Get Outside More in 2015
Top 6 Ways New Yorkers Can Get Outside More in 2015
Written by Susan Torres. Header photo taken during OutdoorFest 2014 during free kayaking with Red Hook Boaters.
Happy 2015 everyone! It’s the first week of January which means it’s still (hopefully) resolution time for many of you. Since you’re here on the Outdoorfest blog, I can only assume one of your resolutions has to do with getting outside, being in nature, staying active, or ideally - combining all three. If you can, you’ll have an awesome year! We’re here to help you stick with your resolution with our Top 6 Ways to Get Outside More as a New Yorker in 2015.
6. Go birding.
If you’re anything like me, you find going outside in the harsh New York winter tough, and just want to stay inside and drink hard hot cider. But the winter is actually a great time to look for birds of prey - especially owls - with all the leaves off the trees. Great Horned Owls - and even Snowy Owls - have been spotted throughout the city. I’m biased towards owls because owls are awesome, but you can see all kind of birds of prey in New York if you just head outside and look up.
5. Explore a new park.
Pick the borough you spend the least amount of time in and go explore one of it’s parks. If you’ve never really been to the Bronx, head to Pelham Bay Park which is more than three times the size of Central Park. If you want to take a free ferry ride (more bonus outside time!) head to Conference House Park which includes the southern-most point in New York City. Or choose a park you’ve never seen in your own borough and spend the day walking around, you’re sure to spot something you’ve never seen before.
4. Get on the water.
We are surrounded by water here in NYC. With ferries, sightseeing tours, kayaks, and piers all over the place, there’s no reason not to get your fill of the outdoors on the water. There are lots of free kayaking opportunities, but there are also a surprising amount of wildlife cruises available to New Yorkers. The New York Beach Ferry leaves from Riis Landing in Breezy Point, Queens and takes you out on the ocean to look for dolphins and whales. There’s even a Winter Wildlife Cruise where you can spot seals and migratory birds.
3. Take a hike.
While there are tons of ways you can get outside anywhere in the five boroughs, it’s always nice to get away from your 8.5 million neighbors every once in a while. That’s where MetroNorth comes in. Head to Grand Central, hop on a train, and you can find yourself on the Appalachian Trail. The Hudson Line runs along, you guessed it, the Hudson River and a couple stops offer quick walks to trail heads.
2. Take an outdoor fitness class.
If you’re near Fort Tryon Park, you can take a free fitness class in the fresh air every morning to get your heart rate up every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday now through April. Once the weather gets nicer there are even more free options in every borough. Whether participating in sunset Pilates in Brooklyn Bridge Park, getting some aggression out at a bootcamp, or just taking advantage of the fitness equipment on your own time, working out outside gets you healthy and will give you that dose of the outdoors we all need.
1. Take the ultimate Manhattan hike.
Manhattan’s outer edge is 32 miles long. Thirty years ago, Cy A. Adler invented “The Great Saunter” a walk around all 32 miles of the island. Many people do the walk in the spring and begin in downtown Manhattan and head north. It’s a great way to see the island from a whole different point of view, from the Hudson River to Inwood Park to the Harlem River. There are all kinds of historical markers along the way too. But it’s hard: a couple friends and I attempted it a couple years ago and only made it to the 90s on the east side before our legs had had enough. Make sure you hydrate and mentally prepare, and don’t stop for an over hour long lunch in Inwood like we did and you’ll probably make it.