The Hudson Highlands

Easy accessibility from New York City and New Jersey and famously panoramic views have made the Hudson Highlands a key destination for day hikers from lower New York and upper New Jersey.

Hudson Highlands summits are often broad, exposed rocky outcroppings. Many offer sweeping, dramatic and highly-photogenic views.

view south down the Hudson
Quarry face & Bull Hil

The Hudson Highlands are very popular. In the summer and fall, every trailhead and parking area is beyond packed. Especially on weekends and holidays, you’ll need to arrive early-early to ensure a parking spot.

Geologically, the Hudson Highlands rock bed dates from the Precambrian. These rocks were formed in the very earliest days of the Earth’s history. More recently, these beautiful highlands were ground out by successive mile-thick ice-sheets.

The Hudson Highlands are extremely biodiverse. Biomes range from brackish tidal marsh and mudflats to pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summit forests, swamps, and rocky grasslands. The area is also extremely popular for birding.

The Hudson Highlands

Hudson Highlands East

view of breakneck ridge
Breakneck Ridge seen from Storm King Mountain

Hudson Highlands West

storm king and boat
Nice pic of a boat
  • Bear Mountain
  • Popolopen Torne
  • West Mountain
  • Doodletown
  • Schunemunk
  • Harriman State Park

Navigating the Hudson Highlands

To navigate these mountains, I use the fantastic NYNJTC map set for the area which includes dedicated maps of the East Hudson Highlands, West Hudson Highlands, and Harriman/Bear Mountain trails. These are the definitive trail maps of the area.

They’re also available for download as digital maps. See how to use them in Avenza app in 12 Best Hiking Apps.

Leave No Trace

Please remember to hike thoughtfully: Leave No Trace.

  1. Stay on marked trails. Do your part to protect the surrounding ecosystem.
  2. Wear proper hiking gear (such as hiking boots or sturdy shoes).
  3. Bring water with you, carry a trail map and make sure to leave enough time to complete your hike. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
  4. Please note that overnight camping and use of fire are prohibited throughout the park.

Hike Safety

Some quick notes on safety…

  1. Unlike the trail blazes in the Catskills and Adirondacks, Hudson Highlands blazes are non-reflective. If you don’t have a headlamp in your pack, make sure you’re off these hills long before dark.
  2. In the warmer months, keep an eye out for rattlesnakes.
  3. Always pack The 10 Essentials.


In case of an emergency, NYS Park Police can be reached at (845) 889-8866.

Scenic Hudson & the Birth of the Environmental Movement

Founded by local citizens and hikers in 1963 — to stop an industrial project that would have turned Storm King Mountain into a ConEd hydroelectric plant — Scenic Hudson is widely credited with launching the modern grassroots environmental movement. Today, with more than 25,000 supporters, Scenic Hudson is the largest environmental group in the region. Check out their list of 45 amazing parks dotted up and down the Hudson Valley.

Hardest Hudson Highlands Peaks (1)

Breakneck Ridge 1260’

 Hudson Highlands

 Fully Trailed


Rugged and beloved, this is the toughest hiking mountain in the Hudson Highlands.

No. of Entries: 1

Difficult Hudson Highlands Peaks (1)

Schunemunk 1664’

 Hudson Highlands

 Fully Trailed


A rugged, beloved peak with excellent views from two incredible ridges.

No. of Entries: 1

Moderate Hudson Highlands Peaks (1)

Storm King Mountain 1348’

 Hudson Highlands

 Fully Trailed


Beloved mountain with some of the best scenic views in the Hudson Valley.

No. of Entries: 1

Don’t miss the best newsletter for mountain hiking in the northeast!