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Hikes with Skyline Views

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I grew up in a rural, mountainous area and did tons of hiking, so today I love daytrips that involve cities, skylines, and restaurants… My wife grew up in a suburbanite’s suburb (and thankfully is a city girl now) but she loves day trips that involve rural, mountainous areas with lots of hiking, an activity that I now feel I got out of my system during childhood… What are we to do?

The NY Times has a great suggestion that’s a wonderful resource for all urbanites. In an article this past Friday they review the many beautiful, rural hiking trails in the Northeast that happen to each have drop-dead gorgeous skyline views. They review such parks with vistas of Boston (above), Philly, New York, Pittsburgh, Hartford/New Haven, D.C., and Portland, Maine. I’m guessing the park here in Providence that would be similar to the ones they profile would be Neutaconkanut Hill Park, which has trails with skyline views.

castlecraig13The trail from the Times article that I’m particularly interested in is Castle Craig, atop East Peak on the Metacomet Trail, which is half-way between Hartford and New Haven.

This tower apparently has views of both Hartford and New Haven simultaneously, which would make it one of the few vantage points I’m familiar with in the US where you can see two completely separate major metro skylines while you are standing in the same place. The only other I’m aware of is the Mendota Bridge in Minnesota near MSP airport, which has skyline views of both Minneapolis and St. Paul in the distance… Unfortunately I lost the photos I took at this spot several years ago :(.

Does anyone know of any other such places?

Boston Photo from the New York Times article, Castle Craig photo from This Is Connecticut

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9 Responses to Hikes with Skyline Views

  1. Andrew November 23, 2008 at 6:40 pm #

    The Monastery in Cumberland (off route 114) offers a great skyline view of Providence.
    From the parking area, head west across the brook and then south, west and uphill. Look for the cliff atop a large quarry. There is a startling view of the spires and mills of Central Falls and Pawtucket with Providence in the distance. Farther on are the towers of the Mount Hope Bridge, the hills of Tiverton and a glimpse of blue water. Directly across the Blackstone valley are the wooded hills of Lincoln Woods. Positively Alpine, by Rhode Island standards.

  2. Bret Ancowitz November 23, 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    Thanks for the Monastery tip! I need to head up there and take some shots at some point…

  3. Jef Nickerson November 23, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    Prospect Hill Park in Waltham has an amazing view of Boston. You can see a nice photo of it here on Flickr.

  4. Josh Thomas November 23, 2008 at 11:51 pm #

    There is a water park (often closed) halfway between Odessa and Midland, Texas. From the top of the water slide one can see the skylines of both cities (Midland in particular has a remarkably large number of high rises). Truly, a scenic wonder in the spectacular Permian Basin, a place of sublime beauty. Not to be missed. A place to be seen before one dies.

  5. Jim November 24, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    I have hiked in Neutaconkanut. It’s a great park with great hiking trails, some pretty steep. Even though it’s within the city limits, it feels like you’ve left the city. You can no longer hear the sounds of the city and it feels like you’ve gone to the more rural western part of the state. The views of Providence area awesome from some of the trails (I think the best views are from the ski trail).

    If I remember correctly (it’s been a while), I believe you can get some good views of New Haven from Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, which has some fairly difficult hiking trails.

  6. Bret Ancowitz November 24, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    I had no idea Midland had such a skyline. It reminds me of Jacksonville a bit. Here’s an image of the city:

  7. Matthew Coolidge November 26, 2008 at 10:08 am #

    I must add that a great view of the Providence skyline can be seen from the water! 😀 Check out the Providence Community Boating Center http://www.communityboating.com or Edgewood Sailing School http://www.edgewoodsailing.org for opportunities to see the summer sunset over the city.

  8. Claude Masse October 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    First,The Texas you see in the picture above is Austin.Second the great traprock ridge Sleeping Giant affords exellent views of New Haven.About 80 m. north on 91 Mt Tom gives you outstanding views of greater Springfield with Hartford on the Horizon.A Clear day of course. InSeptember and early October you’ll see hundreds possibly thousands of migrating hawks&falcons.
    The monadnocks of central MA. offer panoramic views of steepled towns and distant Boston.Mts. Watatic,Wachusett,and Monadnock in Jaffrey,NH.
    Of minor note a hike at Caratunk in Seekonk affords a nice view of Providence and theJohnston Landfill Range.

  9. Claude Masse October 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    I see this is an ancient comment site,but I must still correct myself.That is not Austin it’s Nashville .

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