Hiking is the perfect escape from the city-back to nature experience with the inbuilt benefits of a scenic workout. And some of the best hikes for magnificent views and wildlife exploration can be found right in New York City’s backyard. Whether you’re looking for a city escape, a different kind of workout, or some fresh air in the good ole outdoors – enjoy our guide to the best hiking trails in the Hudson Valley.
Doodletown Hike Trail, Bear Mountain State Park
This trail will lead you along a path to the vanished Hamlet of Doodletown, NY. Once bustling with life, the 7.5-mile loop in Bear Mountain State Park will take you past the ruins of abandoned schools, churches, and homes. There’s also no shortage of wildlife; so keep your eyes peeled for indigenous species during your trek which also offers breathtaking views of the Hudson River and Split Rock Falls.
Storm King Mountain via Storm King Trail, Storm King State Park
For a moderate test of your endurance, take a morning hike on Storm King State Park’s Storm King Mountain Trail. Venture in a clockwise direction to catch a few scrambles and experience the uphill incline – the higher the climb, the better the picturesque mountain views. Bird lovers, keep your camera at the ready for sightings of rare species. Once your trek is done, visit Storm King Art Center to see the large-scale sculptures displayed in their outdoor-gallery.
Fishkill Ridge is perfect for experienced hikers looking for a challenge. This Beacon trail will lead you through rigorous twists, rugged trails, and steep inclines as you pass beautiful streams and a waterfall. The trail also offers a glimpse into the area’s geological past, exposing rock outcroppings and boulders shaped by glaciers over 12,000 years ago. The majestic views compensate for the complexity of the trail, especially the knockout glimpses of the Manhattan skyline.
Hudson Valley natives can notoriously be found hiking Anthony’s Nose. The hike ascends from the Appalachian Trail and evokes the feeling of climbing a never-ending staircase that leads to Anthony’s Nose overlook (take plenty of water and some light snacks). There is nothing more gratifying than the feeling of reaching the top and being treated to unforgettable views of the Hudson and Bear Mountain Bridge.
Cranberry Lake Preserve
This light trail in Harrison, NY is a sanctuary for migratory birds, turtles, and dragonflies. To reach the shores of Cranberry Lake, follow the yellow and blue blazes and cross Bent Bridge until you reach some small caves that are ripe for exploration. If you opt for the History Trail, you’ll be greeted by a 19th-century farmhouse and early-20th-century mining operation.