**UPDATE March 31, 2021** After doing my best to keep up with COVID-related trail closures through much of 2020, I am no longer updating this page, largely because the trails are all open again! Hooray! (With the exception of Bear Hill Preserve, which has remained closed throughout the pandemic, and has still not re-opened as of this writing.) Otherwise, I’ll let this page stand here as a historical artifact of that time things were crazy and changing every day during the pandemic. Thanks to everyone who helped to keep this page current during that time. Stay safe and happy adventuring out there, everyone!
Right now, Hike the Hudson Valley features trail guides to 83 local hikes, including several that are now closed or restricted due to the COVID-19 crisis.
It can be tough to keep track of the various closures and changes (a few more trails closed even while I was writing this article), so I’m going to do my best to keep this page updated with current and accurate information from across the Hudson Valley.
Before we get started, some caveats:
- The safest place to be is home. (The humans you see there might be weird, but they’re the safest humans to hang out with right now.)
- If we all go hiking, none of us will be able to go hiking. When trails get crowded, they have no choice but to close. (See this Hudson Valley Rail Trail Facebook post imploring people to keep their distance so they can stay open.) You can do your part by hiking sparingly (or not at all!), practicing social distancing on the trails, visiting less popular hikes, and going at less popular times. (Sunrise is a horrible time to be awake, but it might be the best time to go hiking!)
- If you do go hiking, please be extra careful! Now would be about the worst time to twist an ankle or otherwise require medical treatment for a preventable accident. (Using trekking poles is a great way to help reduce the chance of injury. So is sitting on your couch and playing video games!)
- The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has some excellent advice on being outside during this crisis. Please check it out before embarking on any outdoor adventures beyond your backyard: DEC and State Parks Encourage Responsible Recreation During COVID-19 Public Health Crisis
- I’m just a dude with a website. For official information, here are some wonderful resources from official-type people:
- The New York State Parks homepage, which has excellent COVID-19 updates and up-to-the-minute alerts on local trail closings due to parking lots filling up
- Scenic Hudson’s 1 Valley – 44 Parks page, which provides resources on all of their 44 parks. Scenic Hudson also maintains a very active Facebook page.
- The New York Department of Environmental Conservation Facebook page, which is a great place to catch statewide news for nature lovers
Okay, without further ado, here is all of the trail closure information I’ve been able to find to date. As noted above, I’m just a dude with a website, so I’d appreciate any help you can give in the comments below to help keep this information current and accurate!
- Bear Hill Preserve is closed (reconfirmed on October 11)
- Bear Mountain State Park: Roads within the park are closed, including Perkins Memorial Drive up to the tower. See the Bear Mountain State Park homepage for details.
- Bull’s Bridge was reported as closed on July 9 (reconfirmed on October 5)
- Constitution Marsh doesn’t have a parking lot anymore! Yikes!
- Fahnestock State Park: the Jordan Pond hike is closed due to tree work being performed along the Cabot Trail and Perkins Memorial Trail.
- Harriman State Park: Several roads within the park are closed. The Harriman hike documented on this site is no longer accessible with the closure of Arden Valley Road. See the Harriman State Park homepage for details.
Little Stony Point is closed.(Little Stony Point is now open on weekdays, and still closed on weekends.) Mohonk Mountain House and its associated trails (including the Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze) are closed.Mohonk Mountain House is open for hiking again, but you need to purchase passes online before you go!
- Rand’s View in CT was reported as closed on August 17, most likely due to blowdowns from the recent tropical storm. Hopefully it will be open again soon!
Sam’s Point in Minnewaska has closed its footpaths (like the skinny trail down to Verkeerderkill falls), though the wider carriage paths remain open.They’re open again!
- Schunemunk Mountain’s most popular approach (from the Taylor Road parking lot) is now closed (though the mountain and other approaches remain open).
- Stony Kill Falls in Minnewaska is closed.
Also of note:
All NY state park playgrounds, facilities are closed.Most NY state park facilities are now open again. All NY state-operated campgrounds are closed to overnight visitation.NY campgrounds are open again! Many fire towers, including all DEC fire towers, are closed to the public (though trails leading to them remain open), including:All DEC fire towers in the Hudson Valley are open again!
- On May 20, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) posted updated guidance that begins: “While the ATC continues to recommend staying at home and staying away from the A.T., we understand that many of you are considering hikes on the A.T. as your states’ stay-at-home orders expire or shift to ‘safer at home’ recommendations.” Previously, they had urged everyone to stay at home and away from the trail under all circumstances. So while the trail is no longer closed, exactly, the ATC offers a ton of thoughtful guidance, and I’d recommend reading their full, comprehensive update if you’re considering a hike along the AT, which, locally, would include Depot Hill, Cat Rocks, Nuclear Lake, Lion’s Head, Anthony’s Nose, and Great Swamp.
Parking restrictions have been enacted at several popular local hikes, meaning that there are fewer available parking spots. For our NY State Parks, that generally means that lots are reduced to 50% capacity and parks are closed after that capacity is reached, which tends to happen early in the day. (NJ State Parks are also restricted to 50% capacity.)
Each of these parks seem to be quite good about updating their homepages when they close after the lots reach their capacity – please check their homepages before venturing out:
- Bear Mountain State Park
- Minnewaska State Park
- Sam’s Point Preserve
- Harriman State Park
- Rockefeller State Park
Also. the Dunnfield Creek parking lot (off of I-80) in the Delaware Water Gap is closed, making Mt. Tammany a little tougher to reach. See RB’s helpful comment below for more details — sounds like you can still make this hike happen if you’re willing to walk a little further from a different lot.
That’s everything that I’ve been able to track down so far. What have I missed? Is anything here incorrect or out-of-date? Please post any updates in the comments, and I will keep this page updated regularly throughout the crisis. Thank you!
Hang in there and stay safe out there, everyone!
As I’ve been updating this page since its original posting, it has occurred to me that it might be helpful for people to know what I’ve been changing. From May 1 forward, I’ll leave a trail of breadcrumbs here so you’ll know what’s different above.
- October 20: Bull’s Bridge confirmed as still closed. (Thanks, Jenn!)
- October 16: Bear Hill Preserve confirmed as still closed. (Thanks for the helpful comment, Wendy!)
- September 25: Constitution Marsh no longer has a parking lot! (Thanks to Wendy, Chantelle, and the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center for the helpful comments!)
- September 17: Croton Gorge Park removed from closure list (they are now open on weekends again, with the business-as-usual caveat that they may close due to the parking lot filling up)
- August 21: Rand’s View in CT added to closure list (thanks, Virginia!)
- August 12: Dover Stone Church removed from the closure list (thanks for the cyber-sleuthing, JC!)
- August 11: Dover Stone Church added to closure list (thanks for the heads-up in the comments, Jeannie!)
- July 21: Bull Hill removed from closure list. (And thanks to Jovan for the intel!) I also removed the clutter of several parks and trails that had been closed and re-opened. Thanks to everyone who has helped provide the information to keep this page as current as possible!
- July 10: Bull’s Bridge added to closure list. (Thanks for the helpful comment on that trail guide, Patrick!)
- July 8: Stony Kill Falls added to closure list. (Thanks for the heads-up, Todd!)
- July 7: Bull Hill added back to closure list — the Washburn lot is apparently closed due to construction (thanks for the tip, Anna!). Doubletop and Graham Mountains in the Catskills are now removed from the closure list (instructions for accessing those mountains can be found in this post from the Catskill Interpretive Center).
- July 6: Kaaterskill Falls is open again! (Thanks so much for the heads-up in the comments, FT!)
- July 3: Constitution Marsh is open again! NY campgrounds are also open again for overnight reservations.
- June 30: All DEC fire towers are open again!
- June 24: Indian Ladder Trail at Thacher State Park is open again! (Though the waterfalls are apparently dry at the moment.)
- June 22: Bash Bish Falls is open again. Several fire towers are now open again (listed above). Mohonk Mountain House is open for hiking again (you must purchase passes online beforehand). I also removed several references to these hikes that re-opened within the past few weeks to reduce clutter on the page: Locust Grove, Breakneck Ridge, Bull Hill, Anthony’s Nose, Mt. Beacon, Monument Mountain, Fishkill Ridge, FDR Estate, Vanderbilt Mansion, Mohonk Preserve, and Dover Stone Church. (Special thanks to Jesse’s comment below for the heads-up on Bash Bish and Ninham Mountain – much appreciated!)
- June 17: Fixed links for the Bear Mountain State Park and Harriman State Park road closures to point to their respective homepages for more info, since the original NY-NJ Trail Conference trail alert announcing the closures is no longer accessible online.
- June 13: Mohonk Preserve entry updated to note reopening of all trailheads (Coxing trailhead was previously excluded from the reopening.)
- June 13: Croton Gorge Dam added to Closure list, closed only on weekends at least through July 4. (Thanks to Jeff Kent for the tip!)
- June 10: Monument Mountain in Massachusetts is open again! (Thanks to friendly hiker Eli for the Facebook message with the heads-up!)
- June 9: Anthony’s Nose and Fishkill Ridge are open again! Little Stony Point is also now open on weekdays only. (Thanks to Evan Thompson from NYS Parks for the details and update!)
- June 9: Locust Grove is open again!
- June 9: Mt. Beacon, Breakneck Ridge, and Bull Hill are open again! (Thank you for the heads-up, Angel! Breakneck and Bull Hill are indeed no longer listed as closed on the Hudson Highlands State Park homepage, and Scenic Hudson has removed reference to Mt. Beacon being closed on their parks page.)
- June 6: Beebe Hill added to list of closed fire towers.
- May 25: Dover Stone Church is open again! (Even though the Dover Stone Church Facebook page still says, as of today, that it is still closed, the Town of Dover website has a notice posted that it is open, and my friend Julie posted pictures taken there yesterday. Thanks, Julie!)
- May 23: Added Ninham Mountain to the list of fire towers that are closed (though trails remain open).
- May 23: Added Fishkill Ridge to Closure list, based on feedback from alert hiker Angel. Thanks, Angel!
- May 21: Updated the Appalachian Trail guidance at the bottom of the Closure list from “totally closed” to “perhaps not quite as closed anymore” based on new guidance from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
- May 21: Closure list updated with the reopening of the trails at FDR’s estate in Hyde Park. (Thanks to Hudson Valley Exposed for the heads-up!)
- May 20: Closure list updated with the reopening of the trails and parking lots at Vanderbilt Mansion. (Hearty thanks to Cynthia for the Facebook message alerting me to the change!)
- May 20: Closure list updated with the re-opening of the Mohonk Preserve! Nice to see this list get headed in the other direction for a change. (See the Mohonk Preserve entry above for more details.)
- May 17: The Closure list was getting a little unwieldy, so I alphabetized and standardized the list as much as I could. Hope that helps you track down the hikes you’re looking for! You can keep checking this Change Log for new closures as they are added (and hopefully things will quiet down on that front).
- May 17: Removed the old reference to New Jersey State Parks being closed (and then re-opening). Trying to keep it tidy around here, and that old reference was no longer sparking joy.
- May 16: Indian Ladder Trail in Thacher State Park added to Closure list. (Thanks, Nadia!)
- May 16: Bear Hill Preserve added to Closure list. (Thanks for the heads-up, Nicole!)
- May 14: Locust Grove added to Closure list. (Thanks for the helpful comment, Jo!)
- May 14: Added Mohonk Mountain House to closure list (that’s not a new closure, but Emily’s comment made me realize that I should have listed Mohonk Mountain House separately from the Mohonk Preserve). Thanks, Emily!
- May 9: Added footpaths at Sam’s Point to Closure list.
- May 9: Moved Dunnfield Creek (Mt. Tammany) parking lot closure from the Closure list to the Parking restrictions list, based on RB’s helpful comment below.
- May 8: Bash Bish Falls is (are?) closed.
- May 8: The most popular approach to Schunemunk Mountain is now closed.
- May 7: Updated the Closure list with the closure of the Dunnfield Creek parking area (for Mt. Tammany) in the Delaware Water Gap.
- May 1: Updated the Closure list to reflect the reopening of New Jersey State Parks starting at dawn at May 2.