Storm King Mountain

Scenery:
Difficulty: 6 out of 10 (moderate hike with a few very steep, rocky sections)
Distance: 2.5 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 2.5 Hours
Total ascent: 893 ft
Max elevation: 1,385 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want some steep, quick climbs to some of the best views of the Hudson Valley you’re likely to find without renting a helicopter.

Surprise Lake (via Bearfort Ridge)

Scenery:
Difficulty: 7 out of 10 (long hike over very rocky terrain with a few steep sections)
Distance: 6.0 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 4 - 5 Hours
Total ascent: 1,240 ft
Max elevation: 1,418 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You don’t mind stepping on a few (thousand) rocks to see some gorgeous woods, nice views and a beautiful, tucked-away lake.

Surprise Lake II (via Greenwood Lake overlook)

Scenery:
Difficulty: 9 out of 10 (steep climbs & descents, rough terrain, rock scrambling)
Distance: 4 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 3.5 Hours
Total ascent: 1,191 ft
Max elevation: 1,424 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a memorable hike with views, lakes, a rhododendron tunnel, small rock scrambles and a general awesome vibe. Oh, and you enjoy burning lots of calories.

Teatown Lake Reservation

Scenery:
Difficulty: 4 out of 10 (winding, rolling, relatively flat hike)
Fees: **UPDATE April 2018** Cheapskate alert! “To help manage increased visitation to our preserve during peak periods, Teatown will charge $5 to non-members for parking on weekends and holidays beginning October 1, 2017. We appreciate our members, who will always park for free.” (Thanks to Jeff Kent for pointing this out in the comments. Five bones well-spent.)
Distance: 4.2 miles, Loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 2.5 Hours
Total ascent: 542 ft
Max elevation: 606 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to take a pleasant stroll in a beautiful preserve with interesting things to see all around. Also, you have a thing for lily pads.

Tremper Mountain

Scenery:
Difficulty: 8 out of 10 (long slog up a big fat mountain)
Distance: 6.5 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 4 Hours
Total ascent: 2,192 ft
Max elevation: 2,766 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to huff and puff up a mountain to see some righteous views from one of the five Catskill fire towers.

Walkway Over the Hudson

Scenery:
Difficulty: 2 out of 10 (flat, paved stroll)
Distance: 3 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 1.5 Hours
Total ascent: 88 ft
Max elevation: 306 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You’re looking for beautiful views and a unique stroll on the longest raised pedestrian walkway in the whole (entire freaking!) world.

Wittenberg Mountain

Scenery:
Difficulty: 10 out of 10 (long climb up a big fat mountain with some very steep sections and light rock scrambling toward the top)
Fees: Cheapskate alert!  The day-use fee at Woodland Valley Campground (where you’ll park to tackle this hike) is $6 per car as of this writing in 2015, during camping season only (mid-May through mid-October). Money well spent.
Distance: 7.2 miles, Up-and-Back
Approximate roundtrip time: 6 Hours
Total ascent: 2,645 ft
Max elevation: 3,780 ft above sea level
This hike is for you if: You want to see one of the best views in the Catskills, and you’re prepared to climb a big fat honking mountain to see it.