New York City: Hunter Island Loop

Hike to mussel-covered bay shores, rocky beaches, and lagoons on this 3-mile loop around Hunter Island in Pelham Bay Park.
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Hike to mussel-covered bay shores, rocky beaches, and lagoons on this 3-mile loop around Hunter Island in Pelham Bay Park.

Right next to Orchard Beach and the Twin Islands, the 3-mile loop around Hunter Island offers an exploratory route through marshland, beaches full of herons and mussels, gorgeous forests, the area’s tiny, rock islands, and unprecedented views of the Long Island Sound.
Start from the parking lot at Orchard Beach. While hikers can immediately bear onto one of Hunter Island’s many pathways, they shouldn’t miss a chance to visit one of New York’s most beautiful beaches. Follow the boardwalk east then take the first, unmarked, gravel trail next to a marsh-rimmed lagoon. A sign designates that this area is forever wild. Watch for herons and other shorebirds.
The route follows the eastern shore of Hunter Island, with spur trail options to explore the beaches more closely. Perhaps the most worthy bushwhacking is a side-trip to the barrier between Hunter and the Twin Islands. An abandoned ship sits nearly tipped over next to the shell-littered sands. Cormorants, swans, and geese play along the rocks in this lagoon. When finished, find the way back to the main trail and continue north.
In the northeast corner of the island, a wooden plank path traverses a marsh full of tall grass and reeds to a cluster of rocky islands. Sit under the shaded of flowering trees, enjoying panoramic vistas of the Long Island Sound. Retrace the way back to the pathway as it goes east along the northern shore of Pelham Bay Park. Once through the woods, several more islands are visible. The New York Athletic Club, located in a gorgeous white mansion, is to the left; Glen Park is to the right. Loop back to the parking lot along the lagoon.
Editor’s Note: This route can be combined with Orchard Beach to Twin Islands for a total of 8.4 miles.

-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan

Mass transit from Manhattan: Ride the 6 to Parkchester, then transfer to the 6 extension to Pelham Bay. Take the Bx29 to the bus terminal at Orchard Beach.

From Manhattan: Take 9A North to exit 14 for I-95. Keep right at the fork to merge onto I-95 North. Stay left at the fork, following signs for I-95/Cross Bronx Expressway, and merge onto I-95 North. At 8.1 miles, take exit 8B for Pelham Parkway. Continue straight onto Shore Road. Turn right at City Island Road. The start of the hike is across the street. To continue to parking, follow City Island Road around the traffic circle. Merge onto Park Drive. The parking lot is on the right.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.5

Waypoints

HUN001

Location: 40.87064, -73.7929

From the parking lot, walk east toward the beach.

HUN002

Location: 40.870367, -73.792494

Take gravel path through squash and tennis courts to Orchard Beach's boardwalk.

HUN003

Location: 40.870419, -73.791099

Turn R @ three-way.

HUN004

Location: 40.869736, -73.790434

Turn L onto boardwalk.

HUN005

Location: 40.870257, -73.788495

Turn L onto unmarked gravel path.

HUN006

Location: 40.87089, -73.7887

Veer R onto wood chip trail. Though it's not designated, this is the Kazimiroff Trail.

HUN007

Location: 40.872545, -73.787681

Veer R @ spur trail for views of the Twin Islands and the Long Island Sound.

HUN008

Location: 40.873164, -73.787655

Bear R @ Y-junction.

HUN009

Location: 40.875347, -73.786582

Continue straight @ four-way junction.

HUN010

Location: 40.877396, -73.786366

Continue past trail on left.

HUN011

Location: 40.877658, -73.786369

Veer R onto trail toward the rocky islands to the east. From this point on, hikers are not following the Kazimiroff Trail.

HUN012

Location: 40.877639, -73.784949

Veer R @ Y-junction and walk around the island. When finished, retrace steps back to the main trail continue west.

HUN013

Location: 40.879253, -73.790426

Bear R @ Y-junction.

HUN014

Location: 40.879851, -73.790437

Head R @ T-junction to views of the New York Athletic Club, Glen Park, and the surrounding islands. When finished with scenery, retrace steps back to the this junction and bear R.

HUN015

Location: 40.879645, -73.791298

Veer R @ T-junction.

HUN016

Location: 40.878604, -73.792178

Continue straight @ Y-junction.

HUN017

Location: 40.876978, -73.792143

Bear R @ Y-junction.

HUN018

Location: 40.873695, -73.794166

Veer R @ Y-junction. Follow the path back to the parking lot and the finish.

Orchard Beach

Location: 40.869667, -73.79022

Marsh

Location: 40.870657, -73.788611

Swan

Location: 40.872661, -73.786883

Partially capsized boat

Location: 40.873107, -73.785435

Two Tree Island

Location: 40.873444, -73.785038

Ladder

Location: 40.873728, -73.787221

Walkway through marshland

Location: 40.877999, -73.785687

Long Island Sound

Location: 40.877512, -73.784748

Hunters Island

Location: 40.877285, -73.784657

Spring flowers

Location: 40.877273, -73.784807

Mansion and marina

Location: 40.880352, -73.789372

Lagoon flora

Location: 40.876725, -73.792205