Best Outdoor Adventures in New York

Ziplining at Hunter Mountain

Enjoy an easy getaway to one of these outdoor adventures in New York, be it climbing above the clouds, rolling on rapids, or biking along the sea.


Breakneck Ridge

Hiking in the Hudson Valley

Lace up your boots for this rewarding four-hour hike just 80 minutes north of Manhattan. The 5.5 miles of diverse trails and spectacular views of the Hudson Valley make Breakneck Ridge a memorable escape from the city.

Hiking in the Hudson Valley offers a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility just a stone’s throw away from Manhattan. As someone who has explored these trails numerous times, I can attest to the awe-inspiring beauty that awaits adventurers at Breakneck Ridge. From the moment you lace up your boots and embark on the trail, you’re greeted by a sense of anticipation and excitement, knowing that each step brings you closer to breathtaking vistas and unparalleled serenity.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:

One tip for making the most of your hike is to start early in the morning to beat the crowds and soak in the tranquil ambiance of the Hudson Valley at sunrise. As the golden rays illuminate the rugged terrain and paint the sky with hues of pink and orange, you’ll feel a profound sense of connection to the natural world around you. Additionally, be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout the journey. Breakneck Ridge’s challenging terrain demands proper preparation, but the rewards of conquering its peaks and valleys are well worth the effort.

Directions: Take Metro-North Hudson line from Grand Central to the Breakneck Ridge stop.
The Ticket: $20 roundtrip.

Biking Montauk

Cycling in Montauk

Hop on a bike and explore one of four relaxing and scenic routes along the beautiful shores of Montauk, three hours northeast of Manhattan. In between stops to chow down on the best lobster roll and take in the rugged cliffs stretching out to the Montauk Lighthouse, you’ll likely fall in love with biking all over again.

Embarking on a biking adventure along the scenic shores of Montauk offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, presenting an opportunity to reconnect with nature and savor the simple pleasures of coastal living. Having pedaled along these picturesque routes myself, I can attest to the rejuvenating experience of cruising alongside breathtaking ocean views and feeling the gentle sea breeze against your skin.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:

To fully immerse yourself in the charm of Montauk, consider starting your biking excursion early in the day to avoid crowds and relish the tranquil ambiance of the coastal landscape. As you pedal along the winding paths, take the time to pause and indulge in the region’s culinary delights, such as the renowned lobster rolls, which serve as savory fuel for your journey.

Don’t forget to bring along a camera to capture the rugged cliffs and iconic Montauk Lighthouse, immortalizing the memories of your scenic bike ride along the coast for years to come. With each pedal stroke, you’ll rediscover the joy of biking and create unforgettable moments amidst Montauk’s breathtaking scenery.

The Directions: Take the Long Island Railroad, offering daily trains to and from Penn Station.
The Ticket: $40 roundtrip, and if you bring a bike on the train remember to bring your $5 lifetime bike permit.

Rock climbing the Gunks

Rock Climbing in the Gunks

Local guide service Alpine Endeavors offers half or full-day courses to suit your skill levels as you climb the spectacular Shawangunk Ridge.

Embark on an unforgettable rock climbing experience amidst the stunning Shawangunk Ridge with the expert guidance of Alpine Endeavors, a premier local guide service. Having personally ventured into the Gunks, I can attest to the exhilarating thrill of scaling these majestic cliffs, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the camaraderie of fellow climbers.

Before you ascend the rocky heights, ensure you come prepared with comfortable and durable climbing gear, including harnesses, helmets, and proper footwear. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned climber, Alpine Endeavors offers tailored half or full-day courses designed to accommodate your skill level and provide an enriching learning experience.

Watch this:

As you navigate the rugged terrain and conquer challenging routes, take a moment to savor the breathtaking panoramic views of the Hudson Valley below. With each ascent, you’ll not only hone your climbing skills but also forge unforgettable memories amidst the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Gunks.

The Directions: Take the Adirondack Trailways bus line out of New York Port Authority on 8th Ave and 42nd St. to New Paltz bus terminal.
The Ticket: $42 roundtrip. $280 full-day, $195 half-day 

Rafting the Lehigh River

Whitewater Rafting in the Adirondacks

Experience a thrilling ride down the Black River Gorge, paddling over 14 major sets of class II-IV rapids in the Thousand Islands region of NY. Take advantage of Black River Fridays, when trips are only $55 on Fridays through Labor Day.

Prepare for an adrenaline-packed adventure as you navigate the exhilarating rapids of the Black River Gorge in the picturesque Thousand Islands region of New York. Having embarked on several whitewater rafting excursions in the Adirondacks, I can assure you that the rush of paddling through class II-IV rapids amidst stunning natural scenery is an experience like no other.

Before you embark on your whitewater journey, remember to pack essentials like sunscreen, water shoes, and quick-dry clothing to ensure comfort and safety throughout the trip. Consider opting for Black River Fridays, where you can enjoy discounted rates of $55 per trip, offering an affordable opportunity to immerse yourself in the thrill of whitewater rafting. As you paddle through the roaring rapids and navigate the twists and turns of the river, you’ll not only feel the rush of adrenaline but also forge unforgettable memories amidst the rugged beauty of the Adirondack wilderness.

The Directions: While all trips offer shuttle service, locations vary, so call 800-525-7238 for up-to-the-minute info on launch areas.
The Ticket: $149 (you might want to bring an extra $20 to rent a wetsuit).

Photos: Jeff PVince, Hunter Mtn, GB, Wendy