Best Hiking Trails on The Hudson river Valley

12 Best Hikes in The Hudson Valley Worth Checking Out

I’m going to be sharing 12 of the best hikes in the Hudson Valley that I’ve completed in this post as well as trail details so you can figure out which options suit your preferences (distance, difficulty, etc…).

Most of them will take you right by the Hudson River, while others are bit more inland. But what they all have in common is that they present awesome scenery, beginner-challenging hikes and an adventure you’ll love to try, especially if you’re a New Yorker and on a quick side note, as someone who lives there and has explored many amazing areas outside this state, I really underestimated how many amazing hikes you can explore in the Hudson River Valley and this list is just the beginning of many more trails I’ll add in the future! But for now:

Here are the 12 best hiking trails on the Hudson River Valley (used to be 10):

Best Hiking Trails on The Hudson river Valley

  1. Giant Stairs Palisades
  2. Anthony’s Nose
  3. Reeves Brook Trail
  4. Breakneck Ridge
  5. Bull Hill Loop Trail
  6. Storm King Mountain Trail
  7. Bear Mountain Loop Trail
  8. Little Stony Point Short Loop
  9. Devils Path
  10. Boulder Rock Trail
  11. Overlook Mountain Trail
  12. Sunset Rock/Artists Rock Trail

These are all great day hikes you can take, especially if you live in NYC and want to check out hikes close to it. Just as well, if you live in cities that are close to the Hudson River, you can also use this list to help you find awesome hikes nearby!

Here is a Hudson River Valley map (why this is important):

hudson river valley map screenshot

There’s 3 sections to the Hudson River Valley area and this is important for finding hiking trails there because depending on which section you live closest to or which hike you’re looking to explore, you can decide if you want to make the drive to check them out.

  1. Red is the lower Hudson River Area. It goes from NYC to around the Newburgh area.
  2. Orange goes from Newburgh to just above the Catskill Mountains.
  3. Green is the upper Hudson River Valley area which goes a bit north of Albany before it ends and Lake George begins soon after.

By the way, these colors are random. I just outlined the sections of the Hudson River area for easy reference. Most of the hikes on this list are located close to each other in the lower Hudson Valley area, and 2 of them are in the middle part. I have yet to explore much of the upper Hudson River area, but when I do, I’ll add more of the hikes I find there.

And now that you know that this area is divided into 3 sections, let us cover the main point of this article which is the actual hikes in this region worth exploring. Keep in mind that there are more than 10, but I think you’ll find these to be awesome ones to explore, especially if you’re just getting started in checking these areas out.

1) Giant Stairs Palisades:

Giant Stairs Palisades hudson valley hiking trail 09

I’ll be doing a more thorough dive into this hiking trail on the Hudson Valley, but I recently completed it and I really enjoyed (nearly) every minute of it. It’s moderate for most people, and will involve a bit of an decline/incline hike (4.5 miles), but the beauty of it is that if you want to get an awesome Hudson Valley hiking experience, no other hiking trail on this list will get you closer to the water than the Giant Stairs Palisades hike.

That picture you see to the right is me hiking through the actual “Giant Stairs” of the hike looking up at the giant mountain over me, which you can see across the Hudson River. Besides this hike, there are also other attractions available within this region which is known as Fort Lee Historic Park. 

If you finish this hike a bit early, I would strongly recommend reading that article I linked to because there’s much more to see and do at this park. And fortunately, the other hikes on this list are also very close by.

2) Anthony’s Nose:

anthonys nose hudson valley hiking trail 01

  • Location: Purple Heart Memorial Bridge NY
  • Length of hike: 2 to 8 miles (2 different ways to do it)
  • Difficulty: Moderate

I did the Anthony’s Nose hike awhile back (on a cloudy day) and as I later learned, there are 2 ways to do it:

  1. The first is the short in and out trail which is only about 2 miles long. That’s the one I did.
  2. I later discovered if I started a bit south, there is another trailhead leading to the same area (Anthony’s Nose) which makes it an 8 mile in and out trail.

Fortunately, I also later learned that the 8 mile option isn’t that pretty, so I didn’t miss out. But you can certainly opt to do that one if you wish. For me, the 2 mile hike up to Anthony’s Nose was enough and it gives you an awesome view of the Hudson Valley as well as intersecting a small part of the Appalachian trail.

Now if you also notice, there is a beautiful bridge there. It’s called the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge and right across from it is one of the other parks and hiking trails on this list (Bear Mountain). Something to keep in mind.

3) Reeves Brook Loop Trail:

harriman state park hudson valley hiking trail 02

Out of all the Hudson Valley hikes on this list, this one is the furthest from the actual river. It’s located in Harriman State Park which is next door to Bear Mountain.

At certain sections of this park are overlooks from which it’s possible to see the Hudson River. It’s also about 3-4 miles long. I included this particular trail because I’ve done it several times, think it’s great for both beginners and moderate hikers and also because to me, Harriman State Park is one of the most awesome parks to explore on the Hudson Valley. The Reeves Brook Loop Trail is awesome but please be careful on it since it can be difficult to navigate and I have gotten lost in the woods a few times when I started exploring it. 

4) Breakneck Ridge:

breakneck ridge hudson valley hiking trail 05

Breakneck Ridge may be the toughest hikes on the list (it’s really not that bad though, but it carries that reputation). This hike is east of the Hudson River and is about 30 minutes north of Anthony’s Nose. In addition to being a fun and possibly dangerous hike, you will be going up a pretty steep incline for about a mile. At the same time, you will also get great views of the Hudson River and also a mountain on the opposite end of the river (which is also on this list) called Storm King.

The view you see on the right is one of the view points of Breakneck Ridge (there’s several). Breakneck Ridge offers several hiking trails ranging from a few miles of a loop, to a longer one that is over 10 miles long. I’ve personally done the shortest one, but tied it in with the next one on this list (Bull Hill Loop).

5) Bull Hill Loop Trail:

Bull Hill Short Loop hudson valley hike 02

  • Location: Hudson Highlands State Park
  • Length of hike: 3.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The Bull Hill Loop Trail is only a 5 minute drive from Breakneck Ridge (south), and it is an easier, but also very scenic hike you can do on the Hudson River Valley. The views such as the ones you see to the right are plentiful on this trail (which is about 5 miles long).

You will also intersect with parts of the Breakneck Ridge hike as well and like I said above, I’ve tied these 2 hikes into one during one of my “expeditions there”. It wasn’t easy, but it ended up being a near 10 mile hike that day.

In any case, Bull Hill Loop is a beginner to moderate hike and there are other options available that can make it longer (see the map for other options). So far I’ve done this hike twice. The first time was in the rain, which at first I hated, but then really appreciated and the other time was in hot weather (which made me appreciate the rainy hike more).

6) Storm King Mountain Trail:

Storm King Mountain Trail hudson valley hike 06

  • Location: Storm King Mountain State Park
  • Length of hike: 4 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

I’ll be honest, this is one of the 2 hikes on this list I have yet to do. But my road trip buddy explored it and said it’s a pretty cool place to check out. Storm King is a mountain right across Breakneck Ridge, on the west side of the Hudson Valley. It is a state park with scenic drives and hikes (as you can see from the photo on the right). There are also other attractions available in this state park, including a giant statue that is honestly hard to describe unless you see it yourself (you’ll see what I mean if you ever check it out).

The one I have seen recommended as the top choice is the Storm King Mountain Trail which is about 2.5 miles long. It will also give you a great view of the Hudson Valley, as well as Breakneck Ridge (plenty of photo opportunities).

7) Bear Mountain Loop Trail:

bear mountain Loop trail hudson valley hike 04

  • Location: Bear Mountain State Park
  • Length of hike: 2.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

I’ve done the Bear Mountain loop hike once when I was little but have yet to fully explore it as it’s meant to be explored. And it’s not because it’s boring or anything. It’s just that most people who travel to Bear Mountain just prefer the other hikes nearby (and the fact that you have to pay to enter into this park).

But if you find yourself in Bear Mountain State Park, the hike which will take you to a nice overlook of the Hudson River is the Bear Mountain Loop Trail (see the right photo for reference). It’s only 3-4 miles long, not that difficult, and recommended if you’re a beginner.

Additionally, Bear Mountain also has a nice lake in it which you can also check out and kayak on. If I remember correctly, this park also has nice festivals available year round so in addition to hiking, other fun things are available here.

8) Little Stony Point Short Loop:

Little Stony Point Short Loop hudson valley hiking trail 08

  • Location: Hudson Highlands State Park
  • Length of hike: 1/4 mile
  • Difficulty: Very easy

Out of all the hikes on this list, the Little Stony Point Short Loop is the shortest (1 mile and under) and easiest. However, despite that, it’s also the one which I think offers some of the best views of the Hudson Valley that I’ve ever seen (the picture to the right is a great example).

I’ve been to Little Stony Point twice and it’s right next door to the Bull Hill Loop trail (you can park near this trail head and walk over to Little Stony Point). There are 2 ways to check out Little Stony Point: The first is at the base of the park and the second is by taking a short hike up the green trail.

Additionally, this place has beaches and water sport amenities available. If you’re not much into hiking or just tired from doing one of the others on this list, then this is a great little place to check out afterwards. After I do my hikes in Breakneck Ridge or Bull Hill (they are all part of the Hudson Highlands State Park area), I always make sure to check out Little Stony Point.

9) Devils Path (Catskills):

devils path hudson valley hiking trail 08

  • Location: Catskill Mountains
  • Length of hike: Up to 25 miles
  • Difficulty: Hard

Now let me warn you: The Devils Path hike can be very difficult and is not recommended for beginners. It is a hike through 6 major Catskill Mountains and it is a point A to B trail. There are shorter options to this trail which will take you through sections of it where you can actually do individual loops through each of the 6 mountains instead of all of them. If this sounds more interesting, then my recommendation would be to do the Indian Head loop trail which is 7 miles long. It begins at Prediger Road which is one of the starting points to the Devils Path trail but cuts away from it 4 miles in and loops back to the same starting point. 

10) Boulder Rock trail:

boulder rock catskills hudson valley hiking trail 05

The Boulder Rock trail happens to be another popular hike in the Catskill Mountains and is a lot easier to do than Devils Path. It is only about 2 miles (in and out) and has 3 overlook areas you can check out. The best one is the one you see above in my opinion. This picture was taken on a foggy day, but you can see the Hudson River.

But as you travel further into the trail, you’ll come across the actual boulder which gives the trail it’s name. That region is beautiful, but it won’t give you a great view of the Hudson River Valley like the previous overlook. The Boulder Rock trail is a moderate trail and if you go, bring trekking poles.

11) Overlook Mountain:

Overlook Mountain Trail hudson river valley hike

  • Location: Woodstock NY
  • Length of hike: 5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Overlook Mountain is a highly popular trail in upstate NY which not only provides excellent views of the Hudson River Valley, but also other neat gems like an old ruins area as well as a Fire Tower at the end of it, much of which you can see in the image here (but of course, being there yourself will provide much better views). In fact, having personally done this trail, I can vouch for it having some of the best views not just of the Hudson River Valley, but also the Catskills. There are also connecting trails that take you deeper into that region too (like Indian Head Mountain).

12) Sunset Rock (aka Artists Rock):

best hikes hudson valley new 02

  • Location: North South Lake
  • Length of hike: 3 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This hike is also located in the North South Lake area of the Catskills and it actually connects with the Boulder Rock trail from earlier. There is a short hike from North Lake to reach this area and it is off the blue trail (it’s known as the Escarpment Trail). In any case I added this to the list because once you reach the famous rock area (you have to take a short yellow trail after the blue one to reach it), the overlook it takes you to is stunning in many ways!

  1. You will see the North South Lake areas.
  2. You will get an awesome view of the Catskills.
  3. You will also get a great view of the Hudson River Valley.

All of this combined together can be found in this one spot! I added a picture of my hike here and while you can’t exactly see the Hudson River because it’s blocked by the trees (it’s located left of me), I still highly recommend checking this hike out! 


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