Memorial Day weekend crowds, the intense heat wave, and our craving for woods and solitude were the perfect trifecta to get us out of the city for a bit. We haven't done too much exploring of New York outside of the city's five boroughs, so we were pretty open about where to go. The criteria were dog-friendly, accessible by train (all rental cars were booked), and doable in a day.
We picked Harriman State Park mainly because of their awesome website. It's the best park website I've ever seen. It was also easy to get to via NJ Transit (small dogs in carriers are allowed).
The trailhead started a bit of a walk from the train station, but we just followed the other (hardcore) hikers and tried not to look too naive in our tennis shoes and gym clothes. The hike itself was gorgeous and grueling - lush woods, steep climbs, and a couple muddy creeks. We finally made it to our turnaround point: a small, peaceful lake. Unfortunately, we are not quite seasoned hikers and didn't bring close to enough water, so we ended up walking to a highway and hitching a ride to the nearest town with a train station. I felt a little guilty drinking a beer and eating a club sandwich at a local restaurant instead of roughing it back, but Rowdy was exhausted (the hike and swim were a lot for an almost-nine-year-old pup) and it was ultimately the best decision. Plus, it's always fun to experience a new town and its people. Next time - more water and a better doggy-bjorn!