It may be easy to cozy up next to a warm fire with hot chocolate all winter long but if you’re willing to bundle up and brace the cold, there’s plenty of adventures you can take this time of year. From easier paths that will keep you low to the ground to some of our state’s tallest mountains that will give you unforgettable views, these 10 picturesque trails in New York are perfect for winter hiking.
1. Cascade Mountain - Essex County
A favorite one of our High Peaks for adventurers to hike all year, Cascade Mountain comes in at just under 5-miles long round trip. The trail's length and unbelievable panoramic views make it popular even during our chilly months, taking anywhere from two to three hours to reach the summit.
2. Gorge Trail - Taughannock Falls State Park
We all love to walk the Gorge Trail at Taughannock Falls State Park during the summer, making our way through the refreshing water. But if you've never explored this trail when it's completely covered in snow, then you've been missing out! The trail is just under one-mile long and leads you right to our beautiful 215-foot tall Taughannock Falls.
3. Green Lakes State Park - Fayetteville
Featuring two unique glacial lakes that will steal your breath away, this state park features several different trails. One of the most popular trails to explore will take you around both Round and Green Lakes, with pathways that follow along the shore and give you wonderful views of the frozen over water. If you've only ever visited this park during the summer, you'll want to check out this year once it's covered in our beautiful snow!
4. Filmore Glen State Park - Moravia
Open all year long, visitors can come and explore this amazing state park during the winter to see some of New York's beautiful waterfalls frozen over. Featuring several trails that are all either roughly one-mile long or just under two-miles long, you'll get to find five gorgeous waterfalls within the park.
5. Prospect Mountain - Warren County
The road up to Prospect Mountain may be closed for the year, but those who are willing to reach the top by foot can still hike their way up this Adirondack summit. Coming in at just under 3-miles long, the trail is one that's considered to be moderate and may be trickier for some of our explorers during the icy winter months. Well worth the effort, you'll fall in love with the view you'll have of Lake George and our surrounding mountains.
6. Hadley Mountain - Saratoga County
Lea Monroe/Only In Your State
It's always exciting to hike a mountain that has a fire tower at its summit, allowing you to achieve even greater views from the top! The highest point in Saratoga County, Hadley Mountain is a 2.6-mile round trip hike. The fire tower's cab may not be open during the winter but you still can climb up to the top of the stairs for panoramic views.
7. Belfry Mountain - Essex County
A quick hike with rewarding views, this trail comes in under one-mile long round trip! Another mountain that features one of our fire towers, you'll be able to see New York's High Peaks along with Vermont's Green Mountains from the top! You'll have a difficult time finding another easy hike like this that in the area has such a stunning view.
8. Walkway Over The Hudson - Poughkeepsie
That's right! Some of our residents may be surprised to hear that the Walkway Over The Hudson is actually open all year long. The walkway is cleared of snow throughout the winter and only closes during severe winter weather that wouldn't make this such a safe adventure for visitors. This historic walkway is over one-mile long and allows you to see the winter wonderland that is created on the Hudson River during our coldest months.
9. Hurricane Mountain - Essex County
Roughly 5-miles long round trip, Hurricane Mountain is yet another one of our summit's that has a fire tower. The gorgeous bald summit has views that would lead you to believe it is one of our High Peaks, yet the mountain only reaches an elevation of 3,678 feet. If you've yet to cross this one off of your bucket list, then make sure you explore the trail this winter.
10. Kaaterskill Falls - Greene County
One of the best parts about visiting Kaaterskill Falls is that you have several different ways to view the 260-foot waterfall. From the bottom, you can park just off of Route 23A and enjoy a half-mile hike to the base of the falls. During the winter if you're brave enough and conditions aren't too icy you can make your way to the top of the stairs and follow the trail further up the mountain that will eventually lead you to the viewing platform at the top.
If you have zero interest in straining yourself that much, you can also make things easy by parking at the end of Laurel House Road in the town of Hunter. A quick walk from the parking lot that requires little to no effort on your part will lead you right to the viewing platform, giving you a spectacular view from the top of the falls and down into the valley.