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Little Stony Point

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Hudson valley, hiking, family friendly, kid friendly, beaches, swimming, hudson river, little stony point, cold spring, things to do, places to go, picnic, hudson highlands, garrison, day trips

The Hudson Highlands are one of the most hiked areas in the Hudson Valley; people come from all over the world to hike the popular, Breakneck Ridge. This steep hike is right across the street from a lesser known area that happens to be one of my most favorite places and beaches in all of the Hudson Valley, Little Stony Point. Because most people are passing right by this area it's never usually crowded and it's a super easy hike that can be done by anyone! But even more enticing is the absolutely breathtaking beach that rewards you after a short, hot trek in the woods! The path crosses over the Metro North train track and meanders through a mature wooded area, eventually giving way to views of Storm King Mountain and a secluded beach on the Hudson River.

This area is such a special place and feels as if you have traveled to a secluded tropical island. The beach has lots to explore; littered with stumps of smooth, beautiful driftwood and a soft pebbly sand. Lay out a blanket and dip your feet into the gentle lapping waves from the passing barges. Depending on the day and time of year the beach can feel like a party with anchored boats and music or if you happen on a quieter day then you could have the whole place to yourselves, a peaceful slice of paradise.

The beach here does not have a lifeguard, and technically "swimming" is not allowed but the rangers do allow wading and we have swam here multiple times with no issues. So feel free to hike the 1 mile loop and then cool off by dipping your toes in the icy cold river! We also love to bring sand toys and a picnic blanket so we can spend the day relaxing and taking in the impressive views.

After we have gotten our fill of hiking and beaching we always head to the Cold Spring water front area for our most favorite ice cream parlor, Moo Moo's Creamery! The waterfront area is a very short drive and also an amazing place to take in the mountains and the Hudson River. Across the street from the parlor are benches in a small waterfront park. We love to get their unique flavors such as strawberry Oreo or a slightly spicy Mexican chocolate, and hang out noshing and taking in the view!

The hiking trails and beach are open year round and we love to visit them especially in the colder months when we have the beach all to ourselves. In the winter you can watch the huge ice chunks floating on the current, crashing into one another. It's a magical place no matter when you decide to go!

Tips for this hike:
  • The Hudson River always washes up "devil pods" and other items because of the tides, make sure to wear water shoes when dipping in.
  • The rangers allow wading, meaning up to your waist, there are no lifeguards on duty so entering the water is at your own risk and rangers do patrol and ask those in the water swimming to exit the water.
  • There is a small parking lot directly in front of the trail head, one across the street and lots of people park along the road but this is illegal and they do ticket and tow (please don't do this). 
  • Weekend parking is very busy because of nearby Breakneck Ridge so I advise that you get to the trail early on weekends in the summer months or visit during the week or off season when it's less busy.
  • This is a carry-in & carry-out trail, so take all trash with you.
  • This area is very popular in the summer on hot weekends, so I advise families to visit during early mornings, week days or off season (when school is in session). 
  • There is a porta potty for public use. (After crossing over the railroad tracks, take the trail to the right until it forks, keep to the right which leads right to the porta potty).

For more information visit: Little Stony Point.

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