I’m a postdoc fellow and father of an 8-year old son and 3-year old daughter living in San Antonio, formerly NYC. This has necessitated lowering my ambition to bag peaks. Luckily, my son loves being outdoors and can hike 10+ miles/2500 ft of gain in one day and is getting close to tackling class 3 terrain. My daughter, however, has been a much tougher nut to crack. In the foreseeable future I have the modest goals of completing the hikes in the following guidebooks with my family:
60 hikes within 60 miles, Llewellin and Molloy, Menasha Ridge Press, 4th Edition, 20/60, 33%
60 hikes within 60 miles, Christopher and Catherine Brooks, NY-NJ Trail Conference, 48/68, 71%
Day Walker, 32 Hikes in the New York Metropolitan Area, American Hiking Society, 31/32, 97%
AMC'S Best day Hikes Near New York City, Daniel Case, AMC Books, 32/50, 64%
Best Hikes Near New York City, Ben Keene, American Hiking Society, 29/40, 73%
Take a Hike New York City: 80 Hikes within 2 hours of Man…, Skip Card, Avalon Books, 42/80, 53%
Below is information for my record keeping, but if you’re interested - enjoy.
Best NYC hikes with kids up to 6 years old:
1) Sunken Forest on Fire Island (Sayville, NY) - easy
1.5 miles of boardwalks that meander through an old growth forest plus an uncrowded white sand beach - my 3-5 year old's version of paradise.
2) What I am calling the New Jersey "Swampies". All four areas (ranked below) are great for 2 - 5 year olds. Within you will find boardwalks, bridges, ramps, boardwalks, birds, amphibians, blinds, boardwalks - did I mention the boardwalks?
A. Cheesequake (Matawan, NJ) – moderate
B. Great Swamp Wilderness Trail (Summit, NJ) – easy
C. Sourland Mountain (Hillsborough, NJ) - moderate (not really swampy but has bouldering plus plenty of low lying areas with boardwalks
D. Shark River Circuit (Neptune, NJ) – easy
3) Hook Mountain (Nyack) - difficult
4) Storm King (Cornwall) – very difficult
5) Teatown Triple (Ossining) – easy