**Page last updated on May 25**
Right now, Hike the Hudson Valley features trail guides to 82 local hikes, including many 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, and is also updated with their only park closure (Mt. Beacon). 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!
- Anthony’s Nose is closed (including all of the most popular approaches and parking areas).
- Bash Bish Falls is closed (from both NY and MA approaches).
- Bear Hill Preserve is closed.
- Bear Mountain State Park: Roads within the park are closed, including Perkins Memorial Drive up to the tower. See the New York- New Jersey Trail Conference trail alert for all the details.
- Breakneck Ridge is closed.
- Bull Hill (Mt. Taurus) is closed.
- Constitution Marsh is closed, including Indian Brook Falls and all trails and facilities (associated Audubon properties are also closed, including Rheinstrom Hill Audubon Center, Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary, and Ramshorn-Livingston Audubon Sanctuary).
- Doubletop Mountain in the Catskills is closed for the foreseeable future.
Dover Stone Church is closed as of April 14.Dover Stone Church is open again! (They’ve also added new signage asking people to observe social distancing and CDC guidelines.)
- Fahnestock State Park: the Jordan Pond hike is closed due to tree work being performed along the Cabot Trail and Perkins Memorial Trail.
FDR’s estate in Hyde Park is closed (including all public buildings, park roads and parking lots).The trails at FDR are open again!
- Fishkill Ridge in Beacon is closed.
- 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 New York- New Jersey Trail Conference trail alert for all the details.
- Graham Mountain in the Catskills is closed for the foreseeable future.
- Indian Brook Falls (at Constitution Marsh) is closed.
- Indian Ladder Trail in Thacher State Park is closed (other trails there remain open).
- Kaaterskill Falls, the viewing platform, and connecting trails are closed.
- Little Stony Point is closed.
- Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie is closed (facilities, grounds, and trails).
- Mohonk Mountain House and its associated trails (including the Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze) are closed.
Mohonk Preserve is closed – all trailheads and trails.Mohonk Preserve is open again as of May 20! (For hiking and cycling only – no rock climbing yet – and the Coxing trailhead remains closed.)
- Monument Mountain in Massachusetts is closed.
- Mt. Beacon is closed (though all other Scenic Hudson parks are open).
- Notch Trail (Bull Hill) is closed.
- Sam’s Point in Minnewaska has closed its footpaths (like the skinny trail down to Verkeerderkill falls), though the wider carriage paths remain open.
- Schunemunk Mountain’s most popular approach (from the Taylor Road parking lot) is now closed (though the mountain and other approaches remain open).
Vanderbilt Mansion is closed (including all roads, facilities, and parking lots) as of April 11The trails and parking lots at Vanderbilt have reopened!
- Wilkinson Memorial Trail (near Breakneck) is closed.
Also of note:
- All NY state park playgrounds, facilities are closed.
- All NY state-operated campgrounds are closed to overnight visitation.
- Many fire towers, including all DEC fire towers, are closed to the public (though trails leading to them remain open), including:
- 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, and Great Swamp (and also Anthony’s Nose, which is still totally closed).
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.
- 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.