You can hit the trail in Peekskill after just an hour on the train. Photo: Gabrielle Sierra
Every once in a while you’ve got to spirit yourself out of the city to reset your brain. Here are three trips, no car necessary, that will have you breathing clean country air at lunchtime, and then back in Brooklyn in time for bed–unless of course you decide to really treat yourself and stay the night.
Hiking in Peekskill
New York City’s parks are wonderful, but sometimes you need a more challenging hike than you can find in Prospect Park’s Ravine. Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill, just an hour away on the train, has hiking and cycling trails, beautiful views, and best of all, a brewery nearby to get a bite and a pint before heading home.
To get there, hop a Metro North train at Grand Central to Peekskill. The ride ranges from $11.75-$22.00 each way depending on the day and time–on the weekend a round-trip ticket will run you $23.50 and trains leave once an hour starting at 6:43am.
Once you arrive in Peekskill, grab a cab (if there’s not one at the station, call Royal House Taxi, 914-293-0807) or take a half-hour walk through town–about a mile and a half–to Blue Mountain Reservation at 45 Welcher Avenue. At just over 1,500 acres, the park features trails for hiking, nature spotting and mountain biking. Most of the paths range from easy to moderate and following the middle of the road blue trails is usually best as they’re challenging but not grueling. If you’re looking for something steeper, the path up the side of Blue Mountain is perfect. Entry is free, just be sure to either download or grab a hard copy of a trail map. If you drive, parking is $10. There are also extensive mountain biking trails, and bikes are allowed on Metro North with a bike permit, which is just $5.
Try a beer flight at the Peekskill Brewery. Photo: Gabrielle Sierra
Once you’ve had your fill of nature, make your way back through town to the Peekskill Brewery (47-53 S Water Street), conveniently located right across from the train station. The brewery offers their own beers as well as selections from other nearby brewers, and flights are available. If beer isn’t your thing, their wine list has a New York focus, there are close to a dozen ciders available, many made locally, and they specialize in quirky Bloody Marys. The brewery also has a restaurant with views of the river, and a limited (but super tasty) menu is available in the taproom. Relax! The last train doesn’t leave until 11:35pm (though the 10:35pm is direct and will get you back faster).–G.S.
There is more to Beacon than the Dia museum. Street art, galleries and shops dot the town’s Main Street. Photo: Michael Hyman via Flickr.
Art and Fleas in Cold Spring and Beacon
Beacon is synonymous with the Dia: Beacon art center, and for anyone who appreciates conceptual art, it’s well worth the pilgrimage to see John Chamberlain’s junkyard carcasses, and Sol leWitt’s very orderly wall drawings. If you suspect you will be unimpressed with the minimalists and are annoyed by phrases like “negative sculpture,” skip the museum. Visit Beacon just for the gorgeous train ride and a day spent popping into eclectic shops and galleries along the town’s very long Main Street. And if you’ve got a car, you can also hit two flea/artisan markets. (more…)
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