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While New York City has much to offer, wide-open spaces as far as the eye can see is not one of them. But fortunately, NYC is settled among a number of national parks and nature preserves that provide a variety of really great hikes and spectacular views. The best resource I have found on where to go and how to get there is the book Take a Hike New York City, which details 75 different hikes “within two hours of Manhattan.” All are available by car, bus or train.

On Saturday, we decide to take advantage of owning a car in the city and drove out towards Bear Mountain State Park to hike “Anthony’s Nose,” a classified “butt-kicker” (ref. page 222 of the book). It’s 6.4 miles round-trip and includes some gorgeous views of the Hudson River and Bear Mountain Bridge (once the longest suspension bridges in the world). The path was rugged, steep and, at some points, slow-going. There’s really nothing like a 5-hour hike to spoil your fitness illusions.

See You in the City!

This view is near the beginning of the hike, which started at Bear Mountain Bridge Toll House, where we parked the car and picked up the Camp Smith Trail. Camp Smith is a National Guard training site and there are a dozen signs along the trail warning you not to jump-in the training exercises. “If you want to do the exercises, join the Guard. If not, stay out.”

Double-blue means the trail is changing directions slightly. The fallen leaves made it hard to discern the trail and the blue markers were all we had to navigate our way in some areas. Watch your step and look to see where you’re headed!

View of the bridge at the top of the summit.

A more rugged section of the trail – head straight up.

Beautiful scenery along the way.Made it to the top!