• Hiking in the US offers stunning natural views, including mountains, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, volcanoes, and geysers.
  • New York's Adirondack Mountains provide both seclusion and discovery on well-traveled hiking paths.
  • Hudson Highlands State Park in New York is a top-rated park with diverse ecosystems, challenging hikes like Breakneck Ridge, and beautiful views of the Hudson River.

In the US, there are dozens of stunning locations for hiking and climbing. If people enjoy both traveling and hiking, the U.S. is a fantastic hiking playground (even in places that require permits). Amazing natural beauties, including stunning mountains, clean lakes, glittering waterfalls, undiscovered beaches, active volcanoes, and exploding geysers, may be seen on these walks. New York is no less enchanting.

Related: These Are Considered The Most Beautiful Hikes In The U.S.

People will be in awe of the splendor when hiking New York trails, whether they want to hike the best state parks or take a day excursion to a peak. Mountains have the ability to mesmerize and thrill and inspire a love of nature and a yearning for the adventure of the vast wilderness. Adventure beckons from well-traveled hiking paths in the Adirondack Mountains in northern Upstate New York, which provide both seclusion and discovery at every turn.

In the Northeastern United States, more than 2,000 miles (3218.6 km) of the most beautiful trails snake through forests, skip over waterfalls, and ascend to heights with unobstructed 360-degree panoramas. If magic exists, the mountains are where its enchantment begins. According to AllTrails, this state park is the top choice for hikers in New York.

Hudson Highlands Is The Top-Rated Park In New York State (By Hikers)

A scenic view of the Hudson Highlands at sunset from Breakneck Ridge
A scenic view of the Hudson Highlands at sunset from Breakneck Ridge

One of the most popular state parks in New York is Hudson Highlands State Park. Hudson Highlands State Park is a more than 8,000-acre (32.3 km²), primarily undeveloped park with more than 70 miles (112.6 km) of trails that stretch from Annsville Creek in Peekskill to Dennings Point in Beacon.

A home for several plants and animals, the Park Preserve is located approximately 60 miles (96.5 km) north of New York City. It preserves a mosaic of unique ecosystems, ranging from the Hudson River estuary beach, through young deciduous woodland, to the rocky slopes and summits rising over the surrounding area.

Hiking, boating, fishing, and birding are just a few of the outdoor pursuits that may be done here, all against the breathtaking backgrounds of the Hudson Highlands and Hudson River.

Hudson River seen from Hudson Highlands State Park
Hudson River seen from Hudson Highlands State Park

The vast network of hiking trails in this state park in New York features topography that ranges from easy to hard. The park’s top trail is Breakneck Ridge hike, which is situated on the same-named mountain and is actually reachable through public transportation from New York City.

Rock climbing when hiking at Breakneck Ridge, Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve

The biodiversity of the Hudson Highlands is impressive. The biomes range from wetlands, pitch pine-oak-heath rocky peak forests, brackish tidal marshes, and mudflats. The region is a very popular place for birdwatching.

  • Entrance fee: Free of charge

Related: Escape The Crowds: A Guide To The 10 Best Backpacking Trails In New York

Hike The Best And Scenic Hudson Highlands Hiking Trails

Breakneck Ridge is the most congested, challenging, and well-traveled hiking path in the entire Hudson Highlands State Park and the main reason this is the top-rated park in New York State.

Although the hike is strenuous and taxing, there are many benefits to doing it, such as enjoying the stunning views, pushing oneself, and getting fantastic exercise.

Right off of road 9D, there lies the trailhead for Breakneck Ridge. Beacon Tower, one of the coolest Fire Towers in New York, is located a few miles from the parking lot if hikers can make it to the conclusion of the Breakneck Ridge trek (white route).

Hudson Highlands State Park, Cold Spring
Photo 235309944 © James Andrews |
Scenic Trail in Hudson Highlands State Park, Cold Spring, New York, USA

Bull Hill is another one of the best hiking trails in New York and in the Hudson Highlands State Park, and Breakneck Ridge is located just next to it. Hikers may also attempt linking paths between these two excursions.

The Bull Hill trailhead is very simple to locate from Road 9D; it is about a mile (1.6 km) south of the Breakneck Ridge trailhead. It is officially known as the Bull Hill Short Loop Trail and is immediately adjacent to Breakneck Ridge. Although it is not as challenging and gorgeous as Breakneck Ridge for some hikers, it can be more enjoyable to explore.

The short version of this path is nearly 3 miles (4.8 km) long. Hikers will pass across breathtaking sites like Breakneck Ridge and at the summit of the mountain, there are stunning views over the Hudson Valley and the islands and a fantastic ruins section.

  • Opening hours: From sunrise to sunset

Best Time To Visit The Top-Rated Park In New York State

Ruins of the Old Cornish Estate at Hudson Highlands State Park
Ruins of the Old Cornish Estate at Hudson Highlands State Park

The large preserve offers fantastic hiking, fishing, boating, and birding opportunities. The Hudson Highlands State Park is wonderful all year long, but mid- to late October is the prime leaf-viewing season if hikers would like to see fall foliage in New York.

No matter the season hikers choose to walk the state park’s trails, they should make sure they are wearing appropriate footwear. Breakneck Ridge is one of the hardest walks in the Hudson Valley and involves a lot of rock climbing. However, there are many, many less strenuous hiking options in the park than Breakneck Ridge.

Depending on where the trailhead is located, there may not always be a parking lot because it is big and encompasses a range of mountains, including Sugarloaf and Breakneck Ridge.