Of all the books I’ve mentioned during this week’s I Love New York series, this is the one I’ve enjoyed using the most, but not nearly as much as I’d like to. There’s really no good excuse, but I’ll blame it on winter weather.
All the suggested hikes featured in Moon’s Take a Hike New York City are located within two hours of Manhattan by bus, train or car. Skip Card has gathered a great selection of hiking options that stretch out in all directions: Fire Island’s Otis Pike Wilderness, the Staten Island Blue Trail, the Shawangunks in Ulster County, and thirteen sections of the New York Appalachian Trail. There are also 15 New Jersey hikes and suggested walks in Central Park, the Botanical Garden’s Native Forest and Jamaica Bay’s Wildlife Refuge.
The handy cross-reference section highlights the best hikes for kids and those with interests like bird-watching, geology and history. I used this book to navigate four hikes last fall — two near Ringwood in western New Jersey, and two in the western Hudson region. I agree with Card’s pick of the Norvin Green Crest Loop as one of the best for variety and high peaks. His description of the Ringwood Manor Loop provides a nice overview of the estate’s history. And all the other entries offer more of the same, including clear directions for finding trail heads and those all-important hints for picking the best lunchtime pit-stops.