Looking for easy-to-access trailheads using mass transit? Try searching our Database of Hikes and select the Public Transportation icon in the Features filter. Or get some ideas below.
Check out our picks for Train-Friendly Trails Less Than 2 Hours from New York City
East Hudson Trails (Putnam County)
(also provides alternate route to Bear Mountain and the Appalachian Trail)
Use Metro-North/Hudson Line. From Grand Central, making stops at 125th Street in Harlem and Marble Hill in The Bronx, the trains make five stops near trailheads:
- Peekskill: Peekskill is reasonable access for the Camp Smith Trail (south end).
- Manitou: for Anthony's Nose or Bear Mountain: walk 2 miles south on Route 9D & across bridge. The Appalachian Trail is accessible along the Hudson Line via the Manitou station.
- Garrison: for Sugarloaf South & connections to other trails, including the Appalachian Trail.
- Cold Spring: for Washburn & Notch Trails.
- Breakneck Ridge: for Breakneck Ridge Trail, Wilkinson Trail & others. Breakneck is a special stop established for hikers by the Conference. About a half hour walk from Cold Spring if you miss the trains that stop here.
- Beacon: for Fishkill Ridge Trail (with a 2.5-mile walk in Beacon).
Effective April 3, 2016, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, six trains, which depart from Grand Central Terminal at 6:43, 7:43, 8:43, 9:43 and 10:43 a.m., and at 12:43 p.m., will stop at the Manitou and Breakneck Ridge stations. Although these are scheduled stops, only one car (usually the first car of the train) will be opened at these stations, so you should specifically inform the conductor that you want to get off there. Return trains will stop at 1:09, 3:09, 4:13, 5:11, 6:13 and 7:17 p.m. at Breakneck Ridge, and at 1:22, 3:22, 4:26, 5:24, 6:26 and 7:30 p.m. at Manitou. TRAINS RUN IN BOTH DIRECTIONS ON BOTH TRACKS, SO STAY ALERT.
Although these are scheduled stops, the train will not open a door for you to board unless the engineer or conductor sees you. If you wish to board a return train from one of these stations, make sure that you are at the small platform provided on the western side of the tracks, where you can be seen.
Appalachian Trail in Pawling, NY (Dutchess County)
See Appalachian Trail Guide NY/NJ, Dutchess County section. The Appalachian Trail station is located just north of the Appalachian Trail crossing of the Metro-North Harlem Line. Service to this station is provided only on weekends and holidays. Trains leave Grand Central Terminal at 7:50 and 9:51 a.m. Return trains to Grand Central depart from the Appalachian Trail station at 2:47 and 4:47 p.m., as well as at 6:43 p.m. (Saturdays only) and 7:17 p.m. (Sundays only). At other times, service (about every two hours) is available at the Pawling and Harlem Valley-Wingdale stations, each of which are within about two miles of the Trail.
GO GREEN and Take the Roosevelt Ride to Hyde Park, NY (Dutchess County)
From May 1st to October 31st, the National Park Service provides a free shuttle from the Poughkeepsie station on Metro-North's Hudson Line to the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt Historic Site in Hyde Park. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/hofr/planyourvisit/experience-the-roosevelt-ride.htm.
For Bear Mountain and Harriman State Park east and south
(including the Long Path)
See the Conference's Harriman-Bear Mountain and Hudson Palisades maps. Take the Short Line bus, West Point route (several morning buses - buy ticket at Short Line, 212-736-4700) from PABT (early-bird bus, 7am, NOT AVAILABLE in winter). The return bus departs at approximately 5:00 p.m., but a one-mile walk over the Bear Mountain Bridge to Manitou enables you to take a Metro-North train to Grand Central (as noted above, the last train departs at 7:30 p.m. on weekends). Another option is to stay at the Bear Mountain Inn or at motels in Fort Montgomery.
- Suffern: for Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail
- Route 202/Viola Road: for Kakiat Trail Mt. Ivy, for Long Path (both north and south)
- Tompkins Cove: for 1777 Trail
- Jones Point (flag stop, must ask driver): for Ramapo-Dunderberg and Timp-Torne trails
- Bear Mt. Inn: for AT, SBM, Major Welch & other trails.
Harriman Park, West
Use these stops on the Short Line bus (NYC-Middletown NY route) from PABT, (212) 736-4700. Buses leave early in the morning, returning late in the afternoon from Southfields.
- Suffern: for Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail.
- Sloatsburg: for Pine Meadow Trail (1 mile roadwalk) & connections to 7-Hills, Reeves Brook & Kakiat Trails, etc.
- Tuxedo: for Kakiat, Ramapo-Dunderberg & Triangle Trails; connections to Blue Disc & TMI Trails.
- Southfields: for Nurian Trail & connection to Dunning & other trails.
- Arden: for Appalachian Trail, Arden-Surebridge Trail & other connecting trails.
You can also reach the western side of Harriman by train, via NJ Transit/Metro North's Port Jervis Line. Trains leave from NJ Transit's Hoboken Terminal, and connections from Penn Station in New York City are available at Secaucus Junction. Hourly service is available to Suffern, with less frequent service to Sloatsburg, Tuxedo and Harriman stations. For more information, click here for a NJTransit pdf or here for the relevant MTA webpage.
Long Path in NJ & NY's Rockland County
See Conference's Long Path Guide and/or Hudson Palisades maps. Bus #9 of former Red & Tan Buses (see below), 212.564.1114, makes several stops along Route 9W that serve the Long Path on the Palisades: Englewood Cliffs, Alpine (Closter Dock Road), State Line, Piermont & Upper Nyack. Return service to PABT is hourly. You can also walk across the GW Bridge to reach Fort Lee, southern entrance to the NJ Palisades. For Long Path north into Harriman or south to High Tor & the Palisades, use Short Line (West Point Route) to Mt. Ivy: Early mornings from PABT, return late afternoons.
There is no walkway on the Tappan Zee Bridge for return to the city via the Metro-North Hudson Line.
in the NJ Palisades Interstate Park, use the Long Path information listed above.
Long Island Greenbelt Trail
For a detailed description of this trail, see Hiking Long Island. To reach the northern section, take the Port Jefferson Branch of the Long Island Rail Road to Smithtown. To reach the southern section, take the Montauk Branch of the Long Island Rail Road to Great River. For train schedules, go to www.mta.info. A one-way, 15-mile hike is possible by taking the train to Great River and hiking north to Smithtown. There is now just one campsite along the trail; permit required, call Suffolk Parks, 516.854.1320.
For a detailed description of this trail, see Hiking Long Island. To reach the northern section, take the Port Jefferson Branch of the Long Island Rail Road to Cold Spring Harbor. To reach the southern section, take the Babylon Branch of the Long Island Rail Road to Massapequa. For train schedules, go to www.mta.info
West Hudson Trails
If you really want to test the limits of a 50-mile radius, catch a morning Short Line express bus from PABT to the Mountainville stop for Schunemunk Mountain and Black Rock Forest. Return buses leave from late afternoon until approximately 7pm from Mountainville. See the Conference's West Hudson Trails maps.
Bus service to New Paltz from New York City, Nanuet, Newburgh and Kingston is available via Adirondack Trailways, www.trailwaysny.com (800) 776-7548. Limited weekday bus service to New Paltz from Kingston and Highland is available via Routes R and H of Ulster County Area Transit, www.co.ulster.ny.us/ucat (888) 827-8228. Taxi service from New Paltz to Mohonk Preserve, Mohonk Mountain House and Minnewaska State Park Preserve is available from New Paltz Taxi, www.npztaxi.com (845) 255-1550.
New Jersey Trails
Trail Conference Headquarters in Mahwah, N.J., is accessible via buses that stop at Ramapo College of New Jersey, right next door to our HQ.
Passaic County, with some trails in Bergen & Sussex Counties: See Conference's North Jersey Trails maps. Use NJ Transit, (973) 762-5100, or call PABT at (212) 564-8484. Hours may vary seasonally, especially in summer. Call ahead!
NJ Transit Bus #197 leaves PABT Saturday and Sunday mornings for:
- Pompton Lakes (Library or Acme Supermarket, mile before Station Plaza), for Cannonball Trail.
- Haskell, at Doty Road & Route 511, for Post Brook Trail.
- Wanaque, at West Brook Road & Route 511 for Stonetown Circular Trail & many trails in Norvin Green State Forest (Wyanokies). (If driver won't stop at West Brook Road, ask for 511 & Skyline Lakes Drive, Citgo station). This stop requires a road walk to trails.
- Cupsaw Lake Plaza for Skylands section of Ringwood State Park (8 & 10:30am on Saturday, 11am on Sunday). See Note Below.
- Ringwood Borough Hall, for Ringwood State Park (only on Saturday, none on Sunday). NOTE: Not all buses go to Cupsaw & Ringwood. Inquire carefully for both directions!
- Hewitt, at East Shore Road & Greenwood Lake Turnpike (Route 511) for Sterling Ridge & Hewitt-Butler Trails (must request this stop).
- Greenwood Lake NJ (near intersection of Routes 511 & 513), for access to Bearfort Ridge & Terrace Pond trails.
- Greenwood Lake NJ (State Line stop), for State Line & Appalachian Trails on ridge (must request this stop).
- Bellvale (Mt. Peter), for Appalachian Trail. You can then hike south on AT to State Line Trail (6 miles) or Greenwood Lake NJ (12 miles) or north to Arden NY (12 miles)
Delaware Water Gap Trails
Access to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Worthington State Forest, and the Appalachian Trail. See Trail Conference map set Kittatinny Trails.
Martz Trailways (800-233-8604 or www.martztrailways.com) provides frequent non-stop express bus service daily from New York PABT to Stroudsburg/Delaware Water Gap. From the Martz bus station, walk down the street (Main Street / Rt 611 South) into the Village of Delaware Water Gap and proceed to crosswalk marked "Appalachian Trail." This leads to the pedestrian walkway over the I-80 bridge crossing the Delaware River. The AT leads to the welcome center for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on the New Jersey side of the river. Here, in addition to the AT, there is access to the Mt. Tammany Trail, with links to many other trails in Worthington State Forest.