Are you looking for ideas to venture out to the great outdoors?
Those who have experienced the Northeast hiking trails can attest to the magic of the mountains, lakes, and waterfalls of the region. Most of these trails are a short drive from major cities like New York City, Portland, and Boston.
And before you look into these 5 recommended Northeast hiking trails, here are four reasons why hiking is beneficial for you:
- Hiking helps reconnect with nature.
- The quietness of the surroundings helps relax and clear the mind.
- Hiking takes us away from our devices and possibly makes us more creative.
- It’s a great workout.
1. Poet’s Ledge Trail, NY
The trail starts near the village of Palenville, about 115 miles from New York City and 95 miles from Hartford, CT. It’s a 6.4-mile (round trip) hike into Kaaterskill Wild Forest and an elevation of up to 2,200 feet. The Poet’s Ledge Trail features a waterfall, bird watching opportunities, and a viewpoint at the top, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the of Catskills, NY.
This trail is listed as a moderate to difficult hike, so it is not for you if you’re not into steep inclines. Dogs are allowed, but they must be leashed. The first part of the hike is through public roads and private properties.
2. Island Farm Nature Trail, Burton Island State Park, VT
There are no cars, and the only way to get there is with your boat or by ferry. Take the 10-minute ferry ride from Kill Kare State Park, and you can download the ferry schedule and ticket information here.
Island Farm Nature Trail in Burton Island is suitable for families with young children and for those who are looking for easy and short hikes. It is also ideal for a multi-generational day trip. The trail starts at the Nature Center, and it’s only half a mile. Download the program guide from Vermont State Park. The self-guided pamphlet will take you through 11 stations.
For the best outdoor experience, you can pitch a tent at one of the 14 campground tent sites. Reservations are a must.
3. Keystone Arch Bridges Trail, MA
You can combine your love of hiking, outdoor activities, and history all in one activity – hiking the Keystone Arch Bridges Trail and seeing stone railroad bridges built in the 1840s, old train tracks, and Westfield River. This round trip 4.5-mile trail starts near Chester, a town 115 miles from Boston and is rated as easy to moderate.
Keystone Arches are a series of stone arch railroad bridges and is listed as one of the oldest in America. It was an engineering marvel and first of its kind to exist in the northeast.
4. Hanging Rock Trail, RI
Though short, only 1.9 miles (round trip), Hanging Rock Trail at the 325-acre Norman Bird Sanctuary offers magnificent views of the ocean, river, and bay for your enjoyment. Perfect for families, this hike starts near Middleton, five miles from Newport, and about 33 miles from Providence, the capital of Rhode Island.
Located on the eastern side of the Sanctuary, the “rocky” Hanging Rock Trail will lead you to the top of the unique rock formation, perch 70 feet above the ground.
Besides the Hanging Rock Trail, visitors to the Norman Bird Sanctuary have the options to hike on Nelson Pond Trail (1.4 miles), Red Fox Trail (1.2 miles), or combine the Gardiner Pond Trail to the Hanging Rock Trail. See the booklet provided by Norman Sanctuary Park for details of the trails.
5. Caribou Mountain Loop, ME
The Caribou Mountain Loop combines Mud Brook Trail and Caribou Trail. You can start from the northern Caribou Trail or the southern Mud Brook Trail. This trail is a 6.7-mile loop and is considered a moderate to challenging hike.
Most people start from Caribou Trail along Morrison Brook to Kees Falls. After resting at the waterfall, continue on the ridge between Gammon and Caribou Mountains and turn right towards Mud Brook Trail to the top of Caribou Mountain. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the area, including Presidential Range in New Hampshire.