Hike Recommendations

Where should you hike today? Where is a good swimming hole? Are the Mountain Laurel out in Harriman yet? Try searching our hike database but if you don't find the perfect hike, try asking here.

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Looking for hike with lively/busy city/town overlook

Hello!  I apologize for using this forum for the first time asking for help for a professional purpose, but I am also an avid hiker so I'm pretty sure I'll be using the forum more for leisure and chat as well. I'm shooting a couple scenes for a music video and looking for a scenic overlook that would be looking down upon a busy city or town from a wilderness area.  Idea is that most of the video the main character looks to be walking in a post apocalyptic setting with abandoned stuff  in the woods/forest I've shot already.  At the end I'd like to have him come out to a scenic overlook that shows modern life is still happening (rather than post apocalyptic) but he has chosen to live off grid due to his disgust with modern day society.  So this is a big finale shot... the reveal.  I'm hoping that some of you might have a favorite hike or spot that you've seen in the past where you can hike and be in the forest but when you clear the trees (or get an opening for a view) you see a nice busy little area... city or busy bridge or small town but lots of movement.  I just need that 3 or 4 seconds to sell the idea.  I'm an experienced hiker so challenging hikes are not a problem for the right location. I'm in the central NJ shore area by Sandy Hook beach and willing to drive up to an hour and a half away for the right setting if necessary.  I've already got Bear Mountain Lookout as an option as well as a smaller level option in my local area from Hartshorne Park that can overlook a beach area but that's a last resort because it isn't ideal for the look.  Bear Mountain Lookout is the right idea but the drive is pretty far so hoping you folks might have some other ideas for me to consider.  I'll also be shooting near Allamuchy state park so anything near there (or in between my area and that area) would be great so I could shoot everything in one day. Thanks in advance. Tom

Another idea - If you hike

Another idea - If you hike about a half-mile up the Washburn trail on Mt. Taurus (Hudson Highlands SP), you come to a nice viewpoint overlooking the town of Cold Spring.

Sunrise and sunset hike suggestions

Hey everyone! I would really love to hike to a spot that has a view of the sunrise so anything facing east.  Also, if anyone knows a spot for a sunset hike too, could use some suggestions. 

Sunrise Hike

For a sunrise hike, I would suggest the viewpoint on the Ernest Walter Trail between the State Line Trail and Suprise Lake. With a great long distance view to the east, you should see the skyscrappers of NYC get that nice orange glow. 

Bald Rocks For Sunset

You can hike to the Bald Rocks Shelter, and sit on the rock slabs to watch the sunset. For a sunrise hike, you will have to wait for others to recommend one, as i'm usually still sleeping during sunrise :)

Falls, Swimming & Camping

Hi All, Was wondering if any of yall could give me recomendations for a hike trail that allows for camping off trail with a place to swim.  You know like the perfect weekend haha. Looking for location south of Albany, Catskills, Shawagunks, that type area.  Thanks all, teamHuman

hiking swimming camping

camping in harriman park is illegal except at shelters..also  there are many lakes in harriman park. unfortunately they are illegal to swim in unless you go to lake tiorati or lake welch with kids, radios lifeguards and ropes. you may defy these rules at your own risk--many do so....minnewaska has a nice lake, legal and the MDSA minnewaska distance swimmers assoc. has a spot lower down the lake with a 200 yard swimming length but you have to pass a test and register with them. further info please PM me  at [email protected]

Looking for a 4-5 day backpacking trail

I'm going to be in New York in mid May and im looking for a 4-5 (or longer) day backpacking trails. I'm from California so I really only know the Sierras. Also if you guys know of any way public transportation could get me close or too the trailhead, and if you know where I could find trail maps of said hike! Thank you!!!  

Appalachian Trail

There is a Metro North train that leaves on weekend mornings and will drop you off right on the Appalachian Trail by Pawling, NY. You can then hike south/west for as many days as you like, and catch a train at Garrison or bus at Bear Mountain back to NYC. There are lots of other options for return trips in Harriman State Park, you wil need to leave the AT and take a trail back to the bus/train station. Or you could take a bus from Port Authority to the NY/NJ state line, and take the blue blazed State Line Trail to the AT, the proceed north/east as far as you want. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy sells a map set of the NY/NJ section of the AT that comes with a well-written guide book.

Rail service is also available on weekdays

I would just add that rail service to Harlem Valley-Wingdale, which is just north of the Appalachian Trail station and only about two miles away from the A.T., is available seven days a week, with service being provided about every two hours.  So if you want to begin your hike on a weekday, it is still possible to take the train to the trail.

4-5 day backpacking

Could you be specific so I can forward to someone who can respond?  Do you mean the  Catskills, Adirondacks, Bear Mountain Area?       thanks

Thank you so much for the

Thank you so much for the response! Any of those areas sound great! I was looking at the dix range, adirondacks; or the great range. If you know anything about either of those i.e how to get to them or where I could find more info on them that would be much appreciated!

ADK High Peaks Forum

also for the Adirondack high peaks check out this forum http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/

Information on the Adirondacks

For information on hiking trails in the Adirondacks, you should contact the Adirondack Mountain Club, www.adk.org


hi all. I'd like to plan a two day hike. Can anyone help? I tried a few years ago. I got lost and now I'm a little wary. I'd like a good hike, pitch a tent, then loop back the next morning. Can anyone recommend a nice long loop in which I won't get lost? September seems like a good time for a good long hike. If that goes well, I'd do a double nighter. my first time on the site. Do the members ever get together for hikes? I'd like to meet with other hikers. sorry so sloppy,,,iPad.   ;/

Nice Backpacking Trip with 2 kids

Planning on taking my two oldest - 10 and 8 - on a 2 or 3 day outing in august. So we are looking for a loop with sights, and as many interesting things (caves, historical, water, wildlife, etc) as poss. Challenging but not dangerous for children of their age. Live on Long Island and will travel out to the Catskills but not farther. If there are backpacking options in the Shawagunk region I'd particularly love to hear about is as they love hiking in that area.     Thanks!

Hiking with A Side of Camping

Hi everyone,  I'm looking for a scenic/romantic hike/trail for two near NYC (up to 200 mile radius) that's accessible by train. As of now all I can think of is Port Jarvis line to Harriman State Park or Hudson Line to Appalachian Trail/Pawling but I'm clueless as to the scenery I will encounter and most importantly can I setup a tent overnight? The difficulty isn't a major concern but would rather stay away from scrambling or lots of exposure. Instead a gradual but high elevation/summit would be great.    I need your expert advice. Any help is appreciated.    Edit: I have looked/used the Find A Hike Selector. I know buses are an option but it has to be by train (and thus is why I'm here requesting your help as is not easy lol).

Trails accessible by train

I should point out that the Appalachian Trail near Pawlng is reached via Metro North's Harlem Line, not the Hudson Line.  The Hudson Line does provide access to many beautiful trails from the Cold Spring, Garrison and Breakneck Ridge (limited service) stations.

The OP wants an overnight

While the areas along Metro North's Hudson Line are beautiful, camping is not allowed in those areas.


Hi Guys I'm planning to do the S-BM (suffern to 106) does anyone have the latest conditions or some advise or recommendations?   thanks 


No, I do not.

The only part of that trail

The only part of that trail i've been on this summer is the section between the TMI Trail and the Big Hill Shelter (at the Long Path). Other than one small blowdown that can easily be climbed over, that section is fine. Given how dry things are now, you should have no issues with any water crossings. I am familiar with the southern part of the section you are planning to hike, and my advice is to be prepared for lots of ascents/descents, some of which may require you to scramble with your hands. I would start as early as possible so you can take your time. Also, make sure to bring a camera- there will be some beautiful views along the way. Have fun!

was amazing

Michael K7, We did it yesterday from Suffern to Gate Hill Rd. (13.2M) weather was as we ordered :) thanks for your heads up, we did come across some smoldering brush fire near Hawk Cliff, SPPD told us that it is under control and being monitored. Thanks 


Glad to hear it went well, and you enjoyed it. You certainly had perfect weather for a long hike!

Backpacking near NYC

Hi all,   Looking to escape the city for a few days -- planning on a two night/three day backpacking trip somewhere that's accesible by bus or train. Was thinking about traversing Harriman (Tuxedo to the Bear Mountain Inn), but curious if others have trips they'd recommend. Probably looking for 30-40 miles, somewhere that won't be horribly crowded and where we can feel like we're getting away a bit. Open to a loop or a point-to-point, assuming the start and end points are bus or train stations.    Any suggestions are appreciated!

My Suggestion

You will need the Sterling Forest and Harriman map sets. Day 1 -Start by taking the Shortline bus to the Park & Ride in Tuxedo (it's the stop right after the one at the Tuxedo train station). -At the Park & Ride is the trailhead for the white blazed Wildcat Mountain Trail. Hike this trail to the red blazed Furnace Loop Trail -Go east, and take Furnace Loop to the yellow blazed Indian Hill trail -Take Indian Hill north to the short unnamed Blue "connector" trail -Take the blue trail to the Appalachian Trail -Take the Appalachian Trail east until you get to the Teal blazed Long Path -Head north on the Long Path. There is a shelter about a mile after you get on the LP, but i would suggest going on for another 5 miles until you get to the Stockbridge shelter (also on the LP) Day 2 -Retrace your way south on the LP from the shelter unti you hit the yellow blazed Menomine Trail -Take the Menomine east/south to the red blazed Red Cross Trail -Take the Red Cross east until you hit the yellow blazed Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail -Take the SBM south to the Big Hill shelter (PLEASE NOTE- THIS PART OF THE ROUTE INCLUDES A DANGERUOUS DESCENT DOWN THE SOUTH SIDE OF PINGYP MOUNTAIN- DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS DESCENT IN WET CONDITIONS) Day 3 -Take the SBM south all the way to the trailhead in Suffern, where you can catch either the Shortline bus or NJ Transit train back to the city If you are planning on bringing a tent to camp in, then you can stop anywhere you like along the way to camp for the night. Be advised that park regulations require you to camp within 100 feet of a shelter area. Also, with the map sets in your hand, you will have plenty of options to modify the route If you do this during the week, you should have plenty of miles all to yourselves on the trails. I don't know how mnay people use the shelters during the week, but if you go on the weekend, expect others to be at the shelter areas. Hope this was helpful!

30-40 miles you could cross

30-40 miles you could cross Harriman and back again. You wont have the feeling of getting away a bit unfortunately as this is the high(hordes of hikers) season. Pack in, pack out, leave no trace.

Manhattan to Catskills: Trail Suggestions?

Hi Folks, I'm travelling from Manhattan to the Catskills for some backpacking.  I'd like to keep the drive time within 2 hours or 2.5 hours from Manhattan.  I am asking for your experience and expertise; where would you drive, park, enter, and backpack/camp in the Catskills?   (this is VERY much appreciated)   1. We would like to be able to camp along a body of water so we can swim (campsite would be great, if not, we'd be 150 ft away from the water, of course.   2. We would like to be near a decent trail for a hike.   3. Lastly, this will be primitive camping.  Our gratitude for any thoughts,expertise, experience you offer.   Have a great summer!  


If you want to invlove a swim,  the Overlook Mountain Trail to Echo Lake is an option.  Park either on the Woodstock end, or north at the Devils Path traihead at Prediger Rd and take the Devils Path to the Overlook. If it's not too dry, the Neversink River has a few small holes that you can splash around in. Not actual swimming but some are 4-5 feet deep. Starting from parking at the end of Denning Rd. Head down to the Neversink. There is an unmarked  but distinct trail that follows its length with numerous good campsites along the way, some legal and some illegal.  You can complete the trip with a loop over Slide Mtn or an out and back to Cornell and Wittenberg Mtns, or Table and Peekamoose Mtns..

Easy to Moderate Hikes in Harriman.

I am looking for circular 4-6 mile hikes in Harriman that are not to strenuous or rocky (woods roads would be fine) and have access to water for my dogs.  My arthritic knees are bad so hikes with steep downhill sections are no longer an option.  Any ideas would be appreciated.   Thx

Check out the Hikes Database

If you go to the Hikes Database on the website (click on "Go Hiking," then "Find a Hike"), you can sort the hikes by difficulty by clicking on that word at the top of the column.  There are 5 hikes in Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks that are rated as "easy" or "easy-to-moderate." 

Questions about the Devil's Path

I am planning on backpacking on the Devil's Path for 2 nights and 3 days in July and I have a few questions. -First, is it necessary to purchase bear cans for this trip or will it suffice to hang our food in a tree without a bear canister? -Also, I read that there is limited parking on Prediger road so I was wondering if anyone could recommend alternative parking in the event that there is no available parking at the trailhead. And is the parking area on Spruceton road at the end of the trail also limited?  -Finally, I read that the western end of the trail on Westkill Mountain is not well maintained. Can anyone give me further details on this? Will it be in our best interest to hike this part of the trail or is it going to be difficult to follow?   Thank you!

Devil's Path

In answer to your questions: (1) Bears are not as prevalent in the Catskills as they are in the High Peaks area of the Adirondacks.  The use of bear cans is not required in the Catskills, and it should suffice if you properly suspend your food off the ground at a sufficient height that it cannot be reached by bears. (2) The DEC recently constructed a new parking lot at the end of Prediger Road, replacing the limited roadside parking that formerly was the only parking available there.  I don't think that you'll have a problem finding a parking space. The parking area at the western terminus of the Devil's Path on Spruceton Road is not all that large, but it is not heavily used, and I don't think you'll have a problem parking there, either.  (3)  While the western end of the Devil's Path on West Kill Mountain is not as heavily used as the remainder of the trail, it is maintained and can easily be followed by a hiker.  I know someone who recently hiked this trail section and was able fo follow it without difficulty.

That is very helpful, thank

That is very helpful, thank you so much!

Weekend Hiking/Camping

Hi everyone! I am looking for destinations where I could camp overnight and hike a few miles (10-15 miles) on Saturdays and Sundays. I am new to backpacking and would appreciate your help. I live in Somerset (Central NJ) and would not mind driving 1-2 hours to NY, NJ and PA areas. I recently did a short AT hike from Delaware Water Gap to Worthington State Forest ( Dunnfield Creek, Sunfish pond and Catfish fire tower). I have yet to develop my hiking endurance so I am bent at the moment to 5-6 miles per day with overnight. Thanks a lot for your inputs. JB

Hiking Camping

In central NJ you have Round Valley Reservoir.  Round Valley has primitive, hike in (or boat in) campsites that are about a 3-6 mile walk depending on which site you choose and the entire trail is about 12 miles.  Though it is a public campground the sites are well spaced and give you a semi wilderness feel.  Reservations can be made here http://www.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDirectoryList.do?contractCode=nj... Harriman State Park is another option.  There is a huge network of hiking trails.  You need to camp near a shelter at Harriman but not necessarily right at it.  Two of my favorite short backpacks there are to the Tom Jones Mountain shelter and the West Mountain shelter.  You can use both as a base camp and explore the extensive trail network. Maybe a bit past your 2 hour limit are the Catskills, which offer some of the best hiking and camping in the region.  There are numerous trips were you can cobble together  5-6 mile hikes  and spend the night.  Check out the Catskill map set in this website as well as one of the guide books sold here.  Some short trips that come to mind are the Indian Head  Mt loop.  Black Dome loop.   North Point using the Escarpment Trail and returning via Marys Glen Trail. Panther Mountain end to end, or just a hike up to Giant Ledge to camp and back down the net day.  In the western Catskills there is a trail network around Trout Pond and Mud Pond that offers almost exactly what you are looking for.  There are also several public campgrounds in the Catskills that you can use as a base for day hikes.  My favorites there are Woodland Valley and North/South Lake.

Thank you. I didn't notice

Thank you. I didn't notice the reply until today. I will look into those. 

Challenging Hike near Ttown

Does anyone have any recommendations for a challenging loop hike near Tarrytown?  I woulld rather not drive more than an hour, but hoping to be out alll day (12 - 14 miles).  Unfortunatley it has to be a loop cause I am going alone. Thanks in advance.

Bear Mountain?

Can't you just take the thruway to the Palisades right up to Bear Mountain? That should be less than an hour driving, no?  Once you're at BM, you have many possibilities for hikes, but i can't give you any specific recommendations, as i don't go that far north in the park. But you could check the TC website hike finder for challenging  hikes near BM and look for one that is a loop. The closest place i can think of on your side of the river is Cold Spring, not sure if that's under an hour driving from TTown though. If you're willing to drive to Beacon, there is some serious hill climbing on Mt Beacon. I haven't been to either of these ares in a few years, so again you'll have to rely on the TC hike finder (or others who may chime in) for specific recommendations. Lastly, something to consider is if you're leaving from TTown, you could always take the train from there to Cold Spring, and hike to Beacon, then take the train from Beacon back to TTown. You could also go in the opposite direction, but i highly prefer the first, as the climb on the Breakneck Ridge Trail to the fire tower is one of the best hikes (with some spectacular views) that i've done.

Thanks for taking the time to

Thanks for taking the time to reply, I appreciate it.  I am going to check out Mt Beacon next, good suggestion.  

Kids first overnight

Hello all I'm looking for a kid friendly first overnight backpacking trip.  Kids are 5 and 10.  Would like something with a view and not too far from a water source If possible.  Would like a spot in the Catskills and near Harriman or any other areas you guys would recommend.  Only one I can think of That wouldn't be to hard on kids is Bald Rocks in Harriman.  Thanks for your help

Kid friendly trips

I have brought many campers into Harriman Park to stay at Beaver Pond Campsite or Sebago Cabins. These would be good locations with kids - day hikes and swimming available at both locations. I generally meet taxi customers at Suffern train station or even Sloatsburg or Tuxedo. (find me on google )

Catskills or West Mtn in Harriman

West Mountain in Harriman isn't too bad for kids.  There is a bit of a climb in the beginning, but from there it's all ridgeline to the shelter. Nice view from near the shelter. A fairly easy out and back in the Catskills is Huckleberry Point.   You can camp all the way out by the point, but there is no water there. If you want to be near water the trail to Huckleberry Point crosses a stream and there are options for camping not far from the stream and trail.  From there you have a base camp for a short hike to Huckleberry Pt or a longer one to Kaaterskill High Peak. The view from Huckleberry Point is a memorable one. The East Branch Navesink River is another flat and easy Catskill backpack.  The river is only about a mile from parking (at the end of Denning Rd). There is an unmarked  but distinct trail that follows the Navesink to its end in the col between Slide Mtn and Cornell Mtn. There are numerous options for camping along that trail.  The stream is scenic and  fun for the kids to play in and again it could be a base camp for hikes to Cornell, Slide or Table Mtns if you would like a great view (Cornell has the best of the three).

Sunrise Mountain, Backcountry Camping, and Dogs?

I posted in another threat about wanting to take my pooch on his first overnight hiking trip.  I was originally planning to head up to the Catskills, but due to some other things happening this weekend we're going to have to stay a bit more local (I live in Union County, NJ).  Does anyone have any info on the dog policy in Stoke State Forest?  I know that you are usually not allowed to have dogs overnight in the campgrounds at NJ State Forests, but do the same rules apply to backcountry camping?  Also, does anyone have a good route to/from Sunrise Mountain?  I'm looking for something not too long (<8 miles round trip) and not too strenuous for the little guy.  Any ideas would be appreciated.  Thanks!   Jon


I believe dogs are fine in state parks and forests but need to be on a leash.  And they will ticket you if you are caught.

I am assuming that you mean

I am assuming that you mean if I am caught with my dog off leash?  That's not a problem for me as I always keep my little guy on a leash.  He's still pretty young and animals fascinate him so I definitely wouldn't want him to run off after something and put either him or the other animal at risk.

Day Hiking in March

I have a few days off next week and I am looking to go someplace to do some good day hikes.  Not too cold/snowy.  Will take a short flight or a long drive.   Would like to stay in a hotel, and get up each morning to a selection of 5-6 hour day hikes.

Newbie needs Info on quietest areas in Harriman?

Any recomendations for least crowded areas of Harriman? (Regular marked trails or woods roads.)  Looking to go backpacking this weekend with my 12 year old daughter.  We are prioritizing solitude (vs. say, best views) and having trouble choosing from all the options! I have the NYNJTC Harriman Guide and Map, but it does not give much help re: usage.

You might want to check out

You might want to check out the Almost Perpendcular/Claudius Smith Den Loop. I've done it a few times and have not seen many other hikers at all. It's relatively moderate with a steep section or two, but nothing that a healthy adult nor a 12 year old couldn't handle. Hope this helps a little :)

Northwest section

You're definitely better off in the Northern part of the park, but as Daniel says, stay away from the Bear Mountain area. Maybe try hiking the Long Path in the north western area of the park. Have fun!