1) Bashakill Wetlands
Bashakill Wetlands is an excellent place for a leisurely walk. The Bashakill Wetlands are located off Wappingers Creek in the Town of Poughkeepsie and contain impressive wetland habitat. The marshes have been home to many animals, including beavers and otters, and provide an oasis for migratory birds as well. The Bashakill Wetlands are also home to various plant life that you can find along the walking paths throughout the park.
2) Breakneck Ridge
NOTE: THE BREAKNECK RIDGE HIKE IS NOT MEANT FOR EVERYONE. THE TRAIL IS VERY TECHNICAL AND CAN BE QUITE DANGEROUS FOR THOSE NOT ADEQUATELY EXPERIENCED. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS TRAIL UNLESS YOU ARE CONFIDENT IN YOUR HIKING / SCRAMBLING ABILITIES.
Breakneck Ridge is one of the most popular trails in the area, and for a good reason. Not only is it a great hike, but it also boasts a beautiful view that overlooks much of the Hudson Valley. You can access the trail via Breakneck Bridge Road near Red Hook or from the Olana State Historic Site.
Additional Sources: https://triptins.com/breakneck-ridge-hike/
3) Castle Point
Castle Point is a popular destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives. The park offers 10 miles of trails that wind through the woods, meadows, and along the shoreline. It’s a great place for all types of outdoor enthusiasts, including hikers, mountain bikers, and birdwatchers. You can also explore Castle Point by kayak or paddleboard on the bay side of the Point. Make sure you dress appropriately for your adventures.
4) Constitution Island
Constitution Island is an excellent place to walk off those holiday dinners with an easy hike. Unfortunately, the island is only accessible by boat, which means about the only other ways to get there are by swimming, kayaking, or canoeing. Consequently, it’s never crowded and is always peaceful — perfect for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Additional Sources: https://www.constitutionisland.org/
5) Croton Gorge Park
Croton Gorge Park is a relatively easy hike from the parking lot at the end of River Road near the Croton Dam. Although it’s not as long or strenuous as other hikes on this list, it still offers beautiful views and an excellent way to get out in nature.
Additional Sources: https://hikethehudsonvalley.com/hikes/croton-gorge-park/
6) Fahnestock State Park
Less than a one-hour drive from the city, Fahnestock State Park offers some great hikes for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays. And because most of these are short trails, it’s easy to walk off those holiday dinners! The Streamside Trail is less than a mile and can be completed in about 30 minutes. It’s also an easy hike with little elevation gain.
Additional Sources: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/fahnestock/details.aspx
7) Harriman State Park
Harriman State Park is one of the most popular parks in the Hudson Valley, which is no surprise given its location and proximity. Located just south of Newburgh on Route 9W, it offers a variety of hikes with views that are hard to beat.
Additional Sources: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/145
8) Minnewaska State Park
Minnewaska State Park is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the New York City area. Located on Shawangunk Ridge, Minnewaska features a series of trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Easiest is the Perimeter Trail, which offers a paved walkway that circles around the park and offers views of both Lake Awosting and Lake Minnewaska.
Additional Sources: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/minnewaska
9) Storm King State Park
Storm King State Park is a beautiful and serene park on the bluffs of the Hudson River. The park offers many easy, family-friendly hikes that are perfect for all fitness levels.
Additional Sources: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/stormking/maps.aspx
10) West Point
West Point, New York, is located in Orange County and offers the opportunity for a day hike on the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail is a 2,184-mile footpath that traverses 14 states from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin in Maine. West Point has a 1.5-mile loop trail on top of the cliffs overlooking the Hudson River. The trail has many scenic overlooks and features views of West Point Military Academy and Bannerman Castle on East Island.
Additional Sources: https://www.komoot.com/guide/2222838/hiking-around-west-point
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