When it comes to outdoor adventure, New York City may not be the first destination that comes to mind. However, just a few hours’ drive from the bustling metropolis lie some of the most scenic and breathtaking mountain ranges on the East Coast. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or simply seeking to escape the city’s hustle and bustle, the mountains surrounding New York City offer a range of activities and stunning views that are sure to leave you in awe.
From the ancient peaks of the Adirondack Mountains to the rolling hills of the Catskills, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the region’s most iconic and memorable landscapes.
1. Adirondack Mountains
The Adirondack Mountains, located in upstate New York, offer a picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City. With over six million acres of protected land, the Adirondacks provide a vast array of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing. Visitors can explore the region’s stunning natural beauty, including 46 high peaks and hundreds of pristine lakes and streams.
The Adirondack Park is also home to diverse wildlife, including black bears, moose, and bald eagles. This mountainous region is an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors, just a few hours away from New York City.
2. Catskill Mountains
The Catskill Mountains, located just a few hours from New York City, offer a breathtaking escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its rolling hills, pristine streams, and towering peaks, this region is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and relaxation. The Catskills are home to numerous hiking trails, including the challenging Devil’s Path and the family-friendly Kaaterskill Falls.
Visitors can also explore charming towns such as Woodstock or take a leisurely drive along the Catskill Scenic Byway. The region is also home to several ski resorts, making it a popular winter destination.
Sugarloaf Mountain in the Hudson Valley region is one of the best mountains to visit close to New York City. With a summit elevation of 1,282 feet, Sugarloaf offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape including the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. The mountain is a popular destination for hiking, rock climbing, and bouldering, and features a variety of trails for all skill levels.
Those visiting Sugarloaf can also enjoy picnicking, camping, and fishing at the nearby Mohonk Preserve. Sugarloaf Mountain is easily accessible by car and is located just 90 miles from New York City, making it a perfect day trip or weekend getaway for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Schunnemunk Mountain
Schunnemunk Mountain, located just an hour’s drive from New York City, is one of the best mountain destinations for adventurers seeking a challenging hike with stunning panoramic views. Rising over 1,700 feet, Schunnemunk Mountain offers a range of trails to suit all skill levels, from easy strolls to steep scrambles. Hikers can explore a diverse landscape, including lush forests, rocky ridges, and wildflower meadows. Along the way, visitors can spot a variety of wildlife, including black bears, bobcats, and deer.
5. Wittenberg Mountain
Located in the Catskill Mountains, just two hours from Manhattan, Wittenberg Mountain offers breathtaking views and a challenging hike for experienced hikers. The summit stands at an elevation of 3,780 feet, making it the second highest peak in the Catskills. The trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, with several viewpoints along the way.
The hike to the summit is approximately 8.5 miles round trip and is considered a difficult hike and rocky terrain. What is rewarding though are the stunning views from the summit, which include the Shawangunk Ridge and the Hudson Valley, make the effort worthwhile.
6. Table Mountain
Standing at 3,840 feet tall, this mountain offers spectacular views of the Hudson Valley and the surrounding area. Hiking trails vary in difficulty, making it a great destination for both novice and advanced hikers. The mountain is also home to a fire tower, giving visitors the opportunity to climb to the top and take in even more breathtaking views.
In the winter months, Table Mountain is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding. With its close proximity to New York City, Table Mountain is a must-visit for any outdoor enthusiast.
7. Mount Jo
Mount Jo, located in the heart of the Adirondacks, is one of the best mountains to visit close to New York City. This mountain is a popular destination for hikers due to its stunning views of the surrounding landscape and its manageable 2.6-mile round trip hike. While the ascent to the peak can be challenging, the breathtaking views of Heart Lake and the surrounding mountains make it all worthwhile. Mount Jo is also accessible year-round, offering visitors a variety of activities to enjoy depending on the season, including skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.
8. Crane Mountain
Crane Mountain is a popular hiking destination located close to New York City, offering breathtaking views and challenging trails. With an elevation of 3,254 feet, the mountain boasts steep cliffs, rock scrambles, and dense forests, making it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts and experienced hikers. Visitors can expect to witness stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Adirondacks and the Hudson River Valley from the peak. The hike to the summit takes approximately four hours, and visitors are advised to wear sturdy footwear and pack plenty of water and snacks.
9. Breakneck Ridge
Less than two hours away from Manhattan, Breakneck Ridge is a notable mountain range situated near New York City, offering the perfect escape for nature lovers. Its rugged terrain offers a thrilling hiking experience, with steep slopes and rocky terrains, making it ideal for experienced hikers. The trail is well-marked, and the panoramic views of the Hudson River are breathtaking.
Visitors can also explore the ruins of old estates and admire the unique flora and fauna of the region. It is recommended to plan a trip during the fall when the foliage is at its peak, creating a mesmerizing view.
10. Mount Egbert
With an elevation of 3,535 feet, Mount Egbert offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. The hike to the top is a moderate 4.8-mile round trip, making it a perfect day trip for those looking for a challenging but manageable adventure. Along the way, hikers will encounter beautiful waterfalls and streams, while the summit offers unparalleled views of the Hudson River and beyond.
The summit provides visitors with a stunning view of the Hudson River Valley, the Shawangunk Mountains, and the Catskills themselves.