If getting out of the city for a little time amongst nature is at the top of your list for end-of-summer activities, look no further than the Catskills. This region is situated just north of New York City and takes up more than 200 miles that wind you through mountain paths, waterfalls, lakes, and villages. The best part: Getting there will take you less than three hours from the city. We’ve broken down the best places to hike and camp in the Catskills, via car and public transportation.
How far is it: Three hours and 15 minutes by bus
How to get there: Take a Trailways bus from Port Authority to Phoenicia, New York. A round-trip ticket will cost you $66.
What to expect: Your Tanbark Trail hike begins at a red bench in Phoenicia Park and takes you through 2.3-miles of an old quarry (the stones sourced from the area were used to pave the streets of New York City). You’ll wind through plenty of geological compositions, but be sure to keep an eye out for the “weeping rock” — a rock formation with a water drip — which you’ll see before you hit the half-point of the hike. With 800 feet of elevation, the view at the end of this hike offers a stunning view of the entire town of Phoenicia.
Nearby campground: Woodland Valley Campground is located right at the foot of Slide Mountain, a 15-minute drive or a two-hour hike from Tanbark Trail. A campsite will cost you $20 a night, and gets you access to hot showers, bathrooms, grills, and a recycling center. The campground is also close to the Slide-Wittenberg and Woodland Valley-Denning trails, as well as tubing on the Esopus Creek.