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29 Best Hikes in Upstate New York For Everyone

If you’re looking for an exciting, yet easy, best hikes in Upstate New York, you’ll be pleased to know that the state has a variety of scenic trails. Whether you want to spend a day exploring the area or just take a more leisurely stroll along a nearby lake, you’ll find it here.

Upstate New York boasts a wealth of hiking opportunities. Whether you enjoy long hikes or short ones, these hikes are sure to make your weekend or holiday a memorable one.

Some of the best hikes in the area include Overlook Mountain, High Falls Gorge, Buttermilk Falls, and Ausable Chasm, Mount Colden, and more. Read on to discover which hikes are right for you! In this article, we’ll share the best hikes in Upstate New York.

Best Hikes in Upstate New York – Easy Hikes

High Falls Gorge

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

If you’re interested in a more challenging hike, there are a number of great options in Upstate New York. This is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York. If you’re into hiking with a group, there are a variety of opportunities for you to find something that suits your group’s needs.

High Falls Gorge has several trails, ranging from easy to moderate, that you can choose to tackle on your own. If you have a large group, consider taking it in turns so that each person can enjoy a little of each trail.

The hiking trail through the gorge includes two different waterfalls. The first is the Main Falls, which cascades over blue granite, grey basalt, and pink anorthosite.

You can view the waterfall from both above and below and climb a metal grate to the first glass viewing platform. However, the spray is so thick that it can be difficult to dry camera equipment.

Location: Adirondacks (Wilmington)
Difficulty: Easy
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 1.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 167 feet


Overlook Mountain

Best Hikes in Upstate New York
Images: skoat /instagram

The Overlook Mountain Trail is a popular hiking destination in the Upstate New York region, where you can see ruins and even a plane crash. The hike is located near the town of Woodstock, one of the most beautiful towns in Upstate New York.

The trail is easy to navigate and largely consists of a wide, clearly marked path. Families with children can take the hike without any difficulty. The Overlook Mountain is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

If you’re planning a hike in Upstate NY, it is important to bring sturdy hiking shoes. The terrain can be rocky, muddy, and steep, so wearing the appropriate gear is essential.

While hiking on Overlook Mountain, you’ll also find two waterfalls – the mighty Taughannock Falls and the stunning Mount Washington. The latter is 215 feet high and surrounded by 400-foot cliffs.

The Constitution Marsh Trail is a favorite with birdwatchers, as it leads you through an Audubon Center and a sanctuary. Look out for nesting red-headed woodpeckers, common nighthawks, and loons.

You can also see bald eagles and black vultures. Despite the fact that the trails are easy to navigate, they are still in good shape and require a bit of physical fitness.

Location: Catskills (Woodstock)
Difficulty: Easy
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,397 feet


Buttermilk Falls

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

Buttermilk Falls State Park is located just two miles from downtown Ithaca and offers hiking trails and scenic views. This is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York. The park features many animal species and a sandy beach.

There are 20 miles of hiking trails, including the Gorge Trail. Hikers can start their hike by following the Gorge Trail, which leads to the top of the waterfall. The Gorge Trail is a popular hike in Buttermilk Falls.

The trail begins with a steep switchback climb, and once you reach the top, it leveled off. Once you reach the Phoenicia Overlook, you’ll have amazing views of Mount Pleasant, Romer Mountain, and Panther Mountain.

Along the way, you’ll experience dramatic Catskills geology and the smell of oaks. The hike lasts four to five hours, depending on your pace and breaks.

The Gorge Trail follows Buttermilk Creek uphill and features multiple waterfalls and carved pools. The Gorge Trail also features many secluded swimming holes and beautiful forest views.

A great hike during fall or winter, this gorge offers spectacular scenery at any time of year. It is also popular with cross-country skiers. While the hike is long, it’s also rewarding.

Location: Ithaca
Difficulty: Easy
Route: Loop
Distance: 1.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 55 feet


Ausable Chasm

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

If you’re looking for an exciting, challenging hike, Ausable chasm is the trail for you. The hike has some great scenery and offers the perfect balance between hiking and rock climbing.

The chasm itself is a beautiful area to hike in all seasons. This is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York. Located in northern New York, it’s also close to Ontario and Quebec. A visit to Ausable Chasm will leave you feeling like you’re in an Indiana Jones movie.

The Ausable Chasm is a large gorge that cuts through the Adirondacks and is considered the second Grand Canyon in the United States. You can hike in the narrow gorge, or explore waterfalls and cliffs on hiking trails.

Alternatively, you can also try river rafting or rappelling. Another option is the Ausable Chasm Adventure Trail. There are cargo nets to help you climb through the narrow gorge.

The waterfalls in this area are stunning, and you can see them all from the trail. This hike is great for families because it’s one of the best in Upstate New York. There are three waterfalls here that you can see along the way.

Make sure to bring lots of water and snacks. Park in the designated lot for $8, and you can also swim in the pool at the end.

Location: Adirondacks (near Keeseville)
Difficulty: Easy
Route: Varies
Distance: 1.9 miles but 5 miles of trails in total.
Elevation Gain: 328 feet


Kaaterskill Falls

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

While there are many upstate New York hiking trails to choose from, a great one to try is the Kaaterskill Falls trail. A half-mile hike with a viewing platform makes this trail the perfect place to enjoy the falls.

Although the falls are often dry in summer, they are usually in full flow in the fall. This makes it a great place to catch a sunrise or sunset. The Kaaterskill Falls trail is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

Another popular hiking trail is the Gertrude’s Nose trail, which is an eight-mile round-trip journey through dense forest. The trail crosses several bare rock ledges and leads to a protruding vista.

Depending on your fitness level, you might want to bring a walking stick. If you’re new to hiking, you may want to plan your trip accordingly.

The trail begins at the parking lot off Laurel-House Road. The trail is moderately steep and features a small elevation change. Throughout the trail, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the valley below.

The hike ends with a moderately steep sloping section, so make sure to wear appropriate footwear. For the 0.7-mile hike to the waterfall, you can choose to go through the naturalized area below the falls.

Location: Catskills
Difficulty: Easy
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 2.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 396 feet


Cobble Lookout

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

This 2.4-mile trail leads hikers through a heavily wooded area before ending at an expansive cliff with incredible views of the Adirondack Mountains.

You can access the trailhead from County Route 18A in Wilmington, NY, just after it splits from the Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway. There is ample parking and a pull-off area for at least three more cars.

The Brook Trail is clearly marked by red blazes and is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York. The Adirondack region of New York has 46 high peaks. The Brook Trail follows the Brook River.

It’s one of the best hikes in Upstate New York and one of the best trails in the Adirondack Mountains. It takes about four hours to hike from Brook Trail to Cobble Lookout.

From the toll gate, take Gillespie Drive and follow it for about 0.3 miles. You’ll see a wooden sign indicating the start of the trail. Be aware of bears, however. You should be in good shape to tackle this hike.

It is becoming increasingly popular and is highly recommended for seasoned hikers. While there is a small parking area at the trailhead, you can easily find a spot on the gravel shoulder of the road.

Location: Adirondacks
Difficulty: Easy
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 2.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 242 feet


Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

If you enjoy hiking, you can explore the gorge trail at Watkins Glen State Park in Upstate New York. The gorge is a pristine, scenic setting and the layered cliffs spanning over 200 feet over the trail are a visual treat. This is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

You can start your walk from the top or bottom. However, you must not bring your dog along because it is not allowed.

There are several ways to access the Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park. The park is accessible by car, bus, or seasonal shuttle bus. There is ample parking, picnic areas, restrooms, and an outdoor shower.

During the summer, the park is very popular, so plan your visit accordingly. Weekends are busiest, but weekdays and early mornings are quieter.

The park is located in central New York State and is accessible by car from neighboring states. If you don’t have a car, it is recommended that you rent one. If you do not own a car, make sure to plan for a rental car before your trip.

This way, you can avoid crowds and enjoy the scenic surroundings in peace. But remember to bring water and sunscreen!

Location: Watkins Glen (Finger Lakes)
Difficulty: Easy
Route: Loop
Distance: 2.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 682 feet


Taughannock Falls

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

Taughannock Falls State Park is located in Ulysses, NY near Cayuga Lake. Its main appeal is its high volume of water, which was nearly dry when we visited in early Fall. We’re not sure what the spring and fall seasons will bring, but we definitely recommend a visit.

If you’re in the area, you can visit Taughannock Falls State Park on the weekends between April and October. You’ll find that this waterfall is a popular destination during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.

It’s a great place to go on a family vacation and has a hiking trail that leads to the falls. You can also learn more about this waterfall by reading the plaques along the trail. For an unforgettable hiking experience, take the time to visit Taughannock Falls!

Location: Ithaca
Difficulty: Easy
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 2.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 183 feet


Vroman’s Nose Loop Trail

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

A popular hiking destination in upstate New York, Vroman’s Nose is a prominent geological feature. The area is also historically significant, and is a popular hiking destination in upstate New York.

To begin your hike, begin in the town of Fulton and work your way west. From there, you’ll climb the Vroman’s Nose.

The Vroman’s Nose Loop Trail is 1.8 miles long and includes both moderate and difficult trails. Its name derives from the early 18th-century family who was awarded the land by the British government.

This trail is a good beginner’s hike and an excellent buildup for more strenuous hikes. However, there is one caveat: it’s not the easiest trail in the area.

The trail starts in a grassy field near Schoharie Valley. You can see the cliffs on the other side of the valley from here. The trail is 3/4 mile long and is a great option for families and for beginners.

Hikers will enjoy the view of the 600-foot cliffs while hiking this loop trail. If you’re looking for a short hike, you can always turn around and go back.

Location: Middleburgh
Difficulty: Easy
Route: Loop
Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 485 feet


Best Hikes in Upstate New York – Moderate Hikes

Labyrinth Trail

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

If you’re searching for a memorable hike in Upstate New York, you must tackle the Lemon Squeeze and Labyrinth Trail. Both trails will have you navigating ladders and squeeze through crevices while enjoying postcard-worthy views of the Hudson Valley.

You must be able to stand and walk with confidence at varying speeds to successfully complete the hike, so make sure to take your time.

The Labyrinth Trail is a fun boulder scramble leading to a view of the Sky Top Lookout. To get there, you must scramble across and under boulders. A famous feature of this hike is the “lemon squeeze.”

Anthony’s Nose is another hike that offers unique views of the Bear Mountain Bridge. The hike also takes you through the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve, a popular destination for bird watching.

Another fantastic hike is the Shequaga Falls. Only a seven-minute drive from the trailhead, this hike provides sweeping views of the Adirondack Mountains.

Although this hike is not as popular as others, it is a great choice for those who want to experience an upstate New York waterfall without having to worry about getting lost in a dense forest. This is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York for beginners.

Location: New Paltz
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 1.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 291 feet


Rim and Gorge Trail – Robert H. Treman State Park

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

The park’s Rim and Gorge Trail is open year-round, but the Cliff Staircase and Red Pine Trails are closed during the winter months. Hiking trails like the Gorge and Rim Trail combine to make a 5.3-mile loop. You can also take a dip in the stream-fed swimming pool at the Lower Falls.

Hiking the Rim and Gorge Trail in Upstate NY is a great way to see the scenic beauty of the region. The Gorge Trail follows the Rim Trail down to the valley below, passing by twelve waterfalls along the way.

Hiking the full length of the trail takes approximately 2.5 hours. There are also many other hikes to enjoy in this area. Listed below are some of the most popular.

The 0.5-mile hike leads to Dry Creek Falls, a 60-foot cascade. The trail follows Dry Creek and includes a replica log cabin where Millard Fillmore was born. The Rim and Gorge Trail connects with the Indian Trail and Punch Bowl Trail.

Hikers can also continue on to the North Rim Trail, which features 140 stone steps. The South entrance, while more scenic, misses a good portion of the Gorge Trail.

Location: Ithaca
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Loop
Distance: 4.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 826 feet


Best Hikes in Upstate New York

If you want a short but rewarding hiking excursion, Anthony’s Nose is the perfect destination. Just a few hours away from New York City, this short hike offers amazing views of the Hudson River. This is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

You can easily combine it with a trip to Bear Mountain, located across the river. You can hike up and back in one day! But if you prefer a longer trek, consider a more challenging hike in the nearby Adirondacks.

The trailhead is easily accessible: simply type “Anthony’s Nose” into Google Maps. You can also use the shoulder of the road to park your car. Metro-North has stops in Garrison, Peekskill, and Manitou.

If you do not drive, you can also hail an Uber to get you to the trailhead, though it may be tricky to find it after you return from the hike.

Fall foliage is spectacular in the fall on this trail. The hike to the trailhead is off-the-beaten-path, so you may have to walk on a busy highway. But the hike itself is worth the effort!

You’ll enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you hike through forests and open ridgeline to a lesser summit. Once you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with a view of the Catskills, and a great picnic.

Location: Garrison, Hudson Valley near the Bear Mountain Bridge
Difficulity: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 1.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 625 feet


Storm King Mountain Trail

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

Located near New York City, the popular Storm King Mountain Trail offers views of the Hudson River and surrounding mountains. The hike begins near the Storm King Art Center, which offers bus and train packages from New York.

You can also take a lesson at the art center by taking a piano lesson from local artist Chris Swan. The trails are challenging but well worth the effort.

Once you’re done, you can relax in the art center’s cafeteria, where you can purchase handmade crafts or enjoy a delicious dinner.

If you’re looking for a moderately challenging hike, Storm King Mountain Trail is for you. The trail is well marked and takes you up Storm King Mountain, which boasts stellar views.

To get the most out of your hike, go clockwise, as going counterclockwise will require you to climb on rock faces and use a walking stick. And if you’re traveling with young kids, the storm king trail is a great choice.

Location: Cornwall, Hudson Valley
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 4. 4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,102 feet


Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountain

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

There are some of the most breathtaking views in Upstate New York, including Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountains. Although many people are familiar with Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountain, there are plenty of lesser-known hikes that are just as spectacular.

In particular, Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs are located in the Adirondacks and have become wildly popular due to their picturesque views. Both hikes offer spectacular vistas of the Lower Ausable Lake and High Peaks.

While hiking in Upstate NY, it is essential to wear good hiking shoes. The trails are typically wet and muddy. Hikers should wear comfortable, waterproof shoes, and bring plenty of water.

One liter of water per two hours of hiking is recommended. Hikers should also carry headlamps or other means to illuminate their way. You’ll need to plan ahead and get started early.

Location: Keene, Adirondacks
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 5.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,286 feet


Devil’s Hole Trail

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

Devil’s Hole State Park is a 42-acre park just north of Niagara Falls. The park overlooks the lower Niagara River Gorge and is a popular hiking destination.

There are several hiking trails, including the Devil’s Hole Trail, which winds through the park. Whether you want to spend some time in the woods or hike the trail, you’ll be glad you did.

Located near Niagara Falls, Devil’s Hole State Park is 42 acres of pristine nature. Hiking trails here range from easy strolls to more strenuous scrambling. This is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

The trail starts off flat and gradually gets steeper as you go. But, the reward is worth the effort, as the park’s crystal blue water and otherworldly whirlpools provide an unforgettable experience.

The caves are made of porous limestone rock layers. When seeping water froze and expanded inside the rock, it split it from within. A 4ft tall fissure is one of the caves you can visit on the Devil’s Hole Trail in Upstate New York.

It is also home to a cave named Cave of the Evil Spirits, which is 30 feet deep and popular with locals and students of the nearby Niagara University.

Location: Niagara Falls
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Loop
Distance: 5.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 994 feet


Poet’s Ledge

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

For a great hiking experience, try taking a hike on the Poet’s Ledge trail. The trail offers spectacular views of the Hudson Valley. There are several trail junctions and a steady incline.

The trail is well marked, so you’ll have no problem finding the right direction. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, this is the perfect hike for you.

The trail to Poet’s Ledge is located on Oliverea Road and is just a short hike, but the views are absolutely beautiful. You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views and can’t wait to come back.

If you have a little time, take some photos at the trailhead and enjoy the view from the summit. The hike to Poet’s Ledge can be done on a rainy day.

If you’re looking for a moderate hike, consider visiting Watkins Glen State Park in Upstate New York. This scenic park is home to several hiking trails, including the popular Gorge Trail Loop.

The Gorge Trail Loop follows Glen Creek and crosses several bridges. The Gorge Trail leads through a lush forest, with waterfalls and cliffs.

Location: Pallenville (Catskills)
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 6.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,201 feet


Whiteface Mountain

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

While not the tallest mountain in the state, Whiteface Mountain is synonymous with outdoor adventure. Its relationship with Lake Placid’s two Winter Olympics is unmistakable, and it attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year.

Though skiing is its most popular activity, miles of hiking trails provide the ultimate in upstate New York hiking experiences. Read on to learn more about one of the most popular hikes in Upstate New York.

For an unforgettable hike, start at Wilmington Trailhead and hike up to Whiteface Mountain. The ten-mile hike will take you past Marble Mountain and the Esther Trail to the summit. You’ll be rewarded with beautiful views.

Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views. It’s a great way to see all of Upstate New York’s natural beauty and explore a mountain that’s not a tourist trap.

Another of the best hikes in Upstate New Jersey is the Palenville Mountain Trail. The trail offers spectacular views of the Palenville Valley and the Hudson Valley.

A notable member of the Hudson River School, Gifford painted a famous view of Palenville Mountain from the trail in 1861. It’s the perfect spot to take pictures of the beautiful scenery and admire the beauty of Upstate New York.

Location: Lake Placid (Adirondacks)
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 10.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,618 feet


Gorge Trail in Letchworth State Park

Best Hikes in Upstate New York

One of the most beautiful features of Letchworth State Park is its horseshoe-shaped bend in the Genesee River. This park is best viewed when the sun is rising behind the gargantuan island in the center.

The scenery along the Gorge Trail is equally gorgeous, especially during sunrise and sunset. A $10 entrance fee is required to enter the park. Hiking trails are available for all levels and abilities.

Hikers can use the Gorge Trail to explore the park’s eastern half, a beautiful, scenic drive. The trail winds up and down hills, over streams and through undeveloped woods.

The only source of drinking water is the picnic area, so hikers must pack plenty of water or filter water from the nearby springs. Hikers can also stay overnight at the park’s midpoint, and the trail connects to the Finger Lakes Trail, which stretches over 500 miles throughout upstate New York.

The park is home to three waterfalls, the Upper Falls, the Middle Falls, and the Lower Falls. The southernmost fall is the Upper Falls, which is the closest to the parking lot.

The other two falls are closer to the river, so it’s easy to get lost in the park. A Google map will help you navigate the park. It’s also possible to hike the trail in reverse.

Location: Castile
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 14 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,106 feet


Verkeerderkills Falls and Sam’s Point

The Verkeerderkills Falls hike offers breathtaking views of the Shawangunk Mountains. This walk includes a trip down a gravel road and a stop at the abandoned berry picker’s shack.

During the winter, the park closes the trail to prevent the spread of ice. The path to Verkeerderkills Falls is a gradual incline, and ladders are required for access.

Verkeerderkill Falls, 180 feet high, is one of the most popular waterfall hikes in Upstate New York. This waterfall trail is located at Sam’s Point Preserve.

The park has plenty of hiking trails, including one through the Ice Caves. After the hike, continue to the waterfall trail, which takes you to the highest waterfall in the Shawangunks.

The trail around the falls is muddy and slippery, so be careful on slippery sections. The falls are also particularly dangerous during the winter season, so be aware of any potential hazards.

Fortunately, there are steps between tiers, making it a fun option for the whole family. In addition to the waterfall itself, Sam’s Point is also included in the best hikes in Upstate New York.

Location: Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 6.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 994 feet


Jay Mountain

If you’re looking for a scenic hiking trail, then Jay Mountain in Upstate New York is the trail for you. This 7-mile round-trip hike leads you to the rocky summit of Jay Mountain.

Located in the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area, the trail runs along the ridge of a mountain. Along the way, you’ll enjoy dozens of fantastic scenic vistas.

Breakneck Ridge is a short drive from New York City. Located between Cold Spring and Beacon, this hike offers steep, rocky trails and postcard-perfect Hudson Valley views. While it’s not the easiest of hikes, it’s definitely worth it!

Depending on the time of year, it may get crowded. To get started, just type “Anthony’s Nose” into Google Maps. You’ll find the trailhead after crossing the Bear Mountain bridge. Be sure to park along the side of the road.

While hiking, be aware of the dangers of ticks. Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme. Therefore, it’s important to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, avoid dense vegetation, and thoroughly inspect yourself after a hike. As always, practice Leave No Trace. Be sure to respect the natural resources of the area and leave no trace behind.

Location: Keene Valley, Adirondacks
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 6.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,401 feet


Sleeping Beauty Mountain

Located in Upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains, Sleeping Beauty Mountain offers a scenic hike with beautiful views of Lake George and the surrounding forests. The trail begins as a wide, rocky path and climbs to its summit.

Large rocks act as stepping stones as you hike up the mountain. You’ll also get a great view of the lake and other Adirondack mountains from the summit. There are two trailheads: the Hog Town trailhead and the Dacy Clearing trailhead.

The first trail leads to a parking lot on a dirt road, while the second trail passes below the cliffs that are popular with rock climbers.

The trail begins at Shelving Rock Road and takes you to Buck Mountain. It’s about 2.5 miles one-way. The trail ends at the summit of Sleeping Beauty Mountain, a viewpoint that resembles a Norwegian fjord.

If you have the time, combine this hike with a stop at Rainbow Falls, a waterfall that cascades down a gorge in the forest.

Location: Fort Anne (near Lake George)
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Loop
Distance: Between 5 and 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,341 feet


Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain

The Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain trails both feature righteous views of the Catskills, but there is no comparison to the sheer size of the ledges at the top.

If you want a longer hike, take the trail to Panther Mountain and climb its 6.9 miles. While you’re there, register with the DEC to help maintain the trails. You might also find that registering will save your life.

Giant Ledge is one of the most popular hikes in upstate New York. Although only a three or four-mile round trip, it is steep. It’s a good idea to wear appropriate hiking gear and bring sturdy shoes with decent grips. You can easily complete this hike by yourself, but it’s best to do so with a group.

The Giant Ledge trail starts out as a gentle ascent through a small valley. At 1.6 miles, the trail becomes steeper, reaching its first ledge. There are five ledges on the hike, each offering a similar view to the east. It’s well worth the time and effort required to complete the trail, which includes navigating the ledges.

Location: Oliveira (Catskills)
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 7.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,981 feet


Mount Van Hoevenberg Trail

A sustainable hiking trail is in construction on the summit of the picturesque Mount Van Hoevenberg in Upstate New York. A department of Environmental Conservation priority, this project is aimed at demonstrating new methods in sustainable trail building and design.

The trail’s purpose is to help hikers get closer to nature while remaining a safe distance away from the summit’s erosion potential. If you are interested in taking a hike in upstate New York, this trail is the perfect place to do so.

The popular Mount Van Hoevenberg Trail in Upstate NY has several hiking areas. There are also beautiful overlooks of the Hudson River and the surrounding area. You’ll be surrounded by waterfalls along the way.

At Inspiration Point, you can see a beautiful canyon below. Located outside of New Palts, this popular hiking area is accessible by car, bus, or train. Visitors need to pay an $8 day-use fee to enter the park.

Location: North Elba (right near Lake Placid)
Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 892 feet


Best Hikes in Upstate New York – Moderately Strenuous / Strenuous Hikes

Mount Marcy

Known as the highest peak in upstate New York, Mount Marcy is a towering peak that boasts a delicate alpine ecosystem.

This hike is the perfect way to get in touch with nature while enjoying the scenic views of the Adirondack Mountains. Located just off the Adirondack Parkway, it is about seven to eight miles round trip and features beautiful views.

Located in northeastern New York, Mount Marcy is close to Lake Placid and the borders of Vermont and Canada. While hiking Mount Marcy, it is recommended that you visit during the warmer months, when temperatures are warm.

The hike to the top is 14.1 miles round trip and boasts over 3,000 feet of elevation gain. You’ll also encounter rocky terrain, boulder scrambling, and rock hopping along the way.

If you’re looking for a challenging hike in Upstate New York, consider hiking Mount Marcy. This mountain is the tallest in New York State, so expect a strenuous workout. Regardless of fitness level, you’ll love the scenic views and challenging terrain.

You can also find overnight lodging in The Garden at the base of Mount Marcy. The parking lot is a popular stop for hikers.

Location: Lake Placid (Adirondacks)
Distance: 14.8 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Route: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 3,540 feet


Breakneck Ridge

If you’re looking for a great hiking spot near New York City, consider breaking neck Ridge. This 4-mile hike, between the towns of Cold Spring and Beacon, is a popular destination with hiking enthusiasts.

The hike is steep, so bring good hiking shoes, water, and snacks. It will take some leg strength and will reward you with incredible views of the Hudson Valley.

The hike is a 2.6-mile loop that includes a 500-foot rock staircase. At the top, you’ll find an overlook with views of the Bear Mountain Bridge and the Hudson River.

It takes about two to three hours to complete the hike. While the trail is steep, it doesn’t have any serious challenges, making it one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

Location: Cold Spring (Hudson Valley)
Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous
Route: Loop
Distance: Between 2.5 and 4 miles
Elevation Gain: 754 feet


Wittenberg Mountain

You’ve likely heard of Mount Jo, but you’ve never actually climbed it. This hike, located in the Adirondacks, offers a steep descent, but spectacular views. The trail also includes a bench and pond.

This mountain was once a ski resort, but you can still see the machinery tucked away in the undergrowth. Once you’ve conquered the steep climb, you’ll enjoy the stunning views of Lake Placid and the surrounding High Peaks.

You’ll enjoy the breathtaking views from the clearing on the side of Wittenberg Mountain. The hike is off the beaten path, so you’ll want to plan your trip accordingly. The Wittenberg Mountain is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

The trail begins at the Woodland Valley State Campground, and the fee is low for day use during the summer. This hike climbs 2,600 feet over seven and a half miles.

It also offers views of the Hudson Valley, Lake Champlain, and Devil’s Pass. Those who are more experienced can extend their hike to include the summit of nearby Terrace Mountain and Cornell Mountain.

Location: Phoenicia (near Kingston in the Catskills)
Difficulty: Strenuous
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 8.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,103 feet


Mount Colden

You can start your Mount Colden hike at the High Peaks Information Center. This trail starts at the lake and climbs slowly, but the views are truly amazing. The first mile of the hike takes you past the abandoned Marcy Dam and the MacIntyre Range.

From there, the Colden Trail heads up and over the mountain, gaining about 1,950 feet. At the summit, you’ll be treated to panoramic views. This hike is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

If you’re looking for a moderate hike, Mount Colden is a great choice. The 7.4-mile Van Hoevenberg Trail starts out easy and then gradually increases in difficulty. You’ll have fantastic views of nearby mountains as you go up.

You’ll cross Phelps Brook on the trail, then follow a herd path to the Indian Loop. This is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

Location: Lake Placid (Adirondacks)
Difficulty: Strenuous
Route: Loop
Distance: 12.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,061 feet


Dix Mountain

A popular hiking trail in Upstate New York is the Giant Ledge trail. The trail is approximately three miles round-trip and features some steep switchbacks. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes and hiking clothing before you start your hike.

You’ll be glad you did when you reach the top. While this hike doesn’t require much hiking experience, you should wear appropriate footwear and clothing to stay safe.

You can also choose to hike the High Falls Gorge Trail, a mile-long trail that is part of the 22-acre High Falls Gorge Park. Hikers can enjoy views of the gorge and several waterfalls along the way.

The High Falls waterfall is especially impressive. This hike is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York. It takes about 45 minutes to hike the entire trail. The trail is also easy to navigate and has good signage.

Location: Keene (Adirondacks)
Difficulty: Strenuous
Route: Out and Back
Distance: 13.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,471 feet


Indian Head

The Indian Head hike is located in the Keene Valley area of upstate New York, near Lake Placid. You can use Google Maps to get directions. This hike is one of the best hikes in Upstate New York.

There are several ways to reach the Indian Head. Most people choose to hike the Lake Road out and back, which is about 3 miles long.

At the end of Lake Road, you’ll reach the trailhead, which starts a gentle ascent. The trail then climbs steeper, but you’ll reach a spectacular overlook of Ausable Lake and the craggy summit of Indian Head. The trailhead junction is marked with yellow and red arrows on a map.

The Indian Head vista is a stunning view during fall when fall foliage is at its peak. Fall foliage is particularly beautiful in New York in the fall when the region’s forests are draped in a mantle of red, gold, and orange. You’ll want to visit during these seasons if you can. If you’re not a fall person, try visiting during spring, when the Adirondacks are most beautiful.

Location: Keene Valley, Adirondack Mountains (near Lake Placid)
Difficulty: Hard
Route type: Out and back
Distance: 11 miles

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