10 Great Places to Take a Walk

New Jersey and New York have enacted strict measures in effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. For residents of all ages, staying safe and healthy means staying at home. However, at a time when community health is essential, those who can are encouraged to get regular exercise and plenty of fresh air. Here are 10 great places to take a walk.

As of this date, the state parks in New York remain open, but those in New Jersey are temporarily closed.  With the newly formed Multi-State Council established to get people back to work and open things up again, we’re optimistic that the parks will be re-opened soon.

But even when they re-open, it will probably be with in stages with walking, hiking and biking paths opening first and facilities such as visitor centers, tennis courts, zoos, and galleries at some point in the future.  With a little luck, we’ll be able to access gardens, trails, woods, and open spaces in May – as spring is bursting out all over!

Here are five parks in New Jersey and five in New York that offer something for everyone – whether you are looking for a new trail to explore or space for the kids and pets to roam.

NEW JERSEY

10 Great places to take a walk - Sandy Hook

Island Beach State Park, Ocean County

This preserved barrier island contains close to ten miles of sandy beach, dense forests, and tidal marshes. Be on the lookout for foxes, ospreys, and more than 400 species of plants.

High Point, Sussex County

High Point is part of the Appalachian Trail and the highest geographic point in New Jersey. Enjoy hiking trials, quiet spots, or take in the view from the monument. At 1,803 feet above sea level, it offers a scenic panorama across three states.

New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood

The Ramapo Mountains frame the view of this 96-acre botanical showplace, which is part of Ringwood State Park. Stroll the terraced gardens and woodland paths and enjoy one of the state’s finest and most extensive collections of plants and trees.

The Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park, Central New Jersey

Grab your hiking shoes or mountain bike and explore this 77-mile multi-use path that runs along the historic D&R Canal. The linear park is a valuable wildlife corridor and additional trail networks cross several counties between New Brunswick and Frenchtown.

Cheesequake State Park, Old Bridge

What makes this 1,610-acre park unique is its location between two different ecosystems. Walk the five marked trails and you’ll find open fields, saltwater and freshwater marshes, a cedar swamp, Pine Barrens, and a hardwood forest.

NEW YORK

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens

The city’s second-biggest park is home to the iconic Unisphere, the 140-foot steel globe created for the 1964 World’s Fair. The1,255-acre expanse of greenery offers ample space to enjoy a quiet afternoon in the sun.

Central Park, Manhattan

Stretching from 59th Street to 110th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West, Central Park is a masterpiece of landscape architecture that offers an escape from urban life. The Great Lawn, Sheep Meadow, North Meadow, and East Meadow are open for passive use.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Visionaries Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who designed Central Park, also put their stamp on this bucolic park. Amenities like the Long Meadow and Nethermead offer ample open space and the Ravine is a towering forest within bustling Brooklyn.

Snug Harbor, Staten Island

Just a ferry ride away from Manhattan, this hidden gem and former home for retired sailors is spread across 83 acres and boasts an enormous botanical garden surrounded by cobblestone streets and Victorian and Tudor homes.

Pelham Bay Park, The Bronx

Jutting into the Long Island Sound, this park looks more like Maine than the Bronx. Three times the size of Central Park, the miles of bridle paths and hiking trails feature a diverse range of plant and animal life.

NOTE: All visitors are reminded to practice social distancing, cover sneezes and coughs, wash your hands often, and stay home if you are feeling ill. Park hours vary and restrictions are subject to change, so check the website before setting off.