Croton Gorge Park

Scenery:
Difficulty: 3 out of 10 (short climb up a dirt road)
Fees: Cheapskate alert! Access to the park is $10 per car ($5 if you have a park pass), May through Labor Day only. All other times, it’s free.
Distance: 2.1 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 hours (includes playground stop – WHEEEE!)
Total ascent: 188 ft
Max elevation: 254 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a relatively easy stroll up to, around, and over a giant honking waterfall.

Depot Hill

Scenery:
Difficulty: 5 out of 10 (rolling hills with a few short, steep sections)
Distance: 3 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 2 Hours
Total ascent: 685 ft
Max elevation: 1,358 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want a nice hike on the Appalachian Trail that gives you views without making you scale mountains.

Dover Stone Church

Scenery:
Difficulty: 2 out of 10 (easy stroll)
Highlights: cave, creek, waterfall
Distance: 1.2 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 1 Hour
Total ascent: 180 ft
Max elevation: 502 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to check out an awesome cave that seems like it belongs somewhere way more exotic than Dover Plains (no offense, Dover Plains).

East Fishkill Rec Park

Scenery:
Difficulty: 2 out of 10 (easy stroll)
Highlights: creek, trails, Twizzlers
Distance: 2 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 40 Minutes
Total ascent: ft
Max elevation: ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You don’t have time to get too far out into nature, but want to take a stroll on a pleasant trail anyway, and perhaps catch a foul ball while you’re at it.

Fahnestock: Jordan Pond

Scenery:
Difficulty: 5 out of 10 (long-ish stroll with rolling hills)
Distance: 4.5 miles, Partial Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 2.5 Hours
Total ascent: 645 ft
Max elevation: 1,126 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to hike a relatively flat trail to a beautiful pond overlook, some cool fields and some nice (but not huge) views.

Fahnestock: Pelton Pond

Scenery:
Difficulty: 2 out of 10 (easy, short, fairly flat stroll)
Distance: 1.5 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 1 Hour or less
Total ascent: 141 ft
Max elevation: 915 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a short, scenic stroll around a beautiful pond.

Falling Waters Preserve

Scenery:
Difficulty: 3 out of 10 (short hike with a few rolling climbs)
Distance: 2.7 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 Hours
Total ascent: 399 ft
Max elevation: 150 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You like cascading waterfalls, river views and beautiful countryside. If that doesn’t apply to you, the Poughkeepsie Galleria might have some good sales going on right now.

Ferncliff Forest

Scenery:
Difficulty: 3 out of 10
Highlights: campsites, fire tower, pond
Distance: 2.2 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 Hours
Total ascent: 299 ft
Max elevation: 430 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want a short, easy hike to a fire tower with some crazy panoramic views.

Fishkill Ridge: Lambs Hill

Scenery:
Difficulty: 9 out of 10 (steep, long climb)
Distance: 4.4 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 4 Hours
Total ascent: 1,579 ft
Max elevation: 1,477 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to climb a seriously steep mountain to some unique and awesome Hudson Valley views.

Franny Reese State Park

Scenery:
Difficulty: 3 out of 10
Distance: 2.6 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 Hours
Total ascent: ft
Max elevation: ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You’re looking for a pleasant walk through the woods with some nice river views.

Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain

Scenery:
Difficulty: 6 out of 10 (or 9 out of 10 if you choose to climb Panther Mt., too)
Distance: 3.2 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 2 Hours (or 4 hours if you hit Panther Mt., too)
Total ascent: 1,090 ft
Max elevation: 3,170 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to stand on some awesome ledges with amazing Catskill views. Also, you don’t mind having some company on the trail.