If you plan on starting off your 2024 with a serene stroll, just know these three New York trails have been voted the best places to hike for New Year's Day.

The saying goes that what you do on New Year's Day sets the tone for the rest of the year. That may be why more and more people are choosing to put on their hiking boots and take a lovely nature stroll in the winter.

People say the cool air helps refresh the spirit and energize your soul, all while giving you a peaceful workout. That then apparently will help inspire future hikes through the seasons.

Health officials say walking is one of the best things a person can do for themselves, as even a daily brisk walk is said to help one live a healthier life. The Mayo Clinic says walking helps one maintain weight and burn body fat - all while staving off conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and more.

Simply put, those who are able bodied and can go on daily walks only stand to reap the benefits and suffer no consequences. Unless they're like me and have a horrible sense of balance and relationship with gravity - then we stand to lose a few things. Like our pride. And clean clothes.

That all said, taking a stroll on New Year's is becoming a tradition of sorts with communities arranging group walks or hikes. Not only does it offer residents a chance to exercise, but also make new friends on the New Year.

But where are the best places to observe this growing trend? According to a new national study, three places in New York State have been voted the best nature walks for New Year's Day.

No. 3 - Inwood Hill Park

As someone who lived in Inwood, I completely agree that this is one of the best places to hike in New York City. It is one of the last natural forests on Manhattan and strolling through it offers you incredible views of the Hudson River, bridges, and city skyline.

Megan Stone/WIBX
Megan Stone/WIBX

However, the park is situated in a way that transports you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. When I moved to New York, I was used to the quiet and privacy of my wooded Connecticut home. All the sirens, people shouting late into the night, and the never-ending sight of concrete was a major culture shock. Inwood Hill Park provided a place for me to feel like I was home and energize my battery.

Read More: 2024 Will Be the Greatest Year for Northern Lights in New York State

Living in the city isn't easy! That experience definitely taught me that I am no means a city girl and can only stomach suburban living at most.

Plus, at Inwood Hill Park, you can also take a detour and walk to the Met Cloisters (if you like climbing a bunch of stairs like Rocky, that is) and see the Unicorn Tapestries... and other cool Medieval things.

That said, in this national roundup by Sustainable Journal, which documented the top 150 places to take a jaunt on New Year's Day, Inwood bowed in 96th place.

No. 2 - Indian Pass and Heart Lake Loop Train

family hiking in the forest with baby in child carrier

Located in Upstate New York, you can hike this trail at North Elba's Adirondack Park. This trail is highly-rated by some of the biggest hiking affectionados and connoisseurs. It also offers ample views of Heart Lake, where one can reminisce about the prior year and commit to their resolutions for the new one.

Said Sustainable Journal:

The Heart Lake Loop Trail is a family-friendly adventure that encircles the pristine Heart Lake with views of the High Peaks region. The trail offers a mix of forested paths and open shoreline, providing opportunities for birdwatching and quiet contemplation. It's a perfect way to start the year amidst the natural splendor of the Adirondacks.

In all, if you love the idea of enjoying high elevations, crisp winter air, gorgeous water views and adventure - this is the best place to kickstart your 2024. In the roundup, this place finished in 62nd.

No. 1 - Hallett Nature Sanctuary Trail


You can find this beloved trail in Central Park, which is a quick walk from the Plaza Hotel. For those who plan on celebrating New Year's Eve in Manhattan, this is an excellent place for you to stretch your legs, drink in the sights, and commit to an awesome 2024.

Said the Journal:

This hidden gem offers a relaxed walk along winding trails, wooden bridges, and picturesque ponds. The sanctuary is home to various bird species and provides a peaceful retreat in the heart of Manhattan.

As someone who lived in Manhattan and worked right off 67th Street, it was a joy to walk Central Park before clocking in for my night shift.

In the national roundup, this place finished in 57th.

What Is Nationally the #1 Spot?

For those who are waking up in Hawai'i on New Year's Day, then add walking in Lanikai Pillbox Hike in Oahu to your itinerary. In the commissioned survey of 3,000 avid hikers and their families, this place was crowned the best place in all of America to set the tone for 2024.

You can read more about the survey HERE.

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