Your Guide To Getting LostStaff | April 15, 2016 | Comment
Whether you’re rambling through rolling foothills, exploring secluded waterfalls, or sunbathing on a mountain summit, the Hudson Valley offers its wilderness as a retreat for those seeking time away from the noise and chaos of modern life. When getting out isn’t enough, it’s time to get lost.
Sam’s Point Preserve: The highest, southern-most point of the Shawangunk Ridge spans 5,000 acres and is home to a rare community of high-altitude pitch pines. Hike a few miles along the bluffs and you’ll come to a beautiful 187-foot high waterfall located near the trail. The area includes glacial Lake Maratanza, scenic cliffs, and ice caves that are cool even in August.
Slide Mountain: With an elevation of over 4,182 feet, Slide Mountain’s peak is the highest in the Catskills. A rigorous 6.8-mile trail brings hikers 1,700 feet above the parking lot’s elevation and, just before the summit, opens onto a striking view of the valley. Be sure to set aside at least four hours for the hike and an extra thirty minutes for vista gawking.
Taconic State Park (Brace Mountain): The mountain’s steep, rocky path winds through three states—New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts—and arrives at a grassy plateau summit where hikers enjoy the view from the highest point in Dutchess County. After heavy rain, this trail offers cascading waterfalls braiding over slick rocks. On a clear day, the Gunks and the Catskills are visible in the distance.
Bear Mountain: This state park rises up from the western bank of the Hudson River and encompasses 4,900 acres of preserved woodland, complete with a bird sanctuary just on Iona Island. The Bear Mountain Loop Trail is a 4.4-mile moderate hike along the beautiful Hessian Lake. Hike far enough, and you’ll cross the county border into Rockland’s Harriman State Park.
Blue Mountain Reservation: This park offers trails for mountain biking and hiking with panoramic Hudson River views. Situated in the northwest quadrant of Westchester, the 1,358-acre park features two large peaks: Mt. Spitzenberg and Blue Mountain. It also features the Sportsman Center, a recreation area offering target ranges. Lodging is available for group rentals.