Columbia County

Hiking Trails | Places To Hike

 All Ancram Listings

 Ancram Hiking Trails | Places To Hike

Lake Taghkanic State Park

  Lake Taghkanic State Park, 1,568-acres in size, is located off the Taconic State Parkway, one mile south of the Hudson - Ancram Exit (Route 82).

"Lake Taghkanic State Park encompasses 1,568 acres of pristine wilderness in New York State’s Hudson Valley Region. Here you will find many species of flora and fauna that are indigenous to this climate. Elevations within the park range from 500 feet to 930 feet at some of the higher northern ridges. Appalachian oak, hickory, maple, cedar, and hemlock are commonly found throughout the park with spruce and white birch found on the northern slopes. Mammals found in the park include deer, coyotes, beaver, rabbits, squirrels, and raccoons.  website and more . . .
 All Columbia County Listings

 Columbia County Hiking Trails | Places To Hike

Harlem Valley Rail Trail - Columbia and Dutchess

  The Dutchess and Columbia County Trail is located from the southern trail head at the Wassaic Metro North Station, through the easten side of Dutchess County the trail heads north into Columbia County.

Harlem Valley Rail Trail
"The Harlem Valley Rail Trail, two sections totaling 15 paved miles through stunning rural Dutchess and Columbia County landscapes. Since the mid-1980's, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association has dreamed of a 46-mile rail trail in the Harlem Valley and Taconic Hills of eastern New York. The first segment of the trail opened in 1996.

"Since then, the trail has grown in 1997, 2000, and 2005. Another 13 miles of abandoned rail bed are in different development stages, and most of another 18 miles have been acquired to take the Trail north into the Village of Chatham.  website and more . . .

Hudson Highlands

  Click to enlarge photo of the Hudson Highlands.

Click to enlarge photo of the Hudson Highlands The sign reads:
"For much of its 315-mile course, the Hudson River flows straight and broad. But at the Highlands, the Appalachian mountain chain intersects the river to create a fifteen mile stretch of rugged, mountainous landscape. This area contains the river's narrowest and deepest points, as well as its fastest currents. The Hudson River is an estuary, a mixture of salt and freshwater, and the saltwater line extends just north of Beacon. The River is tidal all the way up to the Troy Dam above Albany."  website and more . . .
 All Copake Falls Listings

 Copake Falls Hiking Trails | Places To Hike

Taconic State Park - Copake Falls Area

  Taconic State Park - Copake Falls Area is located on Route 344, Copake Falls, NY 12517 in Columbia County and Dutchess County. "The park is located along 16 miles of the Taconic Mountain Range, sharing a border with Massachusetts and Connecticut. Two developed areas, Copake Falls and Rudd Pond, offer an extensive trail system with terrain that varies from easy to challenging, offering spectacular views.  website and more . . .
 All Hudson Listings

 Hudson Hiking Trails | Places To Hike

Harrier Hill Park "Scenic Hudson Valley"

  Harrier Hill Park
City of Hudson, Columbia County
Hudson River Valley, New York State

This beautiful grassland offers splendid long-distance views of the Catskills and the Hudson River. These protected acres in Columbia County include meadows, wooded bluffs and a hay farm, all near the Stockport Flats Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Harrier Hill Park is maintained in cooperation with the Columbia Land Conservancy.  website and more . . .

Olana "State Historic Site"

  Olana State Historic Site, overlooking the Hudson River, is located at 5720 Route 9-G, Hudson, NY 12534 in Columbia County in the Hudson River Valley.

"Frederic Church is well-known as a painter, but he was also a world traveller, a family man, and a self-taught architect, farmer and landscape designer. He and his wife Isabel were pious, wellread, and funloving. They raised four children at their estate overlooking the Hudson. Though Frederic and Isabel Church moved among New York City’s cultural tastemakers, Olana was their primary home."  website and more . . .

 More Hudson Valley  Hiking Trails | Places To Hike

Albany County
      [8 listings over 7 locations]
Dutchess County
      [23 listings over 14 locations]
Greene County
      [6 listings over 4 locations]
Orange County
      [28 listings over 13 locations]
Putnam County
      [19 listings over 6 locations]
Rensselaer County
      [6 listings over 5 locations]
Rockland County
      [43 listings over 15 locations]
Ulster County
      [14 listings over 7 locations]
Westchester County
      [79 listings over 33 locations]

Places to Hike | Hiking Trails
Columbia County
Hudson River Valley

Visit this list of the best places to hike in Columbia County, New York. Hiking trails are listed by town within Dutchess County in the mid-Hudson Valley. Find hiking trails throughout Columbia and experience hiking in Columbia for the beginning, intermediate, and experienced hiker.

Pack plenty of water, snacks, and your hiking gear, and select a great place to hike at Columbia Hiking Trails where you can experience the thrill of a challenging hike; or for beginners, the satisfying feeling of spending a day outdoors surrounded by nature.

Although hiking and walking may appear to be the same activity; hiking usually refers to the experience of walking on trails and paths away from the noise and pollution of an urban area. Hiking trails are often surrounded by clean air, trees, the sounds of birds and the wonderful breadth of nature. In contrast, you can walk just about anywhere, including busy streets in a nearby city such as Kingston, New York. The beginning, intermediate, and experienced hiker can find places to hike that are suitable for their level of expertise.

Hiking with Kids
Hiking is ranked among the best activities for kids. Most kids will enjoy a hike. When you're in the planning phase of deciding where you and your child will hike, let the child's ability guide you. Some kids are more active and have more energy than other children. Let the age of the child and each individual child's ability to walk distances be your guide.

The benefits of hiking with kids are many. Hiking allows you to share an experience or adventure with your child where you can discover nature and a healthy outdoor environment. Learn about birds, small animals, wild flowers, trees, and more about the natural world around us. You can work together with your child to map out and determine the hiking route that best suits you and your child's ability. In addition to the many benefits listed above, is the fact that hiking is good for your mental and physical health, and hiking is often free. A hike is within reach of most people that are reasonably healthy, regardless of financial circumstances.

Involve your child in the planning stages of a hike. Select a trail together, and then create a simple map that your child can read while on the trail. You can also teach the child how to read trail markers. If your child is not initially interested in hiking, you may want to reward your child at the end of a hike for helping to find the hiking markers and the way forward or back to home base. This added incentive may encourage your child toward becoming a hiker.

During the preparation phase of the hike, give children a list of hiking essentials and let them pack their own backpack. The backpack should include gear similar to your own such as a whistle, rainwear, compass, and first-aid kit. In addition to involving the children in "the adventure of hiking" they will feel grownup and responsible as you work together to make the hike a success.

Before embarking on your hiking adventure assemble adequate supplies including plenty of water, healthy snacks that your child enjoys, and a map that your child can read. Involve them in decisions of where to hike as you would involve another adult. Here are some suggestions toward building a successful hiking experience with kids:

  • Invite your child's friend so they can share the adventure together; as we all know, "Grownups can get boring."

  • Find a trail that includes an activity the kids enjoy at the end of the hike. For example:
  • Pack protein snacks that are good for the kids and that they enjoy eating.

  • In cool weather, pack warm dry clothes and backup clothing.

  • The most important thing to remember is that hiking should be fun. Don't stress if you cannot complete your hike, or if it starts to rain, or if it's too hot. Just enjoy the day together. These memories will last a lifetime for both you and your children.

    The mid-Hudson Valley offers hiking for all levels of hikers at Hiking in Columbia County. Whether a beginner, intermediate, or advanced hiker, you will find many hiking paths and trails for all hiking levels.
    Hiking trails can vary in difficulty and in the time it takes to hike a trail. Hikes can take you across flat fields requiring less stamina or on hiking paths along mountain ranges, requiring that the hiker is in excellent health and has good stamina and endurance.

    A hike can take only an hour or take several months involving camping equipment and gear. Although hiking paths vary in difficulty, it is believed by most that hiking is good for your physical and mental health as well as your spirit. Many hiking paths are located in large parks or forest preserves such as Lake Taghkanic State Park offering many challenging hikes. Regardless of your skill level, all hikers can benefit from a natural environment that allows you to breath-in fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature, the singing of birds, and the sounds of small animals running about.

    Photographers, be sure to bring your camera as hiking trails often run through scenic landscapes offering great photo opportunities. Before starting your first hike, review essentials for hiking.

    Essentials for Hiking Safety

    Tips for Safe Hiking.

    Top of Page