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Four Fabulous L.I. Hiking Trails to Escape Holiday Stress

Hiking Boots on log


The holiday season may be the most magical time of the year, but sometimes you need a little break from all the decking of halls and trimming of trees and the like.

Lucky for us, Long Island is home to a plethora of beautiful hiking trails that can offer a bit of fresh air and stress-free respite. So, strap on your hiking boots and hit the trail at some of our favorite trails.

Note to prospective hikers: Be sure to prepare for your route in advance. Wear comfortable shoes and pack water, snacks and other essentials. Never overexert yourself on a hike, and always consider traveling with a buddy.

Distance: 31.8 miles
Start Point: Heckscher State Park, East Islip

Slightly longer than its sister greenbelt, this Suffolk trail leads hikers south on a 31.8-mile route that runs parallel to the Nissequogue and Connetquot Rivers from the LI Sound to the Great South Bay. According to the nonprofit organization Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference, hikers have enjoyed this Long Island trail since 1978.

Distance: 19.5 miles
Start point: Cold Spring Harbor State Park, Cold Spring Harbor

One of LI’s most famous greenbelts is the Nassau-Suffolk trail, which runs from Cold Spring Harbor State Park south to the Massapequa Preserve watershed. This roughly 20-mile trail, which is full of serene lakes and ponds for calming down, intersects with the Walt Whitman Trail near Huntington.

Distance: 2.9 miles
Start Point: Montauk Point State Park, Montauk

Bluffs, coastline and woodlands. It’s all part of the beautiful hiking trail that runs through Montauk Point State Park. This mostly flat route takes hikers down Camp Hero Road, which once housed a WWII military base. This route is great for kids and pups, too, as its mostly flat.

Distance: 3.7 miles
Start Point: Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park

Inside Sunken Meadow State Park lies is a loop trail great for kids and pets, but don’t let it’s distance fool you: This route is considered one of the more visually pleasing trails on Long Island, as the loop takes hikers up and down hills and at the mouth of the Nissequogue River.

Note: The park charges a daily vehicle fee. For information on parking rates, click here.