3 Trails Perfect for Spring Hikes in the Hudson Valley

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

Now that the leaves and flowers have returned to the Hudson Valley, it’s time to get outside and enjoy that verdant foliage. Whether you’re on the hunt for a lengthy and challenging walk through the woods or a short but scenic trek up a hill, these regional trails and hikes are perfect for spring adventuring in the Valley.

Sam’s Point and Verkeerderkill Falls

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Kerhonkson
Difficulty: Challenging
Length: 8.6 miles
Route Type: Loop


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This hike begins on the western tail of the Shawangunks with a steady incline toward Sam’s Point. Along the way, 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 for a bit of very cool exploring! Parking ($10, or free with an Empire Pass) is at the base of Sam’s Point, and reservations required on weekends.

Little Stony Point

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

.9 miles
By Francesca Furey

Perfect for families and four-legged friends, this is a breezy walk along the eastern bank of the Hudson. When you’re looking to catch the same great view that you can see from the top of Breakneck Ridge but without the difficult ascension, this trail is for you. Views of Storm King Mountain and the Hudson Highlands will greet you at the peak. Parking is free along the road on Route 9D.

Hessian Lake Loop

Bear Mountain State Park, Tomkins Cove
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 1.4 miles
Route Type: Loop


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If elevation isn’t your thing, this moderately easy loop around Hessian Lake is a flat trail that clocks in at less than 1.5 miles. Perfect for strollers, bikes, or rollerblades, the paved path follows the lake for prime birdwatching or fish-spotting in the spring months. Carry in a picnic lunch to set up at one of the tables that dot this trail, and be sure to stop by the Bear Mountain Zoo on your way out of the park. Parking is $10 or free with the Empire Pass.

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

Did You Know?

Travel + Leisure named the Empire State Trail one of the 15 best rail trails in the country in 2023. 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

Related: 14 Hudson Valley Hikes With Fire Towers for Jaw-Dropping Views

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