Hike the Hudson Valley all year long

Over 30 all season trails even little legs can explore

family hikes, hiking trails near me, kid-friendly hiking, outdoor activities, all weather hikes

Looking for something fun, healthy and educational to do this weekend? Why not take a hike? The Hudson Valley is home to some of the most gorgeous views in the country, all year round. And while it may be better to keep the kids off of the steep, icy mountain trails, there’s plenty of relatively flat trails that can be enjoyed by the whole family no matter how low the temperature drops.

Mills Norrie State Park
Old Post Rd., Staatsburgh. 845-889-8851.
A great hike along the Hudson River, this trail is one-of-a-kind because of its proximity to the river’s edge. For about 2.5 miles, enjoy breathtaking views as you stroll along with the family. Make plans for before or after the hike to visit the Mill’s Mansion on the grounds—an elegant country estate built during America’s Gilded Age.

Manitoga: The Russel Wright Center
584 Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-424-3812.
For a variety of unique and interesting hikes, visit the home of Russel Wright, American home-furnishings designer. Hike over 4 miles of paths through a 75-acre designed landscape with links to the Appalachian Trail. Each path was built to illuminate the beauty of nature and create an adventure through the forest. All of the paths were designed to go in one direction, and all begin at Mary’s Meadow, named for Wright’s wife. Dogs are prohibited due to sensitive habitat. Note that the trails are closed the first few weeks of December.

Silver Mine Lake Loop
Old Silver Mine Ski Center, Woodbury. 
Silver Mine Lake Loop is a 3.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Highland Falls, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from April until November.

Kanape Brook trail to summit of High Point Mountain
Starts at the Kanape Trailhead on County Route 42 (Peekamoose Road)
A popular hiking trail (red markers) follows the woods road before turning and climbing to the summit of 3,080-foot High Point Mountain, approximately 7 miles round trip (5.4 miles round trip in the Valley, another 0.8 miles to the summit). Repeated fires have created a ridge top blueberry heath with impressive westerly views of the Rocky-Balsam Cap-Friday Mountain ridge, especially adjacent Hoopole Mountain. A good view of the Ashokan Reservoir and the Rondout Valley framed by the Shawangunk Ridge is available from a large blueberry patch, a short but hilly bush walk to the northeast.

Vernooy Kill Falls
Take State Route 209 to Cherrytown Road to Upper Cherrytown Road. The parking lot is on the right on Upper Cherrytown Road. Park and cross the road to the trail.
A multiple use trail starts at the trailhead on Upper Cherrytown Road in the Town of Rochester, passes over the Vernooy Kill and Balsam Swamp to Greenville and returns via Spencer/Trails End Road in an 11.2-mile loop. The most popular destination is the Upper Falls of the Vernooy Kill. Here, the water drops about 60 feet in a series of small pools and falls. Below the falls, a 15-20-foot tall stone wall alongside the stream was part of the "Cornelius" Vernooey Mill complex which operated from the early 1700s until 1809. 

Denman Mountain
Parking is available at the Furmans and Glade Hill Road/Moore Hill Road intersection.
Denman Mountain is the second highest peak in Sullivan County area. Located near Grahamsville and Route 55, it has a gently sloping trail with many old woods roads to explore.  

Bear Mountain State Park
Rte. 9W, Bear Mountain. 845-786-2701.
Most hikers who come here tend to head straight up the park’s namesake mountain and leave the rest behind. But three of the park’s best all-weather attractions — the ice skating rink, the carousel, and the zoo — are at opposite ends of the park. That lends itself to taking a great hike along the lake as you enjoy all the park has to offer. And if you need a break, you can stop at the Bear Mountain Inn halfway through for some hot chocolate (restaurant is temporarily closed due to pandemic).

Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Route 44/55, New Paltz. 845-255-0752.
Found on the beautiful Shawangunk Mountain ridge, Minnewaska boasts some of the best views of the Hudson Valley. You won’t be able to enjoy the park’s famous swimming holes, but you can take advantage of plenty of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. Note: Lake Minnewaska and Sam's Point are experiencing extensive congestion on good-weather days and both sites are subject to intermittent closures as parking lots reach capacity.

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
Entrance by Water Street Market, New Paltz.
Transformed from an abandoned Railroad in 1983, the Walkill Valley Rail Trail is now a linear park where people can enjoy hiking, biking, cross country skiing and other outdoor recreation. The path stretches from Rosendale to Gardiner, passing through scenic New Paltz, including Historic Huguenot Street.

Harlem Valley Rail Trail
Entrance by train station on Route 22, Amenia
There are three sections totaling 26+ paved miles through stunning rural Dutchess and Columbia County landscapes. Four more sections are in various stages of completion.

Dutchess County Rail Trail
For rail trail fun on the eastern side of the valley, check out the 13 mile Dutchess County Rail Trail, which runs from the old train depot at Hopewell Junction all the way to the Walkway Over The Hudson in Poughkeepsie. Even if winter whipping winds keep you off the Walkway, there’s plenty of woodland views to enjoy for those who don’t make it all the way to the Hudson.

Mohonk Preserve
New Paltz. 845-255-0919.
At the Preserve, you’ll enjoy scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and peace & quiet. Save the rock climbing for the summer and instead take advantage of the miles of wide, flat carriage roads that lead throughout the Preserve.

Delaware & Hudson Canal Linear Park
Rte. 209, Town of Mamakating. 845-794-3000 ext. 3072.
The canals might be frozen, but you can still step through history on the 45-acre Delaware and Hudson Canal Linear Park. Travel along three and a half miles of trail that passes the remains of original locks, drydock and waste weirs. Signs are located throughout the park to explain the different canal structures.

Clermont State Historic Site
One Clermont Ave., Germantown, 518-537-4240.
Enjoy views of the Hudson River, and explore the grounds, from formal gardens to carriage roads to steep hills leading to the river. The house itself is closed from January through April, but on November and December weekends guided house tours are available from 11 am to 3 pm. (Mansion and visitors center have been temporarily closed due to pandemic)

Poet’s Walk Park
776 River Rd., Red Hook.

Follow easy trails to the gazebo and add on a loop to the summer house to see why these views inspired nineteenth-century writers. Once the snow gets deep, strap on a pair of cross country skis or snowshoes to take full advantage of the 2 miles worth of trails throughout this 120 acre park.

Depot Hill
301 Depot Hill Rd., Poughquag.
This little 3-mile round-trip trail is part of the Appalachian Trail. This trail is good for kids over 5 and has great views. Kids will love passing by the shelter located on the trail.

Dover Stone Church Preserve
3128 NY-22, Dover Plains
Three miles of nature trails were blazed and opened in the summer of 2015 to enjoy the unique rock outcroppings, scenic vistas and fauna of the West Mountain ridge and appreciate the Stone Church’s age-old ecological history. The path can be a little hard to locate but it is worth it to see a cave with waterfall at the end. You can even hike with the little ones on this trail.

Esopus Meadows Preserve
269 River Rd., Ulster Park.
You won’t find any meadows here: The name refers to the tidal flats, once a feeding ground for local livestock. but you will find a network of easy trails, a brand new pavilion with picnic tables. and a pedestrian-and boat-access-only beach with a great view of the lighthouse. Bring some binoculars along, as you may spy a bald eagle on the preserve as well.

Roosevelt Farm Lane Trail
4097 Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park.
A madhouse in the summer, the buildings and grounds of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Estate are quiet and serene in January and February. It’s a perfect opportunity to relax and take your time touring the houses, as well as the packed-gravel trails that connect the historic sites. Watch for birds and wildlife along the way.

The Middletown Reservoir Trails 
435 Van Duzer Rd., Middletown
Experience the wilderness as you walk, run, or bike on over eight and a half miles of woods roads and trails close to Middletown. Take in stunning views of Monhagen Reservoir, Highland Reservoir, and Shawangunk Reservoir. This forested watershed features century-old stands of white pines that create a shady and peaceful retreat. See if you can spot some deer or foxes.

Red Hill Fire Tower
located in Claryville, Sullivan County - use DEC GPS coordinates for location - DEC Parking Lot: GPS: N41 55.783 W74 30.426 - WGS84: 41.929717, -74.5071
This is a nice, easy hike, perfect for kids. The bonus here is the fire tower at the end. The hike is a little under 3 miles round trip. There is even a picnic table at the end for a snack and rest.

Ferncliff Forest
68 Mount Rutsen Rd. in northern Rhinebeck
The 4 miles of trials contain the remains of hand-dug wells, cisterns, root cellars and old foundations. The views of the Catskills and Hudson River are stunning. This is a pretty easy hike even for the little ones.

Ashokan Rail Trail
Woodstock Dike Trailhead, 1285 NY-28 in West Hurley
Ashokan Station Trailhead, 3045 NY-28 in Shokan
Boiceville Bridge Trailhead, 5080 Route 28A in Boiceville
Open to the public from sunrise to sunset offering 11.5-miles of trail between West Hurley and Boiceville along Ashokan Reservoir. These trails are dog-friendly and wheelchair accessible.

Orange Heritage Trail Way
Access points: Chester Depot Museum, Village of Chester; St. James Place, Village of Goshen: Park and Ride Lot B, Village of Monroe.
The Heritage Trail is a 10-foot wide trail of both asphalt and limestone 
on the right-of-way of the former Erie Railroad. Current trail is 14 miles where you can bike, walk and rollerblade. 

The Bashakill in Sullivan County
From NYS Route 17, take Exit 113. Turn onto NYS Route 209 south. Several major access points, are available along Haven and South roads.
Several miles of trails trace an old rail line and the towpath of the former Delaware & Hudson Canal on the eastern and western sides of Bashakill Marsh. The Nature Trail off South Road takes you into the marsh, as do Haven Road and Birch Trail. A fishing pier for those with mobility limitations and four viewing towers offer scenic vistas. There are more than 14 miles available.

Minisink Battleground Park
Town of Highland, 58 County Road 168 Barryville, Located off Route 97; (845) 807-0287
Self-guiding trails run through the park providing the visitor with an opportunity for a more in-depth knowledge of these themes. Monuments commemorating the battle are located throughout the park.  This facility is located within the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, a unit of the National Park Service, and is in close proximity to the famous Roebling Bridge and Zane Grey Museum. Picnic areas, a group picnic pavilion (fee required), restroom facilities and walking trails are usually available but are currently closed due to the pandemic. There is no admission fee. Open daily May through October; 8am-dusk.

Carnwath Farms Historic Site & Park
81 Carnwath Farms Lane, Wappingers Falls; 845-632-1570
The Town of Wappinger is committed to revitalizing this diamond in the rough to become the true “Gem of the Hudson River Valley”. A majestic Victorian era estate turned public park, Carnwath Farms Historic Site & Park will be the center of arts, culture, history, and leisure for Wappinger. Carnwath Farms HSP consists of 99.7 acres of protected parkland, the pre-restoration 1850 Italianate-style Carnwath Manor, an 1873 French-style Carriage House, the Reese Cultural Center, the Sports Museum of Dutchess County, a 1927 colonial cottage, and a three mile trail network with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Grounds are open every day from dawn to dusk. Pet friendly. 

Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve
3011 Route 9D, Cold Spring; 845-265-3175
Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve consists of a series of separate parcels of land stretching from Annsville Creek in Peekskill, north to Dennings Point in Beacon. The spacious park is perfect for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, and birding. The park's extensive hiking trail network includes terrain that varies from easy to challenging. Trail maps can be obtained at most trailheads and the Hudson Highlands office. Please note that camping and use of fire are prohibited throughout the park.

Mount Beacon Park
788 Wolcott Ave., 
Beacon; 845-473-4440
The trail up Mount Beacon is steep, but switchbacks keep the workout manageable. The hike actually begins on a staircase following the course of the Beacon Incline Railway, once the world’s steepest funicular. Observation platforms atop the stairs preview the treat rewarding all who reach the summit: a panoramic vista stretching from the Hudson Highlands to the Catskill Mountains. A mile away, climb 60 feet up the South Mount Beacon fire tower for a view that’s even more spectacular — on a clear day, you can see from Manhattan to Albany. Free and open year-round, dawn to dusk.

Storm King State Park
Mountain Rd., 
Cornwall-on-Hudson; 845-786-2701
Storm King State Park is a 1,972-acre state park in Orange County, New York. The park is in the southeast part of the Town of Cornwall, next to the Hudson River. A central feature of the park is Storm King Mountain. This can be a steep hike as it takes you to the top of the mountain.

James Baird State Park
14 Maintenance Ln., Pleasant Valley; 845-452-1489
There are seven miles of hiking trails in this 590 acre park. The trail makes a loop around the park and has gorgeous views. This is a moderate hike. Dogs are welcome on a leash.

Peach Hill Park
32 Edgewood Drive, Poughkeepsie. 845-485-3628
Walk on 3.5 miles of hiking trails. Five different trails explore diverse habitats and ecology, wetlands, traditional agriculture, geology and local history. Enjoy scenic views of the Hudson Valley, the Catskills, 
and the Taconic Hills. You can also do a little geocaching here. Dogs are welcome on a leash.

Last updated 4/14/2023