5 Great Winter Hikes in the Hudson Valley

A handful of Hudson Valley hikes to put those new boots to good use.


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FOTOLIA | OLEKSANDR

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


Related: Your Essential Winter Hiking Checklist


Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve

Arden Point and Glenclyffe
96 Lower Station Road, Garrison

 

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A woods 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 4-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. 

Sterling Forest State Park

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

 

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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.

Mohonk Preserve

Undercliff/Overcliff Carriage Roads
3197 Route 44, Gardiner

 

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The carriage roads are open to non-skiers during winter, but when the snow is down you’ll want snowshoes on this relatively easy 5-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.

Catskills

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

 

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In the Catskills, Darley recommends 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.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Carriage Roads
5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson

 

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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.

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