How to Hike a Trail Less Traveled

March 17, 2020
News
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

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How to Hike a Trail Less Traveled

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This article was edited on 5/15/20 to reflect the easing of restrictions on activities in the midst of COVID-19. Specific tips for hiking in the era of physical distancing can be found here.


When you opt for a hike that sees less foot traffic, you're helping to alleviate stress on the land.

The most popular trails and outdoor destinations in our region all have alternatives that are equally spectacular—and we’re sharing our favorite trails less traveled. Bonus: When you opt for an "alternative" hike, you’re part of the solution. You're practicing Leave No Trace principles to help alleviate the overuse of popular trails, protecting the land, and helping to keep these special places from being "loved to death." 

We've organized the "less traveled" list below by state, further broken down by county. Parks and trails listed as areas to "avoid" are heavily visited, do not have sufficient parking areas for crowds, and/or are already suffering from the effects of overuse. That's not to say you should never visit these places; however, avoiding them at popular times, such as weekends, is highly encouraged. Even some of these "less traveled" suggestions may still be busy in fair weather at peak times of the day, so be sure to take note of several hikes in the area you plan to visit so you have alternatives ready to go in case trailhead parking lots are full.

We're working to keep this list and our Trail Alerts page up-to-date, but closures and restrictions in regional parks and trails continue to happen. NYS parks and NJ Parks are your best resources for up-to-date information. Check these pages before you head out. 

We will be adding additional hikes and other resources, including free maps, to this list. Be sure to check back periodically for updates and more resources.


New York Parks + Trails

New Jersey Parks + Trails


New York Parks + Trails

New Jersey Parks + Trails

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is a volunteer-powered nonprofit founded in 1920 to help people discover the restorative benefits of nature. We are a resource to ensure you have all the information you need to have a safe, enjoyable experience outdoors. 

You'll find us on the trail or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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