The Hudson Valley has hundreds of well-maintained hiking trails throughout the region and hundreds more that are lesser traveled but just as interesting and even more scenic. While this year has certainly been an interesting one, one of the more positive sides is that more and more people are getting outside and experiencing the great outdoors.
Fall hiking has an added benefit for the adventure seekers in that besides just getting out, getting some fresh air, and getting some well-needed exercise, the fall is one of the most gorgeous times of year to do it. While the Hudson Valley is beautiful year-round, fall offers additional beauty to behold and because many Halloween happenings this year have been curtailed, people can at least get their fill of beautiful candy even if it’s just eye candy, and trim their waistline while they doing it too!
Imagine topping the ridge ridge of a small mountain or hill as the setting sun kisses the top of the ridge and lights the myriad colors of fall into a blaze of color. Oak trees flaring their russet and rich red colors as their leaves turn, hickories with their golden bronze leaves gently blowing in the breeze, red and sugar maples with ranges from brilliant scarlets to deep vibrant oranges, and birch trees gracing us with their golden yellow offerings as one walks along a hiking trail.
Listen to the soft crunch of fallen leaves, spotting red eft newts as they scurry between the woodland ponds throughout the woods. Stop for a moment and listen to the bird song. You may hear calls of the many varieties of finches that are migrating south at this time of year. If you are a birder and interesting in learning more about some of the birds that migrate through the Valley, check out the Winter Finch Forecast for more information.
While we can certainly list many of the terrific hiking paths and loops, there has been extensive work done by non-profits and volunteers alike to put together information for you, so we have compiled some of the best resources that we could find to aid you in finding the perfect fall hikes!
Hike the Hudson Valley https://hikethehudsonvalley.com/
Step-by-step hiking guides that give you everything you need to get out there, short of packing your snacks and water for you.
20 Breathtaking Fall Hikes to Take in the Hudson Valley
Best Hiking Trails in the Hudson Valley
Hiking and Trails
Hudson Valley Rail Trail
New York Trails and Maps
And for those that want a list refreshment, we would suggest checking out:
Top Trails and Ales in New York’s Hudson Valley
Before you leave for the weekend, we recommend doing two things, make your reservations at one of our member inns and B&Bs and pack some supplies for your hike.
Day hikes at any time of year should have some essentials packed and especially with the colder weather coming, each person on the hike should carry a small lightweight kit in case of a rockslide, sprained or broken ankle or other unexpected events.
Some essentials to pack (and it never hurts to have these in your car as an emergency kit all year round as well).
1) Space Blankets/Mylar Thermal Blankets. These ultra-lightweight blankets can be used to retain heat, make a tent covering in case of rain or snow, be used to collect water, and also as a reflective source to signal rescuers.
2) About 10 feet of paracord. This can be used for dozens of different things. Check out 44 Fantastic Use of Paracord for some ideas plus there are dozens of additional uses in outdoor situations.
3) Waterproof matches and either a commercial fire starter or cotton balls dipped in Vaseline in a plastic container are a good homemade alternative for starting a fire. White birch bark is also a sure-fire fire starter if you come across it in the woods.
4) A compass (you can put an app on your phone but compasses never run out of batteries) plus it’s great to have the backup as well.
5) Extra high protein snacks
6) A flashlight (again your phone probably has a flashlight but have a good flashlight as a backup, there are inexpensive crank units available as well and they tend to be lighter weight and don’t require batteries.)
7) Plastic whistle
8) Swiss Army knife or other utility multi-tool
9)A roll of mini-duct tape, Gorilla brand makes a small roll that’s perfect for hiking.
10) Small first aid kit
11) Extra water.
You can fit all of this in one of the 32 Oz. Nalgene wide-mouth bottles which also be used to collect water in a pinch if needed.
I also add a solar battery charger for my cell phone which clips nicely on the back of a small backpack. inexpensive ones can be found on Amazon for around $25.00. The chargers I have also have a built-in flashlight and I always add an extra pair of socks just to be on the safe side in case of getting wet feet.
And last but not least, tell your innkeepers where you are going and when you expect to be back and give them your cell numbers and any additional contact information and make sure you have theirs.
We love our hiking trails here in the Hudson Valley and hope you will come soon to take advantage of them and enjoy them too during this gorgeous time of year. Happy Trails!