We have officially entered the New Year, which means Long Island is in for some cold, chilly weather, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all season! The Winter is the time that many Long Islanders dread, but you don’t have to stay cooped up for the entire season. There’s plenty of fun to be had enjoying the Great Outdoors during the colder months. Whether you’ve indulged in one too many holiday treats, or you’ve resolved to start healthy in 2015, January is the perfect time you can get yourself back into tip-top shape and luckily for you, getting fit won’t be too arduous of a task with the abundance of hiking trails on Long Island.
Hiking is a great way to get outdoors and start exercising to stay healthy, hiking can be a fun year-round activity. Hiking in the Winter can be very beneficial, just be sure to bundle yourself in a warm jacket. Some of the same parks we use in the Spring, Summer and Fall are also open during the Winter and an added bonus state parks have free parking during the off season.
Hiking offers a ton of benefits and helps to prolong your life - it's a simple, fun, and inexpensive . This is a great time to get yourself in shape and take advantage of the over 200 miles of hiking trails on the Island.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of Hiking during the Winter Months:
After a holiday full of delicious treats, hiking can come with many benefits. According to WebMD, hiking can improve your blood pressure, helps shed those pounds, and can even boost your mood. Refresh your mind and shove away that gloomy feeling, after a day of hiking you can get some of the best sleep you’ve ever had. Along with the great sleep, also get excited for the amount of calories you will be burning.
In the winter people tend to feel tired and groggy. Hiking is a great way to push yourself out of that funk and become much more alert and aware. According to The National Wildlife Federation, spending time outdoors gives you that energy boost you need for creative problem-solving and increases your attention span.
Enjoy the View
Forget a boring treadmill, when hiking on a trail the landscape is always changing. While on a hike you’re surrounded by nature, so soak in the beautiful view.
Hiking in the winter is a lot different than hiking in the summer. Environmental changes such as snow can affect the toughness or easiness of the trail. Challenge yourself with this change and you will see physical benefits.
If you are one of those people who tend to spend more time inside during the summer season than outside due to all of the creepy crawlers, well then this may be the season for you to go out and explore. You won’t find any bugs this time of the year.
Here are some of Our Favorite Hiking Trails:
Camp Hero State Park, Montauk
Camp Hero Park expands over 415 acres of land that includes heavily wooded areas, beachfronts and an historic military installation. There are an abundance of trails for you to enjoy, which include hiking, biking and horseback riding.
Muttontown Preserve, Syosset
This 550-acre preserve holds a number of old North Shore estates overtaken by nature. This surprisingly extensive woodland area features a marked self-guiding trail that circles around one of the old mansions.
West Hills County Park, Melville
West Hills includes the historic Walt Whitman Trail leading to Jayne’s hill, Long Island’s highest peak. The park also comprises of athletic fields, dog parks and horse paths.
Avalon Park and Preserve, Stony Brook
This park’s mission is to maintain a beautiful landscape for visitors to enjoy free of charge. Avalon consists of over 70 acres of hiking paths, fields and forests.
Bethpage State Park, Bethpage
Bethpage State Park is best known for it’s golf courses, which includes the Black course, the site of the U.S Open Championship in 2002 and 2009. However, many visitors stop by for the parks playing fields, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails.
Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park
Sunken Meadow is one of the most popular picnic parks on Long Island, but many people also enjoy using the park for a walk across the ¾ mile boardwalk. The park is also the northern tip of the Long Island Greenbelt trail for hiking.
Garvies Point Museum and Preserve, Glen Cove
This preserve is along North shore located on the Hempstead Harbor and includes exhibits and educational programs devoted to regional geology and Native-American archaeology. There are about five miles of marked natured trails.
Christopher Morley Park, Roslyn
A 98-acre park that includes a tennis court, basketball court, volleyball court and baseball fields. The grounds have a one-mile fitness trail for visitors who are walkers and joggers.
With all these great Hiking Spots, there's no reason not to get out there and stay active this Winter. So give it a try and see the benefits a winter workout can bring to you!
What’s your favorite Winter Hiking Trail? Let Us Know in the Comments Below!