New York City

NEW YORK CITY HAS more than 1,700 designated green spaces, but spread those among 8,008,278 Gothamites and you barely have room to move. Our solutions: the Shawangunks, the Hudson River Gorge, fishing off Montauk Point...

Sep 1, 2002
Outside Magazine
The Classic

JUST 132 MILES FROM NYC, beyond the madding Hamptons, lies the tip of Long Island's South Fork: rocky Montauk Point, where you can surfcast for striped bass, bluefish, and sometimes bonito. Rent gear from Johnny's Tackle Shop on Main Street (631-668-2940). A less-crowded option: fish the North Fork's Orient Point.

Upward mobility: grabbing a hunk of the 'Gunks

AFTER WORK ON FRIDAY, head two hours north on I-87 to New Paltz, New York, gateway to the Shawangunk Mountains. Grab essential gear at Rock and Snow, on Main Street (845-255-1311,, and bed down at the New Paltz Hostel (bunks, $20 per person; doubles, $55-$75; 845-255-6676,, with both private rooms and bunk-style digs.

Bright and early on Saturday, head for nearby 6,400-acre Mohonk Preserve (vehicle pass, $8; 845-255-0919,, the epicenter of 'Gunks climbing. Park at the West Trapps trailhead to access the Trapps, with 700 climbs on a mile-long quartzite stretch of cliffs, a half-mile in (for a guide, contact Mountain Skills, 845-687-9643, After a morning of trad-climbing anything from 5.0 to 5.13, head back to the car and drive about a half-mile to the Coxing Kill Trail parking lot. Take a dip in the Split Rock swimming hole, then picnic on the banks. After lunch, drive about 70 miles northwest (via I-87, New York 28, and New York 30) to the Plattekill ski area, take the chairlift up, and bomb down on your full-suspension ride (lift ticket, $23; single ride, $8; bike rentals available; 800-633-3275, In the late afternoon, go skydiving over the town of Gardiner, near New Paltz ($185 per person for a tandem jump with Skydive The Ranch; 845-255-4033,

On Sunday, start the day with a 3.5-mile trail run to Awosting Lake in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, just west of town (entrance fee, $6; 845-255-0752, Later that morning, head a few miles north on I-87 and New York 28 to Onteora Lake, near Kingston, where you can click into some steep, rocky Catskills singletrack via a doubletrack trail from the parking lot (info at After lunch, head west on New York 28 to Phoenicia for a whitewater tube ride on the Esopus River (tubes, $12; Town Tinker Tube Rentals; 845-688-5553, Later, drive southwest on U.S. 209 to chill out in the Ellenville Ice Caves in Sam's Point Preserve (The Nature Conservancy; parking fee, $5; 914-244-3271), a short hike from the parking lot. Back in New Paltz, trade tales over a plate of jaeger schnitzel and a Three Pines IPA at the Gilded Otter Brewing Company (845-256-1700, before heading back to the city.

RAFT THE 17-mile, Class III-IV Upper Hudson River Gorge, a few hours north of Manhattan. Overnight guided trips run the gorge and sections below it ($195 per person) or take a two-day intensive skills kayak clinic ($200) with Wild Waters Outdoor Center in Warrensburg (800-867-2335,

THE ADIRONDACKS ARE New York's answer to Moab, sort of. The Speculator Loop, completed in June, is the beginning of what will be a 40-mile network of singletrack, doubletrack, and dirt roads spiraling from the town of Speculator. From the Oak Mountain Ski Area parking lot, ride 15.4 miles past Elm Lake and along the Kunjamuk River. From I-90 take exit 27 to New York 30 north to Speculator. Stop in at the Speculator chamber of commerce (518-548-4521; for a free map.

SHELBURNE FARMS, a Vanderbilt-Webb estate built in 1886 on Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vermont (doubles, $95-$365; 802-985-8498,, is now a nonprofit that promotes conservation and sustainable forestry. The 1,400-acre farm is crisscrossed with patches of pristine woods, gardens, and fields, and the restaurant of the 24-room inn features farm-raised all-organic dairy products, garden greens, and free-range meats.