Day Trippin': Manitou Point

As springtime inches into summertime here in New York City, it means one of two things: it's either absolutely flippin' gorgeous out, or it's hotter than a pair of sweatpants full of barbeque. What's the best way to fight the heat when it comes around? Take a day trip (duh)! Getting out from under the skyscrapers - and off the sweltering sidewalks - always beats the heat, no matter where you are. Shaded hikes are some of my favorite day trips around the city, and New York in particular is so unique because you're never more than just a quick train ride away from mountains, cliff sides, and rivers.

Being on the water is, of course (I'm from Florida, lest you forgot), one of my favorite things in life. It's breezy even when it's boiling out, and somehow I always find it so emotionally refreshing, even if I'm not always getting wet. Plus, New York has some gorgeous little hikes that are peppered throughout the not-too-far-upstate landscape, making them terribly easy to get to, and even easier to get home afterwards. So, when this past weekend came around and I started itching for adventure, we hopped on up to Grand Central and took the train to Manitou Point.

Manitou Point Preserve, a gorgeous little trail system around the Hudson River, has all the things you're looking for in a nature getaway: wooded upland, rock outcrops, a steep-sided ravine, and a marsh with rocky bluffs along the river. This area actually used to be owned as an estate by a man named Edward Livingston, who is a descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence (perfect for Fourth of July weekend romping?), Philip Livingston. Renovated and revived, there are four miles of trails in the area that are available for public use.

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