The residents of New York’s Hudson Valley are passionate about where they live and why it just might be the best place on earth. It’s not just the close proximity to New York City that draws people to the area. The Hudson Valley is full of great culture, amazing food, and of course – stellar hiking. Whether you’re exploring the Shawangunks, or taking in the sunset from the Hudson Highlands, there’s something for everyone. Here are some reasons you want to get outside this spring and enjoy the area.
1. There’s Something For Everyone
You don’t have to be a world-class trail ninja to enjoy the miles of trails that the Hudson Valley has. There are a variety of hills, mountains, long treks, and scenic strolls to choose from. Last summer, one of my favorite trips was to take the kids out to visit the Appalachian trail as it cuts through the county. My kids felt like they conquered the world when they reached the top of a hill that gave them great views of the area.
More adventurous hikers can tackle Breakneck Ridge, which is one of my favorite spots to watch the sun rise and eat breakfast. It also has a great view of Storm King mountain on the other side of the river. No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for you, you can find it here.
2. Many of the Hikes and Beautiful Spaces are Completely Free To Visit!
With a few minor exceptions, most of the hikes in the area are free, or nearly free to explore. The Hudson Highlands are no cost, and include Breakneck Ridge, Little Stony Point, and others. Storm King is another one, and usually quieter than the east side of the river.
Minnewaska State Park charges a modest parking fee per car, and it’s worth every penny. There is such a vast expanse of nature to play in, hike through, and enjoy. It’s also a haven to rock climbers and bikers in the warm months. And, when winter lingers so long that its cool touch caresses April’s cheek, there’s still more park than could possibly be explored via snow shoe or cross country ski.
3. Bold, Stunning Views
If you hate nature and beautiful things, the Hudson Valley isn’t for you. In fact, I suspect you would be miserable here. Mother Nature smacks you in the face with beauty every time you step outside. Last summer, April and I got lost in an attempt to find a certain overlook. After wandering through the forest for an extra hour or three, we still managed to find amazing scenery and quiet places.
Even when I’m driving to work or running errands, there is a mountain or a river to look at. Without question, the area is home to some of Earth’s most beautiful mountains and vistas. You can easily impress friends and relatives from out of town with the photos you take on the trail. Oh, and if you’re a fan of waterfalls, there are a ton of those, too.
The Hudson Valley is a gorgeous place full of wonderful mountains and parks. You’re crazy if you don’t take time to enjoy the beauty that is right in our backyard! Spring is finally (sorta!) here, so don’t wait any longer – get out there and get hiking.