Spring is Coming: Time to Break Out My Hiking Shoes!

by on January 4th, 2011
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Spring is just around the corner, and I am getting ready for my favorite activity: hiking. Yes, I love getting out there and hitting the trails. I recently moved to Queens, NY and I have been very surprised to find out that there are many great places to hike here relatively close to me.

I though I would share some of my top picks of places to go in and around Queens that could be your next great hiking destinations. Hiking in Queens is a great way to learn some history, and to get you in shape for hikes that are going to require you to drive a few hours to the trailhead. Also, it is a great way to get out and get to know your neighborhood.

Many people have been amazed at the many places that I have found to go and hike. Most people assumed I was going to have to drive up to the Bear Mountain area to find any good hiking. Well they were wrong.

Here are my top picks for you.

Forest Park

Forest Park is a great place for first time hikers in Queens. This is not an isolated place to go and escape people, especially in warmer weather. However, it is still a great place to hike. The parks department did a great job planning out this park, and they do a great job maintaining it. The park is clean and you will find many systems of trails that will keep you busy for an entire afternoon. Do your best to find some of the more hidden and tucked away places in this park.

Jamaica Wildlife Preserve

This place is simply spectacular and is an urban bird watchers dream come true. The people who planned out this park went out of their way to create a rich bio diverse habitat. The trails are constructed so that you can walk unobtrusively through the wildlife without disturbing them. This is a great way to get a good education as an amateur naturalist. The visitor center is excellent, and there are many informative signs that will give you a good idea of what is going on and the history of the area. Find information about this park here.

Fort Totten

Fort Totten is a great place to lose yourself for a day. It is a vast property that stretches over an old Fort. Part of the fun is getting to explore the ruins and crawl around inside of them. Many of the old buildings have been almost completely covered by overgrown brush. This is one of my wife’s favorite places to bike, I love the place more for getting to explore the old civil war ruins.

Astoria Park

I wasn’t sure if I should put this park in this list. I guess if you are reading this let me know what you think. I love this place. It is always a great place to walk while you are overlooking the water and the Manhattan skyline. I can almost forgive the hum of the cars beneath my feet, as they cruise along on the BQE. It is a marvelously planned out park, and it has preserved much of the beauty of the Astoria highlands. Find out the parks information here .

Sands Point Preserve

This is not technically in Queens, but I live in Douglaston/Little Neck so I feel like this place is just down the block. A quick ride in my car and I feel like I am miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The seaside landscape and high cliffs make me feel like I am in faraway Montauk. This is one of the only example of the great mansions that used to dot the eastern coastline. The surrounding property has great hiking. You can even stop into the main house (they call it a castle for some reason) and learn some history. Check out there website here before you go, you might even be able to attend a performance or presentation in one of the houses.

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