New York is home to many incredible outdoor destinations like the Adirondacks, Finger Lakes, and Catskills. However, if you find yourself in or near New York City, there are also many great ways to get outside.
Over the course of my travels, I’ve had a chance to utilize a few great hiking and walking books to help me explore New York City and the area surrounding it. So, if you’ve looking for New York City hiking books, this is the article for you.
Below I have five great books that will help you explore the area.
(Note: The books in this list were sent to me by the publishing company for the purpose of this review. This is the same company that published my book, “Waterfalls of Pennsylvania“. All opinions expressed are my own, but I wanted to be upfront about my relationship with the publishing company.)
60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of New York City
“60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of New York City” by Christopher and Catherine Brooks is a must-have book if you are looking for the best hiking guides about New York City and the surrounding area.
This book features 60 different hikes that can be done as day trips from the New York City area. Of these, just over half (33) are in New York State, while the rest are in northern New Jersey and Connecticut.
For the New York hikes, you’ll find options on Long Island and Staten Island, as well as north of the city as far as I-84. The hikes here range from easy one-mile trails to strenuous hikes over 12 miles in length, meaning there is a bit of something for everyone here.
Each hike offers information about how to get to the trailhead and the difficulty of the hike, as well as great maps and descriptions to help you out along the way.
While I haven’t had a chance to use this book much, I have used others in the series and found them to be very helpful guides. Of course, it doesn’t include every possible hike, such as Buttermilk Falls in Nyack, but does offer a great mix of hikes in the region.
Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail: Mid Atlantic
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,000-mile trail from George to Maine. Of this distance, just under 90 miles of the trail are located in New York. The trail enters the state in Orange County and passes through a total of five Hudson Valley counties before exiting the state into Connecticut in Dutchess County.
The book “Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail: Mid Atlantic” by Matt Willen offers 12 hikes in New York among the 43 hikes featured in the book. The New York hikes range in length from 2.5 miles to 12 miles and also offer a range of difficulty levels.
“Walking Manhattan” by Ellen Levitt features 30 great self-guided walking tours around Manhattan. And when I say around Manhattan, I mean, it. The hikes in this guide range from Battery Park in the south to Central Park and to Marble Hill in the far north of Manhattan.
Most of the walks in the book are in the 2-3 mile range and each features directions and highlights along the walk. This means that you’ll not only get a nice walk in, but you’ll also learn more about the surrounding area whether you’ve walked these streets a thousand times or if this is your first time in Manhattan.
I used this book as I walked around Times Square one evening. While I’m typically distracted by the gleaming lights, it was great to use this book to help me learn more about the area.
“Walking Brooklyn” by Adrienne Onofri offers a wealth of information and some great suggestions for walks throughout Brooklyn. Unlike the other two books in this series, this book is full-color with glossy pages and great photos.
The walks here are mostly in the 3-5 mile range, though you’ll find a few that are longer and shorter. Each walk features a variety of points of interest with information on each spot. There are also full directions telling you exactly where to turn while completing each walk.
I had a chance to use this book to hike through DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park and found the guide to be very helpful in my explorations and helped me to better understand what I was seeing.
“Walking Queens” by Adrienne Onofri offers 30 great self-guided walking tours just like the other books in the series, but this time the focus is on the borough of Queens.
The hikes in this book really do a great job showcasing the diversity of this borough and cover everything from the East River to Long Neck Bay to the northeast and Rockaway Beach to the southeast. The hikes are primarily in the 3-4 mile range, but there are options for both shorter and longer hikes.
Bonus: Waterfalls in Pennsylvania
Yes, I know that this is a New York site, but I couldn’t make this list without including my own book “Waterfalls of Pennsylvania”.
This book features over 180 different waterfalls throughout PA, including some that are in the Poconos and only a short drive of New York City. Of course, you can also go further into the state to see even more great waterfalls.
Do you have a favorite hiking book about New York City and the surrounding area? Let us know in the comments below.