Now that the birds are chirping on your fire escape and flowers are blooming in the tree boxes on the sidewalk, it's time to make a choice: stay indoors and get an early crack at all that spring cleaning you've been saving up, or head outdoors and stretch your legs. We'll give you a moment to decide.


We figured as much. Now then, deciding where to get out and avoid said cleaning is, luckily, not that hard. For a city known for its urban expanse, the five boroughs offer up plenty in the way of getting yourself all up in nature. Here's a quick refresher on some of the best trails within city limits (and one just a short bus ride away):

Green Trail, High Rock Park (Staten Island)
Turns out Staten Island holds more than just a hilariously nicknamed farm team for the Yankees. Often referred to as one of the most tranquil places in New York City, High Rock Park is noted for its quiet ponds and deep woods. A 20-minute ferry ride, plus a casual quarter-mile hike sounds like a perfect day in our book.

Tulip Tree Trail, Alley Pond Park (Queens)
This park offers glimpses into New York’s cool geological past. With lots of natural features, like fresh and salt water tidal flats, marshes and oak and hickory trees galore, this park and its 0.7-mile Tulip Tree trail offers great views of Mother Nature.

Waterfall Trail at Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
Yup, there are waterfalls in the middle of Brooklyn. Prospect Park features a completely restored wetland ecosystem, which includes the Fallkill and Ambergill waterfalls. This easy half-mile trail takes you to both, and you won't be far from a restroom after gazing at them.

Kazimiroff Trail, Pelham Bay Park (Bronx)
Think Central Park is the city's largest green space? You couldn't be more wrong. Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx is three times larger and offers myriad of trails to wander through. And it pretty much has everything: a sandy beach, a salt-water coastline, hiking and riding trails through actual forests and its own island. Kazimiroff Trail runs through Hunter Island, exposing hikers to its natural beauty and diverse landscapes.

Storm King Art Center and Sculpture Park (New Windsor, NY)
Just outside the city limits this place still gives you a sense that you're in a Chelsea art gallery. Yes, the Storm King Art Center is one of our favorite places. This 1.5-mile long sculpture park, nestled near the Hudson River, is a great place to take a stroll and get close-up views of 3D art by people like Richard Serra, Mark di Suvero and Roy Lichtenstein.

Photos courtesy of NYC Parks & Storm King