The Hudson Valley is a playground of adventure and has amazing opportunities to explore and hike, no matter what season it is. Whether you are East or West of the Hudson River, there are hundreds of places to stroll, hike, explore, and venture. And while there are tons of places to go in the beloved HV, these are some of our favorites. Gather your squad and check them out!
The town of Rosendale, NY is an amazing place to spend the day. Go on a stroll on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, explore some caves along the way, and cross over the Rosendale Trestle. From there, you can either walk or park in town and trek to the top of Joppenbergh Mountain, where views of the trestle are unbelievable. Then, stroll through the town and discover some of the antique shops and cute restaurants.
Dover Stone Church is definitely one of a kind. After starting at the beautiful open field (which looks like it leads to Narnia), you will come across the true beauty of the hike. What starts out as a simple stream of water, turns into a beautiful waterfall, and leads directly into a magnificent cave. Balancing on the rocks within the stream will allow you to climb all the way into the cave, which is a truly spectacular sight.
Kaaterskill Falls is definitely a trip worth taking! Located in the Eastern Catskills Mountains, this stands as the tallest two-tier waterfall in New York. Once you get to the beginning of the trail, you will think that you can see all that this attraction has to offer. However, you are most definitely mistaken! Keep walking past the start of the stream, and before you know it, you will be close enough to the largest part of the waterfall where you will actually feel the water splashing you. This spot is perfect for a hot summer day!
Sam’s Point is part of Minnewaska State Park in Kerhonkson, NY. There are tons of trails to choose from within the park, however, we chose Sam’s Point because of its bounty of beauty. Take a stroll around Lake Maratanza–one of the five sky lakes in the park–to start. Then, go and venture through ice caves (*reader’s note: it’s COLD in there!) and make your way to Verkeerder Kill Falls, only a short walk from the caves. For the grand finale, head over to the incredible lookout, where you will feel on top of the world as nature surrounds you.
*Pro Tip: Check out Ellenville, NY (right outside of the Sam’s Point entrance) after your hike. Post-victory restaurants await your arrival.
All the hype is for Breakneck Ridge, which is an incredibly strenuous, but spectacular hike, about a mile up the road, in Cold Spring, NY. However, when you’re not feeling a crazy hike (especially, after leg day) check out Little Stony Point in Cold Spring. Here, there is a clifftop lookout of the Hudson, panoramic views, and a beach, which is ideal for watching the sunset between the mountains with your friends.
Bonticou Crag is ultimate squad bonding. From the start, you walk a short trail which takes you to the rock scramble. The seemingly impossible crag gets much easier as you make your way to the top, but be sure to follow the white trail markers on the rocks as you approach the summit. From the top, you will get some seriously gram-worthy panoramic views.
*Cheapskate Alert: Costs $12 to enter. Totally worth it.*
7. Mount Beacon
Put on your hiking shoes and get ready to sweat, because Mt. Beacon is a steep, yet bearable trek to some seriously amazing views. From the first lookout, you will be able to take in the views of the Hudson River while exploring some abandoned casino ruins. If you turn around and head back down, you will have had a great hike and amazing adventure. However, if you decide to keep going (which we encourage that you do), you will continue up a rugged set of trails that takes you to the Beacon Fire Tower. On a clear day, you will be able to see Manhattan in the near distance! This is definitely an excuse to skip your gym exercises for the day, or week.
Bear Hill Preserve is a low-key hike with a big payoff! When you get to the lookout on top of the rocks, you will be surrounded by miles of nature. Take it all in! Once you are done updating your Snapchat story, head into the caves where you will squeeze through different crevices and explore, only to come out to see an even more beautiful landscape and more picturesque scenes.
Black Creek is one of the most relaxing, yet rewarding hikes around! This two-mile stroll in the forest within the Town of Esopus will bring you up close and personal to the Hudson River. You may be visited by some of the locals, including the Red Eft, which are tiny newts that are so small that they could easily be mistaken for a toy (WARNING: These are poisonous. So, please don’t try and take them home as your new pet). Once you get to the water, whip out your blanket and picnic basket because this is a perfect place to relax with your friends and have a picnic while watching the sunset on the Hudson.
10. Mount Overlook
For a blast from the past, head over to Woodstock, NY, to channel your inner 60s and take on some adventures. Overlook Mountain starts off at a beautiful Buddhist Monastery to start your hike off right. This steep trek will take you to a large abandoned hotel (perfect for taking photos and improving your social media aesthetic). However, the hike isn’t over just yet as you travel another half mile to the money-spot: The Overlook Mountain. Phenomenal views and a fire tower await you as you make your way to the top of the mountain. When you find your way back down the mountain, be sure to stroll through Woodstock to be a part of all the happenings in town. Take part in a drum circle, or check out the restaurants and shops, you never know what you may find!
What are you waiting for? Pack your bags, get some snacks, and hit the road!