Long Island has more than 200 miles of gorgeous hiking trails ranging from coastland to pine land. Picking the best one to take can be a tough decision. The good thing is that most feed into one another, so you can pick and choose a path, be it a short one for beginners or a days-long trek for hardcore hikers. Here are some of the best Long Island walking trails for your escape into nature:

Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge (Sag Harbor)

Length: 1.2 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Dog-Friendly: No

If you want to photograph wildlife up close, this is the place. White-tailed deer, songbirds, wild turkeys, and chipmunks in the woods are used to humans. The trail is a loop, but you can extend your walk at one point for about two miles on a pristine beach. One important rule to remember during your hike is to not feed the wildlife.

Cold Spring Harbor Trail

Length: 2 miles
Difficulty: Hard
Dog-Friendly: Yes

Short but mighty, this out-and-back trail is a hilly workout and one of the most difficult on Long Island. Make your way up steep slopes dotted with large laurel oaks, cresting into beautiful views of Cold Spring Harbor. The trail is the northernmost section of the 20-mile Long Island Greenbelt Trail. 

Climb Blue MB Trail Loop (Woodbury)

Length: 5.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Dog-Friendly: Yes

This loop is one of three popular loops in Trail View State Park, which features marshes, fields, and hardwood forests. Birders will be rewarded with spring and fall songbird migrations. The park runs between Cold Spring Harbor and Bethpage State Parks and is on the Long Island Greenbelt Trail.

Montauk Point Loop (Montauk)

Length: 6.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Dog-Friendly: Yes 

Sunbathing seals, converging tides from the Atlantic Ocean and Block Island Sound, and the Montauk Point Lighthouse–commissioned by President George Washington in 1792–are scenic highlights of this shoreline and windswept bluff hike.

South Fork Attractions Montauk Point Light House 35.Montauk Point_Alissa Rosenberg

Walt Whitman Trail (West Hills)

Length: 8.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Dog-Friendly: Yes

Walk in the famous poet’s footsteps on this trail and up to Jayne’s Hill, the highest point on Long Island. You’ll see why the woods and the hill’s ocean views inspired him. Add in a visit to the Walt Whitman Birthplace, where the trail begins. The Long Island Greenbelt Trail connects to it. 

Long Island Greenbelt Trail

Length: 32 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Dog-Friendly: Yes

Follow the Nissequogue and Connetquot River courses for spectacular scenes from beaches and pine forests to historical landmarks. The trail passes through Sunken Meadow, Caleb Smith, Connetquot, and Heckscher State Parks, quickly filling up your Long Island hiking bucket list. 

Paumanok Path (South Fork)

Length: 125 miles
Difficulty: Varies
Dog-Friendly: Yes

You probably won’t be able to hike the whole trail in one attempt, but wherever you start, it’s sure to be a scenic wonder. It connects the tranquil woods of Rocky Point with the gorgeous shores of Montauk Point State Park with breathtaking biodiversity In between. There are meadows, beech forests, dunes, cedar swamps, ponds, tidal marshes, and much more. Wildlife includes deer, foxes, hawks, and harbor seals. You may even encounter remnants of human history, including old farms, early settlements, and a WWI training facility.