Now that the weather’s warmer, Hudson County locals are back to enjoying outdoor activities. If you leave the New York skyline in the rearview mirror and head north just over an hour or so, you’ll find some really great hiking trails that boast beautiful views of the Hudson River and Valley — as well as surrounding lakes, mountains, and more. There are trails of every shape, size, and difficulty to choose from — plus a few non-hiking activities in case the adventuring gets to be too much. Hiking the streets of Hoboken + Jersey City can sometimes be exercise enough, but keep reading to find out where to hike in Orange County, New York.
(Photo credit: Justin Logerfo)
Hiking along the East Coast means that there is a high likelihood to step foot on the Appalachian Trail. In its entirety, it stretches all the way from Maine to Georgia. This specific section of the trail in Orange County spans from the NJ border to the Hudson River. There are many different hikes to take, like on Bellvale Mountain, for example. The Bellvale hike is a nearly 7-mile section of the Appalachian Trail. It has many short but steep climbs toward the end of the trail and is more for moderately experienced hikers. Along this stretch, hikers can stop at a Trailside Museum and Zoo at Bear Mountain if they want a break from the hiking. Just be sure to check the maps to locate the rocky sections of this trail. Fun fact: this section of the Appalachian includes the lowest elevation along the entire Appalachian Trail.
This 18-mile scenic route lies along the old Erie Railroad bed. It has since been converted to a paved path perfect for walking or bike riding — or even rollerblading. Travelers can take the entire trail or only explore part of it. Either way, visitors will see a bird/wildlife sanctuary, historic landmarks, lovely little streams and meadows, and pass through some great communities. You can check the map for directions to various points of the trail with parking access and bathrooms, including Airplane Park — a cute little park perfect for kiddos …….