Even during hunting season, you can find exciting places to walk in the woods throughout the greater New York metropolitan region.
The following parks and preserves in New York and New Jersey are or include no-hunting areas. Trails are maintained by Trail Conference volunteers or our member organizations.
Remember: Wherever you walk in the woods during hunting season, it's a good idea to wear bright colors, such as blaze orange.
A vast portion of this favorite hiking destination--basically, the area south of Fly Brook and Sanders Kill--is off-limits to hunters. A hunting map provided by the park shows the zones. Click here to go to our page for Minnewaska, where you can download a pdf of the map.
Bear Mountain/ Harriman State Parks (Orange and Rockland Counties)
Most of this region, with 235 miles of marked trails, is a safe haven for hikers during deer hunting season. Hunting areas in Harriman State Park (as well as Sterling Forest State Park) have been expanded to include essentially all park areas west of NY Route 17. Click here to learn more about hiking at Bear Mountain/Harriman.
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (Westchester County)
There is no gun hunting in all of Westchester County, so all parks and preserves are relatively safe havens for walkers. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is the county's largest open space: 4,700 acres with nearly 42 miles of hiking trails. Learn more about Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
NOTE: Bow hunting is permitted in season in some areas of Westchester from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation hunting days will be Mondays through Fridays only, from 3:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Staten Island Greenbelt (New York City)
This is a good time to explore new places. Visit this unique network of trails (28 miles all totaled) in New York City's outer borough. Learn more and find links to trail information and a Staten Island Greenbelt trail map.
Walkway Over the Hudson (Dutchess County) & Franny Reese State Park (Ulster County)
Accessible by public transportation (Metro North to Poughkeepsie), this newer state park offers a good stretch of the legs over the Hudson River. A loop hike of almost 4 miles is possible by adding the Mid-Hudson Bridge. You can even include a walk in the woods by hiking the trails in the connecting Franny Reese State Park. Fall is a good time to visit this hillside park along the Hudson; the leaves are down and there are excellent views over the river and bridges. Click here for Walkway info and links and here for Franny Reese State Park info.
New Jersey Section of Palisades Interstate Park (Bergen County)
Enjoy more than 25 miles of trails at this stunning linear park, which connects to more miles of trails on the New York side of the border. Learn about hiking along the Palisades.
Campgaw Mountain and Ramapo Valley County Reservations (Bergen County)
Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area (Morris County)
Thirty miles of trails, two mountains, and interesting rocks, including the ever popular Tripod Rock. Click here to learn more about Pyramid Mountain. Hunting is permitted on several days, December through February: 12/3, 12/8, 12/10, 12/17, 1/8, 1/15, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/11. On days when hunting is allowed, trails are closed to hikers. Visit the Morris County Parks site for more details on hunting dates.
Garret Mountain Reservation (Passaic County)
Explore four trails and a castle and enjoy outstanding views of the New York City skyline and High Mountain. Learn more about Garret Mountain Reservation.
South Mountain Reservation (Essex County)
The park's 2,047 acres contain five marked hiking trails, many miles of carriage roads and bridle paths, views of falls, millponds, and--off in the distance--Manhattan. Learn more about South Mountain Reservation.
Bonus Hike Area: Watchung Reservation (Union County)
Miles of trails, Surprise Lake, plus a deserted village. Learn more about Watchung Reservation.
Good to know: Hunting with firearms is generally prohibited throughout New Jersey on Sundays. (Seasonal bowhunting is permitted on state wildlife management areas and private property on Sundays.)