Welcome to our new “Vanish: To…” series: my film diaries of various escapes and attempts to vanish from the city for a few days in nature. The need for escape from crowds and urban environments has obviously risen during the pandemic. REI and major outdoor outlets are consistently out of stock as more and more people seek the outdoors for true social distancing and the (very welcomed) ability to walk around without a mask and take in some fresh air. In this series, I present some of my endeavors to do the same.

First up is Harriman State Park. Harriman is an obvious favorite for residents of the Lower Hudson Valley, NYC, and New Jersey. At just over an hour drive from the city (traffic dependent), it barely registers as upstate New York, yet it offers plenty of great trails for day hikes and backpacking alike. If you’re new to the outdoors, Harriman’s proximity, as well as range of beginner to advanced trails make it a great place to start. It’s even accessible by public transportation via the Tuxedo train station, so all you city folk without cars have no excuse for taking the time to see all the park has to offer.

The above photos comprise two visits to the park this summer: lakes, lush trees and trails, wildlife, and the random broken down car in the middle of the woods to remind you you’re still in New York – what more do you need?