As autumn quickly creeps into winter, we’re scurrying to get some outdoor activities in before the weather gets too chilly. Be it a jog, a climb, or simply a walk through nature, getting outside on foot is our favorite way to enjoy the Hudson Valley. Lucky for us, the area is a bounty of beautiful trails for all skill levels. Here are our top 5 favorite hiking spots in or around Beacon…
We can’t get enough of this climb, which starts off with a staircase to power up those legs, then includes switchbacks that will fire up your lungs and give you a nice, aerobic workout. The pay-off includes sweeping views of the Hudson River, Beacon, and its surrounding towns. You’ll also get a glimpse of the ruins of the Beacon Incline Railway, and if you’re aching for more, the Beacon fire tower is about a mile from the summit of Mount Beacon.
This is a favorite because it feels like a real work-out, but can be completed in under 1.5 hours, not to mention the gorgeous views, which never get old. This was a great way to stay fit during pregnancy, and is especially fun with baby in a hiking backpack (if baby is old enough, bring snacks to distract!) and a favorite destination to bring visitors.
For more info: Scenic Hudson Mount Beacon Park
Long Dock Park
This is a flat, easy trail along the river with a few great options. These are dog, bicycle, runner, and stroller friendly—though the trails can be slightly bumpy—and offer various options depending on how much time you have. For a lovely walk or jog, follow the Klara Sauer 1-mile path along the old railroad track. We recommend entering the wooded path—if the season permits—by the riverfront to complete the experience. The river views are lovely any time of year, and there are plenty of opportunities to spot some local wildlife.
This is a favorite because it’s nice jogging path, especially on a gorgeous evening, and is a quick and easy option if you’re dying to get out of the house but don’t want a big commitment.
For more info: Scenic Hudson Long Dock Park
Located near Cold Spring’s best hiking—Little Stony Point and Breakneck Ridge—this is a climb that has all the heavy-breathing of Mount Beacon, but offers an alternative view of the river and Beacon’s surrounding towns. There’s a trail through the woods that leads to an abandoned rock quarry, then a moderate rock scramble that leads to various river views.
This is a favorite because there are views nearly the entire climb, which means that if all you’ve got in you is a half hour up the trail, you can enjoy sweeping views of Cold Spring from Table Rocks before heading back down. You’ll feel good knowing you got a quick, fulfilling trip up the mountain.
For more info: Hike the Hudson Valley Bull Hill
Sierra Trail at Stony Kill
This is a flat, 2-mile loop, wooded hike with pond and meadow views that connects to other Stony Kill hikes. The trail feels very quiet and private, while being smack in between Beacon and Fishkill.
This is a favorite because it’s easily accessible for hikers of any age or ability, and truly showcases the natural beauty of the area.
For more info: The Poughkeepsie Journal
The furthest from Beacon on the list, this lovely trail is still only a short trip, in nearby Garrison. Another trail that’s easily accessible, there’s a brief, wooded trail (with a few rocky spots) that leads to a boardwalk in the marsh. After all these climbs with views of the Hudson, the Constitution Marsh lets you get right down into it. There’s not a lot of parking here, but if you can snag a spot that might be the most effort you have to exert all day.
This is a favorite because it’s unique and serene with lots of great bird-watching opportunities.
For more info: Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary
A note: We have easily completed each of these hikes with a baby on our back, so if you have a little one who can’t walk yet and are looking to get out of the house, check these out.
For more great Hudson Valley hiking info, check out Hike the Hudson Valley.