There’s more to Long Island than just delicious bagels and refreshing iced teas. The city and the surrounding area are home to a multitude of great hiking options for outdoor enthusiasts.
Whether you’re looking for trails along the beach with expansive views of the water or meandering hikes through a wooded forest, you’ll find what you’re seeking.
Long Island hiking trails range from easy to moderately difficult, with an array of terrains that are suitable for all capability levels and age ranges. Whether you’re new to hiking or you’re a seasoned veteran, the trails in the area have something to both challenge and delight you. Many trails are multi-use, so watch for bikes!
Hiking provides the unique opportunity to both get a workout in and also, enjoy the great outdoors and appreciate the little things, such as wildlife and native foliage. You’ll find trails that you can’t wait to mark off your bucket list below!
1. Long Island Greenbelt Trail
This picturesque greenbelt is excellent for hiking and trail running, especially from March to November. Keep in mind that this trail is out-and-back, so you’ll have to come back the way you came.
There is a section of the trail that has a boardwalk, which is accessible to those with wheelchairs. The rest of the trail has a variety of terrain, such as pavement, dirt, and gravel, which would make it a less than ideal journey for those using mobility devices.
The trail itself is marked, and while it can get crowded during peak periods, hikers can find a quiet moment in the early morning hours.
There is also a higher likelihood of seeing the many species of wildlife that call this greenbelt home, such as deer, geese, chipmunks, and ducks.
Reviews mention the fish hatchery, which is definitely worth the time to check out. Just be careful on the trail and check for any ticks once you get back to your vehicle.
Distance: 2.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 26 Feet
2. Massapequa Lake Trail
This trail is famous for fishermen and road bikers, and it’s considered a multi-use pathway. Hikers should stay wary of their surroundings and keep their ears open for those on bicycles, as it may be difficult to see them before they’re right behind you.
The trail is mainly paved and offers lots of shade on the hot and brutal days during the summer. This trail is an excellent option if you or someone you love is in a wheelchair. The same goes for those with children in strollers.
Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed on the trail’s paved section. Hikers can also find several benches and picnic tables to sit down and enjoy a quick break or a snack. They also make for a great spot to watch the jaw-dropping sunsets over the water.
Distance: 6.3 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 52 Feet
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3. Joan C. Coles Loop
If you visit this loop trail during the fall, you’ll get an up-close view of the leaves as they change color. The trail itself is well-marked and offers several genuinely spectacular views of the surrounding vistas and the water.
Hikers are likely to see many signs of wildlife and should keep their eyes open for native birds, turtles, and even deer in the earlier hours and the time right before sunset.
If you opt to trek the blue trail, expect to be out for around 4 hours. Pack your trash in and out, and bring plenty of water.
No dogs are allowed on this trail, and reviews mention being cautious for ticks during summer and taking the recommended precautions to avoid them.
Distance: 7.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 314 Feet
4. Sunken Meadow Trail
This is a loop trail near Kings Park that is popular with both hikers and trail runners. In addition to the various pathways, there is a popular boardwalk segment that goes over the water.
Hikers can walk along the dunes and try to spot Fiddler and Horseshoe crabs. A few additional trails take you through the woods, and you can spot a variety of native wildlife in that area as well.
This section feels more secluded than the sometimes crowded boardwalk area. Visitors can expect to be charged a daily vehicle use fee upon their arrival. The money is quickly well-spent.
However, once you see the stunning view of the Long Island Sound and the many amenities offered to guests, some of these include necessities such as restrooms and a concession stand.
Distance: 3.7 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 380 Feet
5. Caumsett State Historic Park Perimeter Loop
This loop trail doesn’t allow dogs but is popular amongst hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners. Featuring partially paved pathways and a well-organized trail system that is kept well-marked, hikers will appreciate the upkeep of this loop.
You can expect to encounter several different terrains, such as beaches, sand, dirt, and forest. This is an excellent spot for birding and an expansive view of the Long Island Sound from the cliff along the side trail.
If you have a wheelchair user in your group, the first couple of miles of this trail are fully paved. There also may be a small parking fee depending on what time of year you plan to visit.
Distance: 5.2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 334 Feet
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6. Nassau-Suffolk Trail
This out-and-back trail takes around 2.5 hours to complete and is a beautiful hike any time of the year. It’s popular with birding enthusiasts, and you may want to bring along a pair of binoculars to join in on the fun.
There is a decent amount of elevation change, which makes for a strong workout and may require the use of trekking poles if you’re older or slightly out of shape. Dogs are allowed, so long as they’re on a leash.
The trail can become steep at times, so it’s not recommended for young children. The trail may seem congested during the first couple of miles, but the crowd thins out as the trail continues onwards and people begin to turn back.
Distance: 5.4 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 839 Feet
7. Point Woods Loop Trail
This trail features some unique historic points of interest, such as old artillery cannons from WWII. If you’re a history buff, this is a great path to explore and research beforehand.
Located in Montauk Point State Park, hikers are free to bring their dogs, and there are even some designated off-leash areas. After rainfall, there may be a few muddy spots, and it’s recommended to do a thorough tick check on your canine after the hike.
Reviews mention keeping an eye out for the sign directing you towards the bluff overlook. This is a great spot to see any migrating winter birds and to enjoy the stunningly expansive view of the water.
Distance: 2.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 160 Feet
8. Chelsea Mansion and Muttontown Preserve Loop
This loop trail is a great place to find solitude, and you’re unlikely to run into many other people. There is a lot of wildlife to be seen, so keep your eyes open and alert.
It can get a bit muddy after it rains, so proper boots are recommended if you plan to come out any time other than a dry spell. Parking is available near the mansion, and the trailhead is nearby.
Bug spray is recommended, especially during the warm months. This trail is well-maintained and marked, making it convenient for hikers to stay on the main path. If you’re a beginner, this is an excellent option for you, and you’re unlikely to become lost at any point.
Distance: 2.0 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 52 Feet
9. West Hills County Park Loop
This loop trail is popular with hikers and trail runners alike and should take you approximately 1.5 hours if you’re hiking. This is a great spot to find some peace in nature and enjoy the outdoor solitude.
Dogs are welcome to come along, as long as they’re on a leash. This natural trail may be overgrown in some spots, but it’s manageable for those on foot. Several areas have a steep incline but shouldn’t require any trekking poles.
You can expect to pass by a few other people but never a crowd. The area can get buggy during the summer, so a healthy layer of bug spray is highly recommended for a more enjoyable hike.
Distance: 4.1 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 344 Feet
10. Blydenburgh County Park Stump Pond Loop
Located near Hauppauge, New York, this loop trail should take around two hours to complete. It’s popular with birders and horseback riders, so be aware that this is a multi-use pathway.
The views are beautiful year-round, and the trail is kept very clean. You’re likely to spot wildlife if you’re looking out for them; unfortunately, the same goes for ticks. Thorough tick checks are necessary at the end of the hike.
Some parts of the trail can get muddy due to the proximity to the water, so wearing boots with waterproof capabilities is suggested. If you plan to bring your dog, there are off-leash areas for them to run around and play in.
Distance: 6.1 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 187 Feet
11. Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve Trail Loop
If you bring your pup to this trail, they must be kept on their leash for the entire duration of the hike. You may hear some road noise, so it won’t be on this trail if you’re looking for complete seclusion.
There are covered picnic tables available, though there is no public restroom on the property. While this trail is marked as a moderate hike, some reviews complain that it is too easy. This may be a good option if you’re a beginner verging on intermediate.
This trail is mostly shaded, making it bearable on the hotter days. You may come across a variety of wildlife, including chipmunks! Keeping your eyes peeled for any movement increases your likelihood of seeing an animal on the trail.
Distance: 3.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 22 Feet
12. Meadowlark Trail
This trail is popular with birders and mountain bikers, so be advised that this is a multi-use path. Everyone is respectful of each other, and hikers and bikers should stay alert when they’re nearby.
Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash. The best time to visit this trail is from March to October, especially during summer. The trail winds along the 3.6 miles, and it keeps the views interesting.
This hike is a great challenge, and while it’s not super long, it’s enough to get a brisk workout in and get your heart rate up. There are frequent deer sightings along this trail, so walk quietly, and you may spot some as well.
Distance: 3.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 134 Feet
13. Long Pond and Green Trail Loop
This loop trail is located near Ridge, New York, and there are frequently horseback riders and mountain bikers enjoying the path as well. Dogs are welcome on a leash, but there are no off-leash areas as of now.
This is a wide trail with minimal elevation. Due to the hard sand, it may not be ideal for wheelchair users or those bringing strollers along. The trails are well-marked, and this decreases the likelihood of you getting lost.
You’ll want to look into protection against ticks, especially during the warmer months. There are frequent complaints about them along this trail, as is the case with other nearby trails.
Distance: 5.1 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 137 Feet
14. Brookhaven Trail
This is a trail that hikers should be extra cautious about ticks. Taking the necessary precautions can help prevent being loaded up with them by the end of the hike. You’re unlikely to see many other people on this path, as it’s not an oversaturated one.
The trail zigzags and provides exercise stations along the way, which is a great way to get a full-body workout. It gets a bit hilly in the middle section, so be prepared for some minor elevation.
Overall, if you’re looking for a quick and quiet walk in the woods, Brookhaven is a great option. Bring plenty of water and maybe a snack, depending on how quickly you cover miles.
Distance: 3.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 104 Feet
15. Wading River Marsh East and West Loop
This loop trail is located near Wading River, New York, and is popular amongst birders and hikers alike. It doesn’t tend to get overly crowded, so you may not see another soul while on your trek.
The trail is secluded and pretty quiet, except for the wildlife surrounding you. Reviews mention spotting bunnies and deer, and a variety of birds.
There are ticks in the area as well, and the proper measures for precaution should be taken before, during, and after your hike.
As the leaves change color in the fall, this trail provides a beautiful opportunity to see true natural beauty. While some spots may be overgrown, they’re manageable with the right pair of shoes.
Distance: 1.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 16 Feet
16. Wildwood State Park Loop Trail
This hidden gem of a trial is a multi-use path, popular with birders, hikers, and cross-country skiers during the snowy months. The best time to hike the trail is from March through October.
Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed, so the pup has to stay at home. There is camping available if you’re looking to extend your hike into the next day. This is a great place to find solitude and peace away from the city.
The trail is well-marked and well-maintained, and hikers can spot glimpses of the sea between the foliage. Some examples of erosion are on the trail, so beware of these spots.
Distance: 3.2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 173 Feet
17. Wading River Road Loop
This loop doubles as a cross-country ski area during the wintertime and is located near Ridge, New York. If you don’t ski, you can also bring out a pair of snowshoes and trek the trail on those.
During the summer, watch out for poison ivy along the path. The loop is open year-round, and hikers are free to bring their dogs along. They must be kept leashed, and there are no off-leash areas for them. The trail itself is wide and wheelchair-friendly.
This trail may not be for you if you’re looking for serenity in nature. There is a nearby gun range, and hikers mention being able to hear shots which can take away from the natural ambiance of an outdoor hike.
Distance: 3.8 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 88 Feet
18. McAllister County Park Beach Trail
Located near Port Jefferson, New York, this trail is great for hikers with dogs. There are off-leash areas for your puppy, where they can run freely and enjoy the fresh air.
Along this hike, you’ll find stunning views of the seashore, and you may even spot some Horseshoe crabs if you’re lucky! There are a few steep dunes that you can ascend for an added workout.
A point to note is that there is a very small parking lot that accommodates six cars. Reviews recommended not parking along the road, as you may get a parking ticket. Parking is free in the lot, so maybe come during an off-time to ensure you can find a space.
Distance: 3.2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 108 Feet
19. West Hills Park Purple and Orange Loops
These loop trails are near Melville, New York, and can easily keep you occupied for 2-3 hours. You’re likely to find other outdoor enthusiasts while you’re hiking, such as birders and horseback riders.
You’re more than welcome to bring your dog, as long as you keep them on their leash. You’ll have a peaceful hike that is often not crowded during the mornings. There is plenty of nature to experience on these trails.
Beware that there is $13 paid parking from Memorial Day until Labor Day, so come another time if you don’t want to shell out cash. Due to some rocky segments, you’ll want to wear proper hiking boots to protect your feet.
Distance: 6.8 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 610 Feet
20. Hubbard County Park Trail
This trial is located near Hampton Bays, New York, and is a great spot to bring your dog. There are off-leash areas, so your pup can run wild and enjoy their own adventure.
Tick checks are essential, as this area abounds with them during the warmer months. The trail takes you through a marsh wetland, so boots are recommended to avoid any slipping incidents.
At the end of the hike, you’ll reach a stunning beach. Keep an eye on the tides, as you won’t have access to the beach during high tide.
Keep your eye out for any wildlife, such as deer, in the area. The trail always has new sights to see, so you’ll want to keep coming back for more.
Distance: 2.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 29 Feet
21. Sound View Dunes Park Forest Trail
If you’re looking for a diverse hike, head out to nearby Southold, New York. This loop trail meanders across 57 acres of all types of terrain, including a sandy beach, dunes, wetlands, and densely forested areas.
Dogs are welcome on a leash, and this is a popular area for birding and fishing, as well as nature photography. You’re unlikely to encounter too many others while you’re enjoying your nature hike, so you’ll find a sense of solitude.
Bug spray is recommended, especially during the winter months. Follow the posted trail signs, and you’re unlikely to lose your way on this short trail.
Distance: 1.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 52 Feet
22. Wolf Swamp Sanctuary Loop
This loop is located in Big Woods and Wolf Swamp Preserve. The trail is kept in good shape and has beautiful views of the water. There is a moderate amount of shade along the path.
There are several benches along the mile trail, allowing hikers the opportunity to sit and enjoy the scenery. While this may be a short hike, it’s a great way to introduce young kids to hiking.
Distance: 1.0 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 32 Feet
23. Cedar Point Lighthouse Loop Trail
This loop trail is open year-round and goes by an old lighthouse, which is a great photo opportunity for nature enthusiasts looking to find a bit of history. The trail is well-marked and wide, and sneakers are recommended due to the sandy areas.
There is a bathroom at the trailhead before you embark on this 5+ mile hike. Reviews recommend bringing plenty of bug spray, especially during the summer.
Distance: 5.3 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 180 Feet
24. Mashomack Red Trail
Located near Shelter Island, New York, this trail is great for hiking and cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing in the wintertime. Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed.
There are plenty of wildlife opportunities here, and reviews mention spotting deer, squirrels, and even swans on the water. Due to the mainly flat trail, this is a great option for younger kids.
Distance: 1.7 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 68 Feet
25. David A. Sarnoff Pine Barrens Preserve
This trail is near Riverhead, New York, and while it’s not always well-marked, it offers a great deal of solitude for those seeking a calm and quiet environment. The hike will take you through a pine forest.
The terrain is mainly sand and pine needles, which provides soft ground for those with bad knees. Ticks can get pretty bad during the warmer months, so proper precautions are recommended.
Distance: 4.4 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 183 Feet
26. Penny Pond Loop Trail
This loop trail is popular with birders, hikers, and road bikers. Sharing the trail is necessary for everyone to enjoy their own recreational activities.
The best time to visit is between March and October, with ticks being the worst during summer. The trail isn’t wheelchair accessible due to it being uneven and sandy.
You’re welcome to bring your dog but keep it on a leash. Expect the hike to take you roughly 1.5 hours to complete.
Distance: 4.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 206 Feet
27. Cranberry Bog Loop
This loop trail is located in Cranberry Bog Nature Preserve and is an out-and-back path that is popular amongst hikers and trail runners. Dogs are allowed on a leash, and there are no off-leash areas.
There are many native plants to admire along the path, and while it gets a bit buggy in the middle of summer, extra bug spray solves this issue. The trail is ideal for little kids, as it’s not too long and relatively flat.
Distance: 0.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 19 Fee
28. Indian Island Loop
There is a daily fee per vehicle at the Indian Island County Park, so hikers should beware of this ahead of time. Dogs can come with their owners, as long as they’re kept on a leash at all times.
The best time to visit is between March and November. Keep in mind that ticks will be the worst during the summer months as the weather warms up.
Hikers can enjoy stunning views of Peconic Bay. The first quarter of the trail winds through the forest area until reaching the sandy terrain by the beach.
Distance: 2.7 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 52 Feet
29. Mill Pond Park Loop
This short loop trail is popular with birders and hikers. It’s ideally suited for those looking for a short hike and trek into nature. Dogs are welcome on a leash.
Parking may be confusing, but reviews mention parking along Merrick Road by the trailhead. There is a lot of wildlife in the area, including rabbits and ducks.
The path itself is completely paved and a great option for wheelchair users looking to get a breath of fresh air and enjoy the scenic views.
Distance: 1.1 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 6 Feet
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30. Home Trail
Situated near North Babylon, New York, the Home Trail provides nearly 1.5 hours of hiking. The best time to visit is from March to October, as the weather will be ideal and there shouldn’t be much snow on the ground.
Dogs are allowed, so long as they’re kept on a leash. There are restrooms and water fountains available at Belmont Park. The trail itself features a lot of shade, making it a good option for sunny days.
Parking is easy, and while it can get a bit crowded on weekends, there is plenty of space for everyone to spread out.
Distance: 4.8 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 49 Feet
31. Argyle Lake to Belmont Lake
This out-and-back trail is located in Belmont Lake State Park near Babylon, New York. Hikers should expect to dedicate three hours to complete the trail, as it’s nearly 10 miles in length.
You can break the trail into a smaller three-mile segment if you’re not up to the task. The best time to visit is from February to November.
There is very little elevation gain, making it a great choice for beginners looking to boost their hiking mileage on a single outing.
There is a small fee collected per vehicle, and visitors can purchase an annual pass if they come to the park frequently. Dogs are allowed on a leash, and they’re sure to enjoy the winding trails and the flat elevation.
Distance: 9.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 85 Feet
32. Hoffa and Aspen Loop
Located in Bethpage State Park, this loop trail takes around an hour to hike, and it has many intersecting paths if you’re looking to boost the mileage. The trail is well-maintained and offers a variety of terrain for hikers to explore.
Dogs are allowed on a leash, and there is a two-pet maximum for owners looking to bring their furry friends. The leash must be no longer than six feet, and the animal must be supervised at all times during your stay. You may also be required to present proof of rabies vaccination.
An $8 parking fee is a small cost to enjoy such a beautiful park.
Distance: 3.2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 108 Feet
33. Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve
The park and preserve are located near Merrick, New York, and hikers will enjoy a well-maintained loop trail with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. There is also a pier to fish from.
This park is great for kids and offers a family-friendly environment. The path is easily navigable with wheels if your child is in a stroller. The little ones will love visiting the goats and keeping an eye out for wildlife in the area.
If you have a dog in your family, keep in mind that they won’t be allowed in the park. Unfortunately, they’ll have to skip this adventure.
Distance: 2.0 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 124 Feet
34. Sands Point Preserve Loop Trail
This loop trail is located in Sands Point Park and Preserve in Port Washington, New York, and hikers can expect to pay a $15 fee to get into the park. It’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The park and trail are kid-friendly, and there is a playground for the younger visitors to enjoy. This hike can be completed in under an hour, and you’ll often see others bring their dogs along, but they should be kept leashed.
The trails are accessible and well-marked, so it’s easy to stay on the main path and avoid getting lost. The area is popular for birders and fishermen, so consider bringing along a pair of binoculars or your pole!
Distance: 1.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 144 Feet
35. Belmont Lake Trail
The Belmont Lake Trail is located near North Babylon, New York, and is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and birding enthusiasts. The path is open year-round and always offers beautiful views of the lake.
Dogs are welcome as long as they’re kept leashed and supervised. The trail is wheelchair and stroller friendly, as it has sections that are paved. Other segments are gravel but can be managed with wheels.
Belmonte Lake State Park charges a fee per vehicle, so be aware of this before your trip. You can easily make a day of it and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy by the water.
Distance: 1.4 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 16 Feet
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36. Terrel River Trail
This loop trail provides beautiful views of the Terrel River, and hikers are bound to see swans out on the water. The trail itself is mainly flat and goes through a birch and pine forest that provides plenty of shade on sunny days.
The trail is a multi-use one, so you’re likely to come across fellow hikers as well as mountain bikers and trail runners. Dogs are welcome on a leash.
When it’s low tide, you can explore the sand bar and look for any beach wildlife that’s been washed ashore. This is a family-friendly trail, and many kids enjoy the scenery and the lack of elevation during the hike.
Distance: 2.7 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 42 Feet
37. Vietnam Veterans Memorial Recreational Trail
This historically-rich trail is located near Calverton, New York, and provides hikers around a three-hour hike. The trail is formed in a loop, so you won’t have to worry about coming back the same way you came.
The pathway is mostly flat and offers several terrains, such as paved and off-road. You’re likely to see evidence of wildlife in the area, as there are rabbits, woodchucks, turtles, and many birds that call it home.
During the warmer months, it’s recommended that hikers are generous with the bug spray. Ticks are also a nuisance in the area, so do a thorough check once you reach your vehicle. You can bring your dog along with you, but they must be on a leash.
Distance: 9.5 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 170 Feet
38. Manorville Hills County Park Walking Trail
Despite the name designating this a walking trail, it’s used frequently by hikers and runners as well. The ideal time to visit is between March and November. Beware of ticks during the summer, as they’re frequently cited as being in the area.
The hills can make this hike a bit more strenuous, and hikers will definitely notice a rise in their heart rate. This trail is isolated enough so you won’t hear the traffic noise from the nearby highway.
There are various hidden streams to discover along the route as well. It can be challenging to see the trail markings at times, so keep an eye out and follow the map closely to avoid getting lost.
Distance: 7.7 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 629 Feet
39. Cold Spring Harbor Trailhead to Lawrence Hill Road
This short trail is an out-and-back, and it takes most hikers under an hour to complete. You’re free to bring along your dog, as long as you keep them leashed and supervised. Two dogs are allowed per person, maximum.
This trail, though short, offers a great workout. There are several hills and some elevation gain throughout the 1.8 miles. Beautiful trees surround the path, and while you may not get any expansive overlook, this trail offers a great deal of solitude.
Whether you’re looking to get a quick breath of fresh air or training for an upcoming event, this is a solid option for the area residents to get a quick hike in.
Distance: 1.8 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 377 Feet
40. Stillwell Woods Trail
This moderate trail is located in the Stillwell Woods Preserve near Woodbury, New York. It offers plenty of opportunities for birding and hiking, as well as horseback riding.
Expect this trail to take you around 1.5 hours to complete. If you’re a dog owner, be aware that dogs aren’t allowed on this hike.
There are over 250 acres on the preserve that are open to hikers, runners, and cyclists to explore. The trails can get a bit muddy in some sections, so appropriate shoes are highly recommended.
This is a great spot to check out when you want a quiet area to take a relaxing hike. You may have to share the path with a few mountain bikers, but everyone remains respectful of each other.
Distance: 4.3 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 236 Feet