It’s time to embrace the warmer weather! And what better way to do so than hiking on one of the beautiful Upstate New York trails. From Albany and Saratoga to Chatham, Hudson, and beyond, you’re sure to find a hiking trail for every skill level. And when it comes to any outdoor activity, it’s best to plan. Some of the hikes, especially in the Catskills, can be tricky to navigate with rocky paths and sharp drops. That’s why we’re providing you with our favorite places to hike so you can be prepared for your next excursion.
Hudson Valley Hiking Trails
The Hudson Valley is a scenic region for locals and visitors alike. Even Forbes called it a hikers’ paradise for New York City residents looking for an outdoorsy escape. From Westchester County to Albany, the region is rich with 18 state parks and lush hiking trails. Here are a few worth exploring.
- Siegel-Kline Kill: This trail is one mile and features a native plant restoration project and a floodplain forest. Our Service Advisor Amanda loves exploring this trail with her family!
- Hand Hollow: Natalie enjoys exploring this conservation area, “There’s a forest, field of flowers, and water on this maintained trail that’s easy to walk with your dog, small child, or anyone slower paced.”
- High Falls Conservation Area: “I like going to the high falls conservation area in Philmont because of the beautiful waterfall you get to see,” Service Advisor Jen Verschelden says, “There are different routes you can take and the one I pick is mild, and not too steep which I like as well."
- Beebe Hill Fire Tower: MetzWood President Matt and his wife Annie love this moderate hike that ends with a large fire tower overlooking the beautiful Taconic Mountains.
- Columbia Land Conservancy's Ooms Pond: Ooms offers 3 miles of trails and the gorgeous Sutherland Pond, which is perfect for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. Fun fact: MetzWood had a volunteer day there and built a new set of stairs in addition to assisting with other trail repairs.
- Bash Bish Falls in Copake: “There are so many different trails with different levels of difficulty and length,” Service Advisor Tracy Ruggiero says. “There’s the view of the falls, streams to cross over, and gorgeous mountain views to be enjoyed.”
Additional Hiking Trails
- The Taconic Mountains: Nestled in the northeastern corner of Dutchess County, this mountain range offers incredible views, rugged trails, and steep climbs. The Alander Mountain and Brace Mountain in the Taconic are both excellent hiking trails to check out.
- Storm King Mountain: You may already know about the 500-acre outdoor museum called Storm King Art Center, but do you know about the mountain itself? This steep hike offers panoramic views of the Hudson River.
- Olana State Historic Site: Every view from Olana is like an oil painting including Frederic Church’s mansion! It’s great for hikers of all abilities with ponds, carriage roads through forests, and a trail that connects to the Skywalk across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.
- Huckleberry Point Trail in Elka Park: A great, mostly flat hike across burbling streams to a sweeping, jaw-dropping view of the Kaaterskill Clove eastward to the Hudson River.
Capital Region Hiking Trails
You’re bound to discover gorgeous paths, waterfalls, and views in the Capital Region. Here are a few must-visit spots that all outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy.
- Cherry Plain State Park: Our Service Assistant Andrea Girolamo loves to bring her dogs to Cherry Plain State Park! There are multiple trails to explore with stream crossings and a beautiful pond.
Additional Hiking Trails
- John Boyd Thacher State Park: Thacher Park is an excellent destination for families with playgrounds, picnic areas, volleyball courts, and more. Hike or bike the day away with 25 miles of trails!
- Grafton Lakes State Park: Located between the Taconic and Hudson Valley, this state park features six ponds, a beach with boat rentals, and picnicking areas. A perfect option for hiking and swimming!
- Albany Pine Bush Preserve: Offering 18 miles of trails through the pine-scrub oak barrens ecosystem, the preserve is home to a Discovery Center with unique plants and animals in Pine Bush.
- Christman Sanctuary: This easy and beautiful hike is home to a towering 30-foot waterfall and a short 2.2-mile loop. If you’re looking for a quick hike, this is a great option!
Hiking Safety Tips
It wouldn’t be a MetzWood blog post without some safety tips! And when it comes to hiking, there’s a lot to consider and prepare for. Keep these safety tips in mind before you go for your next hike.
- Know what kind of hike you can handle and plan accordingly
- Pack plenty of water and food
- Pack additional equipment including bug spray, first aid essentials, a flashlight, and more.
- Wear weather-appropriate clothing and thick, wool, or synthetic-material socks that wick moisture for longer hikes.
- Plan alternate communication methods in case the trail has no cell service.
- Don’t hike alone! Always have a buddy with you and let others know where you’ll be hiking.
At MetzWood, your safety is important to us. That’s why we work to ensure our community members are protected. And that includes providing life insurance options that fit your needs. We take the hassle out of finding insurance so you can spend your time focusing on the moments that matter most. Start your proposal today!
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