Adobe Stock / Paulvelgos
With social distancing protocol in full effect, local trailheads implement policies to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Thinking about stepping foot outside for a breath of fresh air? The Hudson Valley’s parks and trails might not be the best place to do it.
As COVID-19 continues to take its toll on the region and the nation as a whole, many are turning to the Hudson Valley’s parks and trails to make the most of social distancing in nature. Yet because of this, a number of popular hiking and walking areas are suffering from overcrowding – a major no-no when it comes to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
To combat COVID-19, local park areas have taken steps to reduce or stop traffic altogether. The region’s state parks and historic sites are regularly closing locations like Bear Mountain State Park, Minnewaska State Park Preserve, and Sam’s Point Area on days when overcrowding occurs and trails reach capacity. Additionally, all state park pools and beaches will remain closed to swimming through May 31.
As per New York State mandate, any individuals who choose to visit still-open parks and trails need to practice social distancing and wear face masks in proximity of others.
Here are the closures to note in the Hudson Valley now:
The parking lot and trail for Bash Bish Falls are closed as of May 2.
Scenic Hudson’s Mount Beacon Park parking area and trailhead on Howland Ave in Beacon are closed to the public as of March 27.
In Fishkill, Breakneck Ridge, Fishkill Ridge, Notch Trail, and Wilkinson Trailhead are closed.
The Department of Environmental Conservation announced the temporary closure of Kaaterskill Falls, the viewing platform, and connecting trails on April 5. The Kaaterskill Wild Forest remains open to the public. Parking areas at Molly Smith, Laurel House Road, and Scutt Road are closed, and roadside parking is prohibited. The DEC is blocking roads connecting to North-South Lake Campground as well.
These roads around Bear Mountain and Harriman State Park are closed beginning April 24: Tiorati Brook Road, Route 106 from Kanawauke Circle to Route 17, and Arden Valley Road.
A number of trails in Hudson Highlands State Park are temporarily closed to the public. This includes all trails leading to Breakneck Ridge and Mt. Taurus. Due to the narrow nature of the park’s trails, this park is not optimal for social distancing.
Washburn Parking Lot and Little Stony Point trails in Philipstown are closed, as are Brook Trail and Indian Brook Falls Trail.
Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary and its trails are closed for the time being.
As of April 24, the following roads around Bear Mountain and Harriman State Park are closed: Exit 16 off the Palisades Interstate Parkway and Lake Welch Drive to St. John’s Road. Seven Lake Drive is still open.
Beginning April 15, Rockland Lake, Nyack Beach, and Hook Mountain State Park are closed to the public.
Starting April 6, all Rockland County parks are closed to the public.
Parking at Minnewaska State Park Preserve is reduced by 50 percent. This includes Sam’s Point Area. All restrooms are closed, as are opportunities for boating, scuba diving, horseback riding, climbing, and bouldering.
The Coxing Trailhead at Mohonk Preserve is closed. Beginning May 20, the Visitors Center, West Trapps, East Trapps Connector, Spring Farm, and Upper Duck Pond Trailheads are open. The Testimonial Gateway Trailhead is open for daily use from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. beginning May 23.
Anthony’s Nose and the Appalachian Trail connector are closed in Cortlandt. The U-bend parking on the Goat Trail and the Toll House parking lot are closed as well.
This is a running list. Check in regularly for updates about local trail closures.