Lifestyles

A Friendly Reminder From your Local Nature Guide: Go Take a Hike!

Explore The Trails of Staten Island’s Greenbelt

By: Philip Sanzone

Staten Island’s Greenbelt offers excellent hiking opportunities. (Credit: nycgo.com)

Hiking is a good and easy way to stay healthy. Also, it’s fun to do during the summer and winter months.

You don’t even have to leave the borough. On the Greenbelt alone, Staten Island has six different trails. It contains beautiful and refreshing sceneries that whisk you away from the tribulations that come from school or work.

Plus, there is a plethora of interesting and diverse plants like red/black oaks and tulips as well as common hickory and beech trees. There are even red maple, swamp oak, and willow trees. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot sweet gum trees along the trail.

Woodland trails are color coded. One trail is called the Blue Trails. It is considered to be of easy-to-medium difficulty and stretches 12.3 miles from Staten Island Boulevard to Todt Hill. According to SIgreenbelt.org, it is also the farthest point on the Eastern seaboard between Maine and Florida.

Another trail is called the White Trail, which is considered to be the same difficulty as the Blue Trail, but runs at a length of 7.6 miles long. Starting on the southern part of the Greenbelt, it is connected to Great Kills Park. At the halfway point you’ll be met by the Greenbelt Nature Center, which is a good place for a quick and relaxing break.

Then there’s the Red Trail thats is considered to be of medium-to-hard difficulty. It is 4 miles long and loops around the heart of the Greenbelt. This trail also has an extension going down hill to Historic Richmond Town near St. Patrick’s Place.

The Yellow Trail is the same as the Red Trail in level of difficulty. However, compared to the Red Trail, it is 4 miles longer. Some areas visible on the Blue Trail will be visible on the Yellow Trail. The Greenbelt also has two more trails, but they aren’t color-coded.

Easy is mainly made of flat grounds while medium is similar, but it has slightly elevated hills. Hard is mainly hilly grounds but also contains some of the same features from the other levels.

Along the trails, there are also Canadian mayflowers, trout lilies, and wild violets. You might even notice chipmunks, moles, and a diverse selection of songbirds. Red and white-tailed hawks are also seen in the area.

During the springtime you’ll hear spring peepers marking the beginning of the spring season with their chirps. The terrain is perfect for new hikers of all ages. Plus, there is also a trail that is good for children, known as the E Trail.

They also have a multi-purpose trail, which is completely different from the others mentioned. It has refurbished pedestrian walkways as well as bike lines. It won’t give you a big leg day workout, but it does give a relaxing and fun experience for people that want to bike ride or hike with their kids.

The trail is made of crushed gravel and is six feet wide, making the trail more comfortable to walk on. The trail has been a perfect tool used by runners, walkers, and cyclists. It was also used for the Green Belt’s annual Cold Feet 10K race back in February.

And that’s it for the trails of the Staten Island Greenbelt. Don’t forget that there are even more trails on Staten Island that you can find just by searching online. There are also amazing trails in upstate New York that are worth exploring, such as Pillsbury Mountain and Pillsbury Lake.

Hiking can be a fun activity in the winter, summer, spring, and fall seasons. It has a certain wonder to it that nothing really can replicate.

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