Minnewaska II: Gertrude’s Nose

Scenery:
Difficulty: 9 out of 10 (long hike with many rocky, rolling climbs)
Fees: Cheapskate alert! The parking fee is $10 per vehicle (as of this writing in April 2015). Money well spent.
Distance: 7.5 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 5 Hours
Total ascent: 1,288 ft
Max elevation: 1,804 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You enjoy heights, cliffs, awesome views, and walking. Lots and lots of walking.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Scenery:
Difficulty: 6 out of 10 (longish hike with hilly sections)
Fees: Cheapskate alert! The parking fee is $10 per vehicle (as of April 2015).
Highlights: Lake, Views, Waterfall
Distance: 6.4 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 4 Hours
Total ascent: 814 ft
Max elevation: 1,908 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to pack enough highlights for four hikes into one four-hour loop. And also, you’re not afraid of some crowds.

Mohonk Mountain House: Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze

Scenery:
Difficulty: 9 out of 10 (squishing yourself between rocks, ladder climbing, rock scrambling, plus a two-mile-each-way stroll between parking lot and Labryinth)
Fees: 5-alarm cheapskate alert! As of 2019, this hike costs twenty-two dollars PER HIKER on weekdays, and twenty-seven dollars PER HIKER on weekends
Distance: 5.5 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 4 Hours
Total ascent: 973 ft
Max elevation: 1,617 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to see some of the coolest sights in the Hudson Valley and you’re not afraid to crawl under (and around, and through, and over) some rocks to see ‘em.

Monument Mountain

Scenery:
Difficulty: 6 out of 10 (Short-ish climb with some very steep spots)
Fees: Cheapskate alert! It costs $5 to park here (as of this writing in 2020), payable at an electronic parking meter. Money very well spent.
Distance: 3.5 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 2.5 hours
Total ascent: 1,167 ft
Max elevation: 1,613 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to traverse a steep loop to visit some amazing views and clifftop perches. (Also, you have a deep, abiding respect for gravity, and will be careful along the clifftops.)

Mt. Beacon

Scenery:
Difficulty: 5, 7, or 10 out of 10 (depending on how far you choose to go)
Distance: 4.4 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 hours (overlook), 3 hours (overlook + fire tower), 5.5 hours (7.7-mile beast loop)
Total ascent: 1,561 ft
Max elevation: 1,653 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to see some gorgeous views at one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Hudson Valley, and climbing 1,000 vertical feet (or more) to get there is not a deal breaker.

Mt. Tammany

Scenery:
Difficulty: 8 out of 10 (Steep, rocky climb with rocks. And more rocks. Also, rocks.)
Distance: 4.0 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 4 hours
Total ascent: 1,639 ft
Max elevation: 1,540 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to scrabble up a beast of a mountain to see some gorgeous views.

Nellie Hill Preserve

Scenery:
Difficulty: 2 out of 10 (short stroll with some minor inclines)
Highlights: Meadow, Small Views
Distance: 1.4 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 1 Hour
Total ascent: 260 ft
Max elevation: 606 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You’re in the area and looking for a little solitude.

Ninham Mountain fire tower

Scenery:
Difficulty: 3 out of 10 (short uphill stroll)
Distance: 1.5 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 Hours
Total ascent: 400 ft
Max elevation: 1,314 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take an easy (well, you know, relatively easy) stroll up a gravel road to a fire tower with a great view. Or perhaps you’re looking for a hike you can do while pushing a stroller.

North-South Lake: Newman’s Ledge

Scenery:
Difficulty: 5 out of 10
Fees: Cheapskate alert! $10 entrance fee per car (as of summer 2015). Money well spent.
Distance: 4 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 3 Hours
Total ascent: 584 ft
Max elevation: 2,475 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You’re a fan of incredible views and you appreciate a good ledge.

North-South Lake: North Point

Scenery:
Difficulty: 9 out of 10 (long hike with a few very steep sections)
Fees: Cheapskate alert! There’s a per-car day use fee to hike here ($10 per car as of 2014.) Money well spent.
Distance: 7 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 4.5 Hours
Total ascent: 1,144 ft
Max elevation: 2,989 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You’re a fan of incredible views, you appreciate a good ledge and you want to do some serious hiking.

Nuclear Lake

Scenery:
Difficulty: 5 out of 10 (long-ish, relatively flat stroll)
Distance: 4.1 miles, Partial Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 3 Hours
Total ascent: 627 ft
Max elevation: 839 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You’d like to stroll around a beautiful lake and visit a nice stretch of Appalachian Trail. Also, you’re not scared of a little plutonium.

Overlook Mountain

Scenery:
Difficulty: 7 out of 10 (long, steady climb)
Distance: 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’re looking for a strenuous hike with so much to do at the top that the fire tower somehow isn’t the main attraction.