Giant Stairs (Palisades)

Scenery:
Difficulty: 10 out of 10 (long hike with very steep climbs and a one-mile section of boulder scrambling)
Distance: 5.2 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 4 hours
Total ascent: 1,269 ft
Max elevation: 542 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to scramble over a mile-long stretch of boulders while taking in some gorgeous Hudson River views. Also, you LOVE climbing stairs.

Great Swamp

Scenery:
Difficulty: 5 out of 10 (flat stroll leading to hilly stretches)
Distance: 4.9 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 3 hours
Total ascent: 817 ft
Max elevation: 765 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to stroll on a beautiful boardwalk that passes over peaceful marshlands on the Appalachian Trail, then check out the biggest honking oak tree for about 1,000 miles in either direction.

Harriman State Park: Jackie Jones Fire Tower

Scenery:
Difficulty: 4 out of 10 (short-ish hike with mostly gentle inclines)
Distance: 2.8 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 Hours
Total ascent: 553 ft
Max elevation: 1,330 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a short hike to a fire tower with awesome views of the New York City skyline (with lots of other non-skyline-related beauty, too).

Harriman State Park: Lemon Squeezer to Lichen Trail

Scenery:
Difficulty: 9 out of 10 (long hike with rolling climbs and plenty of opportunities to get lost)
Distance: 7.4 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 4.5 Hours
Total ascent: 1,804 ft
Max elevation: 1,363 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a long hike to see some nice views, beautiful trails, a gorgeous lake and some funky rock formations.

High Banks Preserve

Scenery:
Difficulty: 3 out of 10 (friendly stroll with gentle inclines)
Distance: 3.1 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 hours
Total ascent: 370 ft
Max elevation: 294 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a nice stroll in the woods around a new, well-maintained preserve with varied terrain and interesting trails.

High Falls Conservation Area

Scenery:
Difficulty: 2 out of 10 (short hike with a couple small climbs)
Highlights: nice trails, waterfall
Distance: 1.5 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 Hours
Total ascent: 251 ft
Max elevation: 469 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You’re in the mood for a stroll and you appreciate a big fat waterfall.

Huckleberry Point

Scenery:
Difficulty: 6 out of 10 (Pleasant stroll with some hilly sections)
Distance: 4.5 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 3 Hours
Total ascent: ft
Max elevation: ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to visit one of the nicest overlooks in the area without having to climb a big fat mountain.

Hunter Mountain

Scenery:
Difficulty: 9 out of 10 (steep, rocky, long-ish climb up a big fat mountain)
Distance: 5.0 miles, Partial Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 4.5 Hours
Total ascent: 2,217 ft
Max elevation: 4,071 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to haul yourself up the second-highest peak in the Catskills to see some amazing views.

Indian Head Mt. and Twin Mt.

Scenery:
Difficulty: 10 out of 10 (long hike with several steep, rocky sections)
Distance: 8.4 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 6 Hours
Total ascent: 2,763 ft
Max elevation: 3,651 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a gut-busting, most-of-the-day climb to see several spectacular views, bagging two of the Catskill 3500’ summits in the process.

Indian Ladder Trail

Scenery:
Difficulty: 3 out of 10 (relatively flat, easy stroll with a large staircase on either end)
Fees: Cheapskate alert! There's a new (as of 2018) parking fee here of $6. Money well-spent.
Distance: 2.5 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 2.5 Hours
Total ascent: 541 ft
Max elevation: 1,207 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a relatively easy hike with a massive payoff, and you’re not scared to drive to Albany to make it happen. Also, you’re cool when your nature comes served with crowds.

Kaaterskill Falls (lower trailhead)

Scenery:
Difficulty: 5 out of 10 (steep, rocky, short hike)
Distance: 2 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 Hours
Total ascent: 527 ft
Max elevation: 1,946 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a short (but steep) hike to a huge waterfall. Also, you don’t mind when your nature comes served with large crowds.

Kaaterskill Falls II (upper trailhead)

Scenery:
Difficulty: 5 out of 10 (2 out of 10 for an easy stroll to the viewing platform, 5 out of 10 if you also visit the lower falls, 7 out of 10 for a rugged hike if you follow all the steps below (to lower falls and Inspiration Point))
Distance: 4.7 miles
Approximate roundtrip time: 3.5 Hours
Total ascent: 1,177 ft
Max elevation: 2,211 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to check out a mind-blowing two-tier waterfall, ogle some amazing views, and explore some awesome trail features.