3 Trails Perfect for Spring Hikes in the Hudson Valley

Ready to hike these trails during the spring season? Photo by Darren Mcgee, NYSDED/ I Love NY

Three treks—from strenuous to simple—with sweeping mountain, river, and waterfall views to sample in the Hudson Valley this spring.

Sam’s Point and Verkeerderkill Falls

Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Difficulty: Challenging
Length: 8.3 miles
Route Type: Loop

8.3 miles hike
Photo by Darren Mcgee, NYSDED/ I Love NY

This hike begins on the western tail of the Shawangunks with a steady incline toward Sam’s Point—the views of the jutted rock formations and rolling hills of Orange County are breathtaking. Then you’ll head northeast for three miles toward the spectacular Verkeerderkill waterfall. On the way back, venture down to the Ice Caves (reopening mid-spring) for a bit of exploring, they are very cool! Parking ($10, or free with an Empire Pass—details on following page) is at the base of Sam’s Point; reservations required on weekends.

.9 miles
By Francesca Furey

Little Stony Point

Hudson Highlands State Park
Difficulty: Easy
Length: .9 miles
Route Type: Loop

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Perfect for families and four-legged friends, this is a breezy walk along the eastern bank of the Hudson. Views of Storm King Mountain and the Hudson Highlands will greet you at the peak. Parking is free at the lot on Route 9D.

3.4 miles hike
Courtesy of Rockland County Tourism

Perkins Memorial Tower

Bear Mountain State Park
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.4 miles
Route Type: Out and Back

Consider this trail your outdoor Peloton. Stone steps wind up the side of Bear Mountain—with an elevation gain of over 1,000 feet—offering spectacular views of the river valley. There’s a free lot at Bear Mountain Inn; $10 parking fees begin in June. Or use an Empire Pass ($80/annual; parks.ny.gov/admission/empire-passport), a membership that allows unlimited vehicle entry to most New York State parks.

People walking on the Empire State Trail
Photo courtesy of the Empire State Trail/ Hudson Valley Greenway

Did You Know?

Travel + Leisure recently named the Empire State Trail one of the 15 best rail trails in the country. Over a quarter of the 750-mile expanse (the longest multi-use state trail in the country) belongs to the Hudson Valley Greenway Trail, which connects NYC to the Capital Region, passing through towns like Elmsford, Brewster, Pawling, Poughkeepsie, New Paltz, Kingston, Tivoli, Hudson, and Albany. To plan your next hiking or biking trip, check out empiretrail.ny.gov. – Emma Lawrence

bikers on trail
Photo courtesy of the Empire State Trail/ Hudson Valley Greenway
Empire State Trail
Photo courtesy of the Empire State Trail/ Hudson Valley Greenway

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