How Hiking Provides Health Benefits Plus My Favorite Trails in Montauk

Hiking trails are no walk in the park, providing additional challenges and physical benefits to regular walking. Trails are a judgement free zone, which means any age and athletic ability can find one fitting to their personal challenge.

It’s Backed By The Professionals

According to Dr. Aaron L. Baggish, associate director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, hiking improves cardiovascular fitness and core muscles. Unlike treadmills, uneven surfaces of outdoor hiking trails naturally engages the core and triggers balancing skills.

Need to relieve some stress? Green spaces, like nature preserves, can ease stress levels, lowering blood pressure and risk of heart disease. The National Park Service agrees that the outdoors truly are great, as it improves sensory perception, through targeting many of our other senses such as sights, smell and touch of nature.

My favorite trails are close enough to NYC and provide a great escape in nature. Here are some details about a few in Montauk I highly recommend you explore:

  1. Camp Hero State Park was a former US Air Force Base, boasting 415 acres and two trail options. Option one is a 2.9 mile Point Woods Loop Trail, rated as easy. Option two is the longer 3.6 mile Montauk Point Park Trail
  2. Hither Woods has a surprisingly 3,000 acres to explore, from the oak woods to the walking dunes. It’s located at the western edge of Montauk. Trail options include the easy rated, Walking Dunes Trail and Napeague Trail, or the moderate side of Hither Hills Trail and Pettitocoat Hill Trail.
  3. Montauk Point State Park is on the very eastern tip, the true end of the world. Take an easy 1.4 miles Beach Trail or the 0.4 Lighthouse Trail.
  4. Shadmoor State Park is a personal favorite of mine with 99 acres and two trails. The Preserve Trail is a 2.5 mile loop, rated as easy, that’s easy to access right off Montauk Highway. The next, a Park Loop of only 1.2 miles but features a river, rated as moderate. In addition to great trails, it boasts 2,400 feet of beach access with two stairways, concrete bunkers from World War II and beautiful sand cliffs.
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