may be the spot for you. Enjoy 9 miles of hiking trails, especially along the Enfield Glen gorge featuring 12 waterfalls along it’s trail.
Make sure not to miss Lucifer Falls, the 115 ft waterfall that puts most visitors in awe. Dogs are allowed on most cabin, RV, and tent sites for camping and are allowed on all trails. Make sure to take a dip into the stream fed pools under the falls before you leave!
Blue Mountain Park
435 Welcher Ave, Peekskill, NY
Just outside NYC in Westchester County is Blue Mountain Park. This 1500 acre park has over 20 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking.
Take your pup here for a great workout and a nice cool swim in the lake. Make sure to check out the panoramic views of the Hudson River. They have a fairly easy 3.5 mile hike that will lead you to two different ponds and amazing views of the surrounding countryside.
The trails here are well marked and quiet. Due to the mountain bikers, it would be smart to keep your dog leashed here so they don’t get hurt.
Alley Pond Park
67-70 230th St, Flushing, NY
If you don’t want to leave the city to find a New York hiking trail, check out Alley Pond Park. Dogs are allowed off leash every morning from 6-9AM and should be leashed all other times.
This park offers a glimpse of the city’s geological past. With its glacier formed moraine, freshwater and saltwater wetlands, tidal flats, meadows, and forests. There are numerous trails in this park that are mostly flat and walkable for anybody.
Taking your dog hiking is a great way to give them exercise and explore the world around them. Spending time in nature is super healthy for both you and your dog. So you should do so any chance you get while the weather is warm.
I hope you enjoyed my list and get a chance to visit all of these beautiful parks. Do you live outside of New York State? Let me know in the comments where you live and what your favorite park is!