Whether you’re looking to amp up your exercise routine or just want to get out into the great outdoors and take in the warm weather, we’ve got three words for you: Take a hike! Not only can hiking burn around 440 calories (or more) per hour, it’s also a fun way to spend a day with Mother Nature and take in all the gorgeous sights our area has to offer.
Here are three of the best hikes in Bergen County NJ to get you started. Happy trails!
The Giant Stairs — Palisades (Alpine, NJ)
This challenging rock scramble is not only the largest one in New Jersey – 4.3. miles!— it’s also one serious workout, demanding balance and stability and giving your core a serious workout!
While the trek is rocky—you’re literally climbing on a huge mass of boulders that have tumbled from the Palisades—and there are some pretty steep drop-offs that might be too advanced for some kids (not to mention adults), the payoffs are great, with gorgeous views of the Hudson River, an incredible waterfall, and some of New Jersey’s best nature sights along the way.
After your journey, take a load off and reward yourself with lunch and a nice cold drink at the State Line Café.
Ramapo Reservation (Mahwah, NJ)
With an impressive 11 hiking trails ranging from beginner to advanced, you’re sure to find a hike that’s perfect for you. Loops range from 1.2 miles with 200 feet elevation to 10-mile loops with 1,100 feet elevation, and all include some pretty cool sights, including the beautiful Ramapo Lake, an old-timey castle, and sweeping views of New York City skyline.
We suggest starting with one of the shorter hikes, and then challenging yourself to one of the longer hikes the next time around.
This one is also perfect for bringing your pooch along. Choose the light blue/yellow path (a 3-mile hike), which will lead you to a doggie haven, where there are tons of dogs on and off leash swimming in a pond and making friends.
Hook Mountain (Nyack, NY)
The Southern half of this trail is a paved and scenic flat path almost two miles long for walkers, bikers, and hikers (and is also wheelchair accessible) along the peaceful Hudson River. With trails ending up at Rockland Lake (approx. 6 miles round-trip) or Haverstraw (approx. 11 miles round-trip), your walk can be friendly, romantic, or introspective. No matter which you choose, you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the Tappan Zee Bridge and Westchester.
Looking for more? Hike up the northern part of the trail, which is hilly, narrow, and rocky. There are likely to be more than a few adventurous mountain bikers on the way.