Venture Out – Where City Dwellers Go to Be One With Nature

22045737_10111979947336321_2243199055761623571_nThere’s a famous quote that says, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than she seeks”. And nothing could be more true, especially in Upstate New York.

Over the course of three years since I have lived in New York City, I have made it a point to get out of town and be one with nature every couple of months. It is the perfect way to reflect, recharge and find a path to peace.

Just a train ride away outside New York City, hundreds of acres of natural beauty await city dwellers like myself looking for a little fresh air. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply want to be surrounded by endless enclaves of trees, streams and stunning scenery, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Take some friends or head out alone for some much needed “you” time, but either way you choose, becoming one with nature is always a great way to beat the hustle and bustle blues the city can inflict.

And while I haven’t visited every state park, yet, here are my top three destinations for a quick, nature-inspired weekend escape out of the Big Apple –

  1. Cold Spring – Under two hours outside NYC is Cold Spring. A quaint little town lined with antique shops, cute cafes and the perfect path for hiking. Ascend up the mountain toward Breakneck Ridge loop for some of the most stunning scenes you ever did see.
  2. Bear Mountain – A bit closer than Cold Spring at just about an hour outside the city, Bear Mountain is another exciting escape. Head up on Metro North to the Peekskill stop and take a cab over the bridge toward Bear Mountain Inn for the start to a day full of adventure including lake water sports, hiking and exploring the nearby towns that surround the mountain.
  3. Poughkeepsie – Two hours directly north of New York City, you’ll find the pleasant town of Poughkeepsie (Puh-keep-see) – home to the world’s longest pedestrian bridge. Take a stroll across the bridge and look across the Hudson for some spectacular views. Then, head over to Franny Reese State Park for a little nature action. If you get tired, you can always relax at one of the many restaurants in the area.

These are just a couple of suggestions under two hours outside the Big Apple. New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Upstate New York have some other fabulous options for the nature lover in you. For more information, you can visit or


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