4 Ways to Let Nature De-Stress You

Four great ways for urban-dwellers to get back into nature and regain sanity (with NYC-specific tips).


Happy Trails

Whether you’re aware of the hiking opportunities that surround the city you live in or not, there are undoubtedly incredible trails that many people don’t take advantage of. I love hiking because it not only brings stress relief but it strengthens key muscles in the hips, legs and torso and keeps me feeling healthy. Google the local Parks & Recreation government agency in your area, and ask them where to find marked hiking trails near you.

4 Ways to Let Nature De-Stress You

Me and my hubby hiking in the rain upstate NY, about an hour north of the city


One of my favorite hikes near NYC is called Anthony’s Nose, which is about 50 miles from the city. It’s 2.6 miles up the trail and back and takes about 2.5 hours. It’s a steep, short climb with a stunning view of the Hudson River at the summit. There are alternative/easier trails to explore as well, like:

  • Central Park’s Pond to Reservoir path and The Rumble trail
  • Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens
  • Midwood Trail in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Audubon Center
  • Cass Gallagher Nature Trail and John Kieran Nature Trail in the Bronx’s Cortlandt Park

Great for families, solo journeys and visitors.

Not into hiking? Here are a few more ideas:

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Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 72 Comments

  1. Avatar of Sasha Smith

    Just looking at green tree’s relaxes our body and mind. Being in a forest should work wonders for our bodies.

  2. Avatar of Charleen Washington

    Charleen Washington

    I totally love these tips! It’s very important and much needed to take a break from the busy routined lifestyle! Try to avoid your cell phone as much as you can. No laptops, No Tv. Try and stay away from every gadget that connects you with the world. Just go on a hike. Take your camera along! Capture everything you wish to. It’ll work like a miracle, and you’ll feel so much better. 🙂

  3. Avatar of Shelley Donalds

    Shelley Donalds

    Sometimes the big city life really depresses me, so I need to take a break and I go to the nearest park and just admire the nature. Just sit in an open area where I can see the nature (trees, birds, may be hills,water etc.) And think, without them, what would be world like? Then I start feeling more relaxed and appreciative about everything in my life.

  4. Avatar of Ingrid Winston

    Ingrid Winston

    I had a major bird watching weekend! On Saturday I went on the bird watching tour in Prospect Park and Sunday my husband and I went to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. It’s warbler migration time and I saw several kinds in both parks. I am just a beginner which is why it’s good to go with the tour, to hear from the experts. Everyone seemed to be out enjoying nature. 🙂

  5. Avatar of Winona Miller

    Winona Miller

    The Madison Square Park is EVERYTHING! A true treasure in the city! There is always something interesting going on in this well kept park. Free wifi, live events, sculpture displays, pretty flowers & fall foliage. Pick up your lunch, sit here, enjoy the people watching. The squirrels are uber friendly. Don’t be surprised if one climbs up your leg or jumps on your shoulder to see what you’re eating.

  6. Avatar of Brenda Nelson

    Brenda Nelson

    Great tips for those who enjoy a hike or a jog out in the nature! If you are lazy, and don’t enjoy hiking, these may not be the places for you. 😉 Great places to relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

  7. Avatar of Leah Helms

    Leah Helms

    Great post, however some of these places are not that well known, and almost a secret spot for some. Places are kept secret for a reason. The unwanted and unappreciative people are the reason why these amazing spots are getting destroyed… I can see your good intnetions, but spreading the word about cherished paradises does more damage than good.

  8. Avatar of Loraine Aguilar

    Loraine Aguilar

    Great piece, love. Such great tips too. I have enjoyed many of these spots. Brought out lots of memories. As much as I’m having a lot of fun during my current visit to Asia, I can’t wait to go back home to New York!

  9. Avatar of Teresa Tanner

    Teresa Tanner

    I love these! But I don’t get to spend enough time in New York to do these. I only visit once a week every month for work meetings. I would love to see a San Francisco version of this guide! PLEASE! 🙂

  10. Avatar of Carolyn Robertson

    Carolyn Robertson

    No lie, I just got a little jealous because of how beautiful and tranquil these places were. Thank you for posting this. I’ll take some time off the busy city life and enjoy a day off at one of these beautiful parks this weekend, even for a few hours. 🙂

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