I’ve explored Widow Jane Mine several times, being that it’s not too far from NYC and it’s a great place to stop at if you’re looking for day hikes and scenic drives near NYC. But not everyone knows how to reach it, so in this post, I’ll show you where you’ll find it and other outdoor things to do that aren’t far from it.
- 1 Let me give you a preview of Widow Jane Mine and what to do around it:
- 2 10 more places to explore near (or not so near) Widow Jane Mine:
- 3 1) Rosendale Trestle Bridge:
- 4 2) The Catskills:
- 5 3) Lake George:
- 6 4) Adirondacks:
- 7 5) Ausable Chasm:
- 8 6) Finger Lakes:
- 9 7) Mohonk Preserve and Lake Minnewaska:
- 10 8) Breakneck Ridge:
- 11 9) Hudson Highlands State Park:
- 12 10) Harriman and Bear Mountain State Park:
- 13 What I recommend for gear/wear if you go to this place:
- 14 Safety advice for people visiting Widow Jane Mine:
- 15 Other things to do around the Widow Jane Mine area:
Let me give you a preview of Widow Jane Mine and what to do around it:
Widow Jane Mine is certainly worth seeing if you like cave like structures and in this case, it’s actually a very large man made mine which had been abandoned.
Luckily, it is safe and free to go to this spot.
When you first go here though, you may be surprised that you won’t really see too many signs talking about it, and if you follow your GPS to the right spot, it will lead you into what looks like private property.
However, this same location, will have a public parking area, from which you will have to talk to the actual mine, and that walk will take you about 5 minutes:
Here is a simple map I drew of how to reach Widow Jane Mine once you enter the parking area. It’s about a 5 minute walk from it.
It is also very dark there, so bring flashlights, even if you go there when it’s very light out (Not sure why you’d want to go when it’s dark there).
Every time I would visit this place, it would be on a weekday and every single time I was there (around 9 am), there was never anyone else there.
The mine is actually quite huge and half of it is actually submerged in water, so you can’t really get far, but you do have a bit of space to explore and there are stages there which are made for people to host concerts or meetings from time to time.
I usually stick around the Widow Jane Mine for no more than 15 minutes before leaving and heading to one of the other 6 locations that I’ll also share with you in this post shortly.
Scared of caves and/or are claustrophobic?
If you are claustrophobic, you need not worry because the space inside it is pretty large and you can enjoy the walk around the area.
However, like I said, it is very dark there, so if you’re scared of that, go with other people. This place is known to have art gatherings and even music concerts and I spotted some art masks on the cave walls, so don’t freak out!
You will also be able to get a map on the trail to the mine which will show you other spots you can check out near it. Personally, I was told the most interesting spot is just the mine itself, so I didn’t bother looking around the actual area.
There is a small picnic area outside where you can enjoy the peace and speaking of that, if there’s no one in the actual mine, it will be pretty silent and the only thing you will hear are the drops of water from a distance echoing. It is also very peaceful there.
10 more places to explore near (or not so near) Widow Jane Mine:
Like I’ve said, there are other trails around this area that are said to not be as exciting, but it’s an option to check out. But there is a town nearby that you can check out.
1) Rosendale Trestle Bridge:
I would recommend one scenic spot that is about a 5 minute drive, and that is Rosendale Trestle Bridge which is a very high bridge (150 feet) that you can walk on that’ll give you some great views of the nearby town and nature.
There’s also trails that go from that bridge that you can explore.
Here’s one you can see from one end of the bridge:
This bridge was reconstructed from a train bridge long ago, for people to walk and ride their bikes on.
The mountain you see to the right is also something you may be able to hike in certain areas (look for trail heads first).
The first time I saw this bridge, I thought it was built for trains and inaccessible, but getting closer to it showed me otherwise and I was happy to walk atop of it.
You will too!
And by the way, if you like scenic train bridges (trestles) like this, I would recommend you check out my article on High Steel Bridge which I explored while in Washington State and the Gold Stream Trestle in Vancouver Island too.
Those bridges are far higher than this one. The only downside is that they are on the pacific coastline, so if you love traveling to these types of spots, you may want to consider them.
Note: There is an even bigger train bridge in Schunnemunk State Park (very close by) and it’s actually active.
2) The Catskills:
If you’re willing to drive for about another hour north, you will hit the Catskill Mountains, which for me are a place I visit over and over again and I have found these 5 locations in the Catskill Mountains to be the most beautiful (although I still have to explore many more in this region!).
3) Lake George:
And further up north are Lake George, another awesome scenic area with hikes, beautiful towns and many scenic drives to take.
Then even further up that are the Adirondack Mountains, which are even larger than the Catskills and close to the Appalachian Mountains.
5) Ausable Chasm:
And then if wish to go even more north, I recommend an incredible spot called Ausable Chasm that has epic views, rafting, tubing and other fun things to do.
Of course, these recommendations are based on the drives I’ve done. If you’re into scenic drives, you can check out this article or if you live in NYC and planning on driving directly north, these spots I just listed are great for views, hikes and adventures and they are all on the way.
6) Finger Lakes:
7) Mohonk Preserve and Lake Minnewaska:
Mohonk Preserve and Lake Minnewaska is about 30-40 minutes away and has some nice hikes, boating, gardens and places to explore, and the overall Lake Minnewaska is also a beautiful state park I recommend seeing if you go.
8) Breakneck Ridge:
If you want good hiking experiences, about 30 minutes from Widow Jane Mine is a famous hike called Breakneck Ridge and it’s a short, but adventurous climb.
9) Hudson Highlands State Park:
Hudson Highlands is about 30 minutes away from Widow Jane Mine and has great hikes to explore in addition to other cool places within the park.
10) Harriman and Bear Mountain State Park:
Harriman State Park (as well as Bear Mountain State Park) are close by to Widow Jane Mine as well and if you need more activities to do in a single day, either of these 2 parks will provide it, although I prefer Harriman State Park.
In fact, Harriman State Park has several mines all throughout the park and while none of them are as big as the one in Widow Jane Mine, in my personal opinion, they are much cooler to check out.
What I recommend for gear/wear if you go to this place:
Honestly, any casual wear is fine for this “hike” since it really isn’t that, but if you do plan to hike in the surrounding areas or the other suggestions listed here, then here is a great gear suggestion list of things you may want to get:
Safety advice for people visiting Widow Jane Mine:
This location, as well as the others that I listed have a large number of TICKS and that’s because much of New York State, where these locations are located, are in heavily wooded areas. If you’re going to go to any of these spots, wear clothing that covers your feet and bring tick sprays.
Other than that, if you’ve visited Widow Jane Mine or any of the other locations I suggested in this article, let me know!
Other things to do around the Widow Jane Mine area:
Since I often drive through New York, there are many scenic drives you can also do throughout New York State that I have shared in that article. Enjoy!