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5 Great Winter Hikes in the Hudson Valley



So you’re prepared to head out there this winter, but where should you hike? Here are some great recommended trails for novices:



Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve 

A woody road leads to a blue-blazed trail that takes you to Arden Point, the first of several fantastic vistas you’ll get on this easy four-mile hike. At an intersection with a red-blazed trail, follow the red blazes to a gazebo, more great views, and a road used by noted Revolutionary-era figure Benedict Arnold to escape capture after being revealed as a traitor. 

Arden Point and Glenclyffe
96 Lower Station Road, Garrison



Sterling Forest State Park

Take the green-on-orange Townsend Trail to the white-on-green Long Meadow Extension Trail, which is also a skiing trail. The prime vista here is an overlook of southeast Orange County that should be sweeping with bare trees.

Townsend Trail and Long Meadow Extension Loop
Hall Drive at Orange Turnpike, Southfields



Mohonk Preserve

The carriage roads are open to non-skiers during winter, but when the snow is down you’ll want snowshoes on this relatively easy five-mile hike. You’ll follow Undercliff to Overcliff roads here, passing viewpoints of the Wallkill River Valley and the Trapps Ridge along the way. Note: Visiting Mohonk Preserve requires a $15 daily hiking fee.

Undercliff/Overcliff Carriage Roads
3197 Route 44, Gardiner



Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley. -Theodore Roethke

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In the Catskills, try the hike to Giant Ledge, which is a 3.2-mile up-and-back hike where you ascend 1,090 feet. Take yellow blazes to blue blazes in this moderate to challenging hike that goes up quickly. For the Catskills, it’s an easier hike, and makes for great views in the bare winter.

Giant Ledge
Oliverea Road, Big Indian, 7.5 miles south of Route 28



Out in the cold, looking at frozen stuff

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Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Finally, the carriage roads at Minnewaska State Park Preserve are a good option for snowshoeing, especially if you’ve walked them before. It’s always a good idea, if there’s snow on the ground, to start with a trail already familiar to you. Also, some trails — more often in state-owned land — will only be open for skiing, so before heading out, call to ensure you can hike safely.

Carriage Roads
5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson

Related: 10 Places to Ski, Snowboard, and Tube In and Around the Hudson Valley


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