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Larissa Runkle | 11.22.2017

Winter doesn't have to mean being stuck inside, especially when you live in the Hudson Valley where favorite hiking trails turn into cross-country skiing and snowshoeing adventures. Here's a list of 12 favorite winter adventures you can take in Hudson Valley this season. 

Skytop Tower Trail

This premier destination of the 6,400-acre Monhonk Preserve is located on the Shawangunk Ridge, a section of the Appalachian Mountains, and is surrounded by over 70 miles of carriage roads and 40 miles of trails for hiking, cycling, trail running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing, and horseback riding. You'll be hard-pressed to run out of adventure here this season.

Franny Reese State Park

This historic park offers 3 miles of cross-country skiing trails with views of the Hudson along the way. Historic ruins of a 19th-century Victorian mansion add an element of intrigue to these otherwise quiet snowy trails. 

Lake Minnewaska To Lake Awosting

This state park preserve has roughly 25 miles of hiking trails and 35 miles of well-groomed carriage roads that are perfect for cross-country skiing adventures. Located on Shawangunk Ridge, these trails present some challenging elevation gain while taking you through beautiful forests and past impressive cliff views.

North Point via U.S. Route 9W

Storm King State Park’s North Point is one of several 1,000-foot peaks, and it has several trails to keep you busy in the wintertime. A good place to start is the 4-mile loop trek on the Red and White trailheads, which has some challenging elevation gain and incredible mountain views of the Hudson River.

Bear Mountain + Perkins Tower

Miles of trails for skiing and hiking await in Bear Mountain State Park. The climb up to Perkins Tower marks one of the first established sections of the Appalachian Trail and is one of the most scenic trails in the park. The park even has designated sledding and ice skating areas to round out its offerings of winter activities. 

Stissing Fire Tower

Part of Thompson Pond Nature Preserve, this 1.5-mile out-and-back trail is perfect for a quiet winter day trip. For such a short trek, it packs in some serious elevation gain and rewarding panoramic views from its incredibly tall tower. 

Mills-Norrie State Park

Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park offers a variety of trails and carriage roads for visitors to explore while taking in its historic architecture from the Gilded Age. The old mansions and cliffside Hudson Valley views throughout this park are even more captivating when covered in fresh snow, making this a great place to explore during the winter season.

Mount Beacon Fire Tower

Mount Beacon’s summit is the highest peak of the Hudson Highlands, and it maintains a unique historic and recreational value to the local community as well as the country. Make the 4-mile there-and-back snowshoe to the southern peak and find this fire tower lookout at 1,610 feet in elevation, with stunning views across the valley.

Scofield Lane + Maple Ave Loop

Stewart State Forest is a 6,700-acre area of land complete with a mix of wetlands, fields, swamps, and forests. It holds over 18 miles of gravel roads and more than 22 miles of major trails, making it the perfect place to take out the cross-country skis or snowshoes and get your legs moving. There are multiple access points and many connecting trails, making it easy to explore different parts of the park.

Thompson Pond Nature Preserve

Thompson Pond is part of a 507-acre nature preserve that is protected for its biological importance and scientific and educational use. A series of trails traverse this unique and highly environmentally diversified area that are relatively easy and family friendly. The yellow markers line a 2.75-mile path that circles the pond and offers exceptional opportunities to view wildlife and rare flora.

Shaupeneak Ridge

The Shaupeneak Ridge is part of the Marlboro Mountains, about 9 miles of trails and 936 acres of land that permit hiking, fat biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and hours of both family and dog-friendly adventure. When you go, make sure to check out Shaupeneak Falls on the eastern slope!

Marlboro Elementary School Sledding

If you've got the smaller kids in tow or you're tired from the snow treks above, then this sledding hill is the place to be! Here at Marlboro's elementary school lies an approximately 30-foot slope that consistently provides fun opportunities for hill-rolling, kite flying, and in the winter, excellent sledding.


A walk with friends through the Manitoga Woods on a Sunday afternoon.

Amongst the grays and browns of the Manitoga woods, their lies moss that grows by side of the trail. They seems to be green accent colors dabbed around by nature itself. As you venture along this particular trail you come to a bubbling brook. You discover the only way across this icy water is to carefully walk across the slippery and maybe even loose stepping stones. Once safely on the other side and your short lived concerns are behind you, you turn to see the amazing ice sculptures nature has made in this unspoiled glistening brook. What an action packed hike in the winter woods of Manitoga. Thank you Russel Wright for this experience.
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