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      Passaic County, NJ Travel time: One hour from NYC by bus Don't laugh: The Garden State has great hiking and is a good day trip from nyc without a car. Trees actually outnumber malls in the New Jersey Highlands around the Appalachian Trail. Hop on the 196/197 New Jersey Transit bus from Port Authority to Greenwood Lake for Abram Hewitt State Forest's striking views and lush scenery; start with the challenging four-mile Ernest Walter Trail, which loops around Surprise Lake. You'll scramble up pudding-stone outcroppings to the top of Bearfort Ridge and wind past rhododendrons before the lake suddenly appears. www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests
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      Kerhonkson, NY Travel time: One and a half hours from NYC by car Minnewaska State Park Preserve—a dramatic 21,000 acres in the Shawangunk Mountains—is a woodsy, rocky park crisscrossed with 30 miles of foot trails that pass three lakes and seven gushing waterfalls. It also includes 35 miles of historic carriageways for gentler hiking and biking. Take one of these packed-gravel paths to Castle Point, the park's highest spot, for sweeping vistas of the lakes. www.nysparks.com
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