With thousands of acres of forever wild land, Ulster County is a primary destination for hikers seeking to bathe in the beauty of the pristine vistas of an untouched landscape. From easy walks to a difficult trek, there are more than 350 miles of trails within the Catskill Park, the majority of which are located within Ulster County. At 4,200’ elevation, Slide Mountain is the highest in the Catskills. But you don’t have to take a major hike to enjoy the wilderness. You can meander along a stream or slowly make you way up to a fire tower and view the world much as it was hundreds of years ago.
The hikes listed here are but a sampling of trails that you and your family can do while visiting Ulster County.
Sam's Point Preserve
400 Sam's Point Road, Cragsmoor, NY 12420
A 5,000-acre preserve located in the northern Shawangunk Mountains. The preserve contains one of the best examples of a ridge top dwarf pine barrens in the world. Trails lead to Sam's Point, Verkeerderkill Falls, the Ice Caves, High Point and Indian Rock. Preserve and conservation center open year round. The Ice Caves are open seasonally.
Aroma Thyme Bistro
165 Canal St., Ellenville, NY
89 Center St., Ellenville, NY
Ellenville Public Library & Museum
40 Center St., Ellenville, NY 12428
Deyo/Terwilliger House Museum displays local history artifacts. Summer lecture series. Monday-Saturday (call for hours). Museum hours: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, noon-3PM. Year round.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Route 44/55, New Paltz, NY 12561
Located in the dramatic Shawangunk Mountains and listed as 'best park' by Hudson Valley Magazine. The park is open for hiking, swimming, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, rock climbing. Open daily 9:00AM. User fees and closing hours posted at the park entrance. Year round.
Mohonk Preserve Visitors Center
3197 Route 44/55, Gardiner, NY 12525
Hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding paths. Bouldering and rock climbing cliffs. Lands open daily: day fee for non-members. Free admission to the Visitor Center. (See web site or call for hours of operation).
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
New Paltz, NY 12561
12.2-mile path for walking and bicycling from New Paltz going south to Gardiner and north to Rosendale. Trail access is off Plains Road; Main; Water; and Huguenot Streets in New Paltz. The trail passes through scenic countryside, historic Huguenot Street and downtown New Paltz. Restaurants, bike shops and other attractions just off trail in each town.
3 Main St., New Paltz, NY 12561-1742
10 Main St. (Water Street Market), New Paltz 12561
5 Main St., New Paltz, NY 12561-1742
Mountain Brauhaus Restaurant
3123 Route 44/55, Gardiner, NY 12525-5018
2808 Rt. 44/55, New Paltz, NY 12561
Historic Huguenot Street: Where an American Story Unfolds
18 Broadhead Ave., New Paltz, NY 12561
845 255-1889, 845 255-1660
National Historic Landmark District includes seven original stone houses dating to 1705. Site also includes a visitor center, a colonial-era burial ground, reconstructed 1717 French church and museum shop. Grounds, group tours and special programs offered.
Water Street Market
10 Main St., New Paltz NY 12561
A hip and vibrant European-inspired community of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants surrounded by the beauty of the Shawnagunk wilderness and set on the banks of the Walkill River. Inside the market’s eclectic buildings, visitors discover everything from distinctive antiques to artisan chocolates, world-class photography to hand-crafted jewelry—almost all of it regionally-made and exclusive to the Water Street Market. Outside patios, decks, and a central courtyard invite lingering over a latté or simply sitting back to enjoy postcard views of the ridge and valley. There’s also a lovely sculpture garden featuring local masterpieces curated by Unison Arts
Town of Shawangunk Rail Trail
14 Central Ave., Wallkill, NY 12589
A 3+ mile section of rail and trail with views of the Bordan Estate and the Shawangunk Mountain Range. The rail trail provides easy access to both the Wallkill River and the Village of Wallkill. Handicapped accessible, but not paved.
26 Wallkill Ave., Wallkill, NY 12589
857 Plains Road, Wallkill, NY 12589
Walkway Over The Hudson
87 Haviland Road, Highland NY
A legacy project of the Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial, the park provides access to the Hudson River's breathtaking landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The bridge deck stands 212 feet above the river's surface and is 6,678 feet (1.28 miles) long, making it the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. The Walkway is wheelchair accessible and motorized scooters are allowed (for the handicapped only). 7AM-sunset. Download Walkway Over the Hudson map (PDF)
Franny Reese State Park
250 acres of ridgeline and steep, wooded slopes just south of the Mid-Hudson Bridge overlooking the Hudson River and the city of Poughkeepsie. A trail connects it to the Walkway Over the Hudson Historic State Park. Parking area for Johnson-Iorio Park is located at the end of Haviland Road in Highland. From parking area, descend stairs and cross under Mid-Hudson Bridge. Trailhead is on the right. Or From west side of Mid-Hudson Bridge, take Route 9W south for .8 mile, then turn left on Macks Lane. Park entrance is .3 mile on the left. Dawn till dusk.
Hudson Valley Rail Trail
Hudson Valley Rail Trail Depot
Old New Paltz Road, Highland, NY 12528
4-mile nature trail extending from Walk Way Over The Hudson in Highland to Route 299. Walking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding. 4- mile paved portion.
Download Hudson Valley Rail Trail map (PDF)
120 North Road, Highland, NY 12528-1026
Main Street Café
29 Main St., Highland NY
Coppola's La Fantasia Restaurant
3581 US Highway 9W, Highland, NY 12528-1730
The Shawangunk Wine Trail
156 Highland Ave., Marlboro, NY 12542
Many award-winning wineries along an 80-mile route hosting seasonal events in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Nestled between the Shawangunk Mountains and the majestic Hudson River, this trail is the perfect way to discover Hudson Valley Wine Country.
Gomez Mill Historic Site
11 Mill House Road, Marlboro, NY 12542
Visit 295 years of history! Circa 1714. April-October, Wednesday-Sunday. Tours at 10AM, 11:30AM, 1PM and 2:30PM. Events and Sunday programs. Admission fee.
255 River Road, Ulster Park, NY 12487
This 0.7 acre park sits directly on the Hudson River. It offers stunning views of the Esopus Lighthouse. Picnic tables, fishing, canoe and kayak accessible. Year round. Dawn-dusk.
Junction State Route 32 and Route 213, Rifton, NY 12471
Covered bridge built around 1844 by Benjamin Wood. The last surviving example of the “Burr arch truss” design in New York State. Spans the Wallkill River between the Town of Esopus and the Town of Rosendale.
Black Creek Forest Preserve
Route 9W at Winding Brook Acres Road, Esopus, NY 12429
130 acres with 2-mile wooded trail starting at dramatic suspension bridge across Black Creek leading to rocky Hudson River shoreline. Great for nature study. Year round. Dawn to dusk.
Esopus Meadows Point Preserve and Education Center
River Road, Esopus, NY 12429
This 100-acre preserve offers 2 miles of wooded trails across varied terrain with views of Esopus Meadows Lighthouse and historic Mills Mansion. Abundant opportunities for nature study. Preserve connects to Lighthouse Park & Scenic Hudson's Esopus Meadows Environmental Center.
John Burroughs Sanctuary
Floyd Ackert Road, Ulster Park, NY 12493
This sanctuary is on 192 acres with Greenway trails and spectacular pond. Year round. Guided tours by appointment.
Old Post Road, off Rt. 9W, Esopus, NY 12429
570 acres of mountain forest featuring Louisa Pond, a waterfall, 5.5 miles of trails and views of the Hudson River and Catskills. Year round. Dawn to dusk.
Hudson River Cruises
Rondout Landing, Kingston, NY 12401
800 843-7472, 845 340-4700, 845 340-4702
Sightseeing cruises aboard the M/V 300-passenger, "Rip Van Winkle." Historical narration. Full-service beverage and snack bar. Evening music and mystery dinner cruises. Charters available. May-October, Tuesday-Sunday.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing, Kingston, NY 12401
An historic destination for all ages located along Kingston's historic Rondout District and Waterfront, where visitors can "follow the river through time" -100, 200, 300 or even 400 years ago. Seasonal exhibitions and permanent collections. Seasonal exhibitions and permanent collections. Educational dockside playground and events courtyard. Museum Gift Shop.
Senate House State Historic Site
312 Fair St., Kingston, NY 12401
Guided tours of the furnished historic house. Museum featuring art, objects and documents of the 17th-19th centuries. Picnic in the park-like setting. Open April 15-October 31, Wednesday-Saturday, 10AM-5PM; Sunday, 1PM-5PM and by appointment. Site also open Memorial, Independence and Labor Day holidays. Tours for groups and school programs year round.
Hurley Rail Trail
An easy trail wrapped in the beautiful pastoral landscape of historic Ulster County. The 6-mile (one way) hiking/biking railtrail connects two quaint 17th century villages: Hurley and High Falls. The well-maintained, level path passes through a dense, deciduous woodland, paralleling tranquil farmland and crossing over rivers and streams. Parking is just off Rt. 209, about 1 mile south of Rt. 28 and at the intersection of Rt. 209 and Russell Rd.
D & H Canal Heritage Corridor
Ulster County, NY
845 331-2102, 845 647-5292
A developing 35-mile trail from Kingston to Ellenville, comprised of the Delaware & Hudson Canal tow paths and the Ontario & Western Railway. Guided walks, biking, equestrian, cross-country skiing and events throughout the year. Call for brochures, maps and schedule of events.
Hurley Mountain Inn
106 Old Route 209, Hurley, NY 12443
Hurley Heritage Society Museum
52 Main St., Hurley, NY 12443
2010 Exhibits: The Dutch culture in the Hudson Valley; Dutch Colonial cooking; and Hurley in the Revoluntionary War. Free brochures for walking the historical district (private homes dating from 1670s to late 1800s). Museum shop on premises. May-October.
High Falls Mercantile
113 Main St., High Falls
Everything needed to furnish a home, with a well-selected array of new and antique dinnerware, rugs, table linen, farm tables, upholstered furniture, beeswax candles, lamps, and one-of-a-kind accessories. There are always interesting and ever-changing collections that have included antique lusterware, vintage apothecary jars, classic garden ornaments, prints, metal ware, textiles.
D & H Canal Museum
23 Mohonk Road, High Falls, NY 12440
National Historic Site. Working lock model. Original canal locks #16-20 of the D&H Canal. May-October, Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-5PM. School and other group tours by appointment. Admission fee.
Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts Colony
Upper Byrdcliffe Road, Woodstock, NY 12498
The Byrdcliffe Colony, with 30 buildings on 300 acres, was founded in 1903 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its historical and architectural significance. Tours may be taken from sunrise to sunset; visitwww.woodstockguild.org/images/Byrdcliffe_Photos/WalkingTour.jpg for a self-guided map. Guided tours are available from May through October on Second Saturdays, 1AM to 4PM, and include White Pines, home of Byrdcliffe founder Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead. Parking is available opposite the Byrdcliffe Theater.
Overlook Mountain Fire Tower
Meads Mountain Road, Woodstock, NY 12498
Views of the Hudson Valley, Catskill Mountains, Ashokan Reservoir, Overlook Hotel ruins. Trail is 2 ½ miles long, with vertical rise beginning to end at 1,400 feet. Year round access. Firm hiking shoes recommended. Trail is rated moderately difficult. Open weekends and holidays, June-Columbus Day, 11AM-4PM. Parking at foot of the trail.
Kleinert/James Arts Center (of the Woodstock Guild)
34 Tinker St., Woodstock, NY 12498
A multi-purpose facility hosting musical and literary events and cutting edge art exhibitions. Friday-Sunday, noon-5PM. Closed January and February. Call for a schedule of community events and performances. Handicapped accessible.
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
35 Van Wagner Road, Willow, NY 12495
150+ rescued farm animals. A non-profit organization that takes in abandoned, abused and discarded farm animals while working to promote farm animal welfare. Educational tours and events. Weekends April-October, 11AM-4PM.
Route 28, Highmount, NY 12441
800 942-6904, 845 254-5600
Belleayre Mountain offers hiking in the Catskill Forest Preserve. Elevations range from 600 to 4,200 feet of varied terrain of northern hardwoods. Hike any ski trail, hike to the summit, to Pine Hill Lake or try the new Belleayre Mountain Interpretive Adventure Trail.
Catskill Forest Preserve
Ulster County, NY
State-owned and maintained land within the Catskill Park. Comprised of 300,000 acres of forests with meadows, lakes, springs, waterfalls, cliffs, fire towers and wildlife. Numerous hiking trails.
The Boiceville Inn
Woodnotes Grille at Emerson Resort & Spa
S.E.W. (Stucki Embroidery Works)
Route 28, Boiceville, NY 12412
See our 21-ton, 45-foot machines stitch up to 1,000 stars at a time for American flags. Lace and eyelet embroidery also manufactured and shown in gift shop. Year round 1AM - 5PM. Admission fee includes coupon for gift shop. Tours available by appointment. Handicapped accessible.
Emerson Country Store
5340 Route 28, Mt Tremper, NY 12457
Crafts, furnishings, jewelry, gift items and culinary delights housed in a restored 19th century barn. Open seven days a week.
5340 Route 28, Mt Tremper, NY 12457
Home to the World's Largest Kaleidoscope and one of the country's largest collections of kaleidoscopes, including many unique and one-of-a-kind scopes.