You’ll love our list of the best summer hikes in the Northeast.
If you love some good mountain scenery, fresh air, and adventure weekends, you’ll love our list of the best summer hikes in the Northeast to try this summer. They’re marked to mention skill and age level, so you know at least one will strike your hike fancy. They’re arranged in no particular order, so don’t think we’re playing favorites.
Kaaterskill Falls, New York
If you’re anywhere near the Catskills region of New York, you need to plan a weekend exploring Kaaterskill Falls. You can access the hike from several different areas, including a roadside parking area that’s already about halfway up the mountain.
If you’re feeling more adventurous and open to slightly more rugged terrain, go hog wild and park in the mountaintop parking lot — it’s a gorgeous tree-surrounded patch that’s usually less than half-full, and leads hikers to directly to a mostly-worn path to the upper and lower pools that outline the bottoms of the falls. It’s a medium-level hike intensity, with good hiking shoes or sneakers required, and a great deal of patience.
Took the 3 biggest kids (and yossef, so maybe that’s 4?) for a several mile vertical hike up to the top of #KaaterskillFalls, and then back down to “discover” each level. Completely gorgeous, and worth all the sweat ? if you’re into several hours of mountain cardio and in the #Catskills! ? @iloveny #weekendsplease
You’ll want to devote at least 2 hours to this hike, and throw in an extra 45 minutes or so for the time you’ll spend at the falls. Part of the hike includes literally hundreds of steep mountains stairs, so be prepared for that and bring lots of water — you’ll be thirsty. What makes this one of the best summer hikes in the Northeast for us is simply the views. Kaaterskill Falls are amongst the biggest in the Eastern USA, and a truly beautiful site for photography, meditation, and even a good Instagram shoot.
Stowe Pinnacle Trail, Vermont
If you’re a big fan of New England, you’ll love hiking the Stowe Pinnacle Trail in Vermont’s posh northern hamlet of Stowe. This is one of the best summer hikes because if you head there during the second half of August, you’ll probably even catch a glimpse of the beginning of leaf-peeping season, a true delight in New England through September and much of October. Wear your hiking boots, because the trails are rugged, but not terribly hard for novices. If you head all the way up, you can enjoy views of Lake Champlain, too.
If you’re not a local, be sure to check out the Ben & Jerry’s headquarters just a few miles away (great for refueling after a good hike) and check into Stowe Mountain Lodge for top notch accommodations, food, and spa treatments.
Mount Snow Trail, Vermont
Yes, another Vermont mountain made out list of the best summer hikes — which is probably a sign you should get out the state more famous for top notch cheddar cheese and greenery.
The Mount Snow trail is just over two miles to the summit, a moderate intensity hike (wear good hiking shoes, pack water, don’t expect to hobble up in crutches), and a slightly easier alternative to the Link to Highline hike which accomplishes the same 1,700′ elevation in a mile and a half (yikes!).
There’s a popular beer and food joint, The Bullwheel, at the summit of the hike, which is exciting because you’ll need to relax and refuel. You’ll be able to enjoy sight lines of four American states from the top — Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and obviously Vermont, and we think that’s pretty cool.
Buttermilk Falls, New Jersey
Are you surprised to see a New Jersey hike on this list? Don’t be — Jersey actually has loads of great summer hikes, and they’re easy drives for residents of New York City, too. Buttermilk Falls are the highest in the state new New Jersey (smaller than Kaaterskill, but no less breathtaking).
It’s a steep climb from the falls to the Appalachian Trail and then to Crater Lake, and then Hemlock Pond. You’re going to need proper gear for this one, and leave the kids at home — it’s seven and a half fairly strenuous miles.
Overlook Mountain, New York
Overlook Mountain is Woodstock, New York’s hidden pride and joy. Loads of tourists head to the town each summer for fairs, live music, theater, crafts, and a bright art scene — but only a select few know the goodness of hiking local Overlook Mountain. The entire area is one of our favorite romantic getaways you don’t need a plane for.
According to Nicole Ortiz, a local hiking enthusiast, this hike requires a good degree of skill and is best suited for intermediate to advanced hikers. “It’s a pretty steep incline all the way to the top. At the top, there’s a fire tower that you can also climb, which gives amazing views, and there were two volunteer rangers who have waters and snacks.”
Ortiz suggests being wary though — those same helpful rangers often help hikers steer clear of local rattlesnakes.
OK Slip Falls in the Adirondacks, New York
If you’re not already familiar with Adirondacks-area hiking, now’s the time. The region is known for all things outdoors, and the OK Slip Falls hike is no exception to it’s-all-amazing rule. It’s a newly designed trail that brings hikers to one of the highest falls in the Adirondacks, features loads of trees, flowers, and fungi, as well as wetlands with you guessed it — moose tracks.
Yup, real moose are known to the area, and we’re hoping you spot one along the 3.2 miles hike each way. Roundtrip this hike is 6.4 miles long, so pack lots of water, some snacks, great hiking shoes that are water-resistant (there are some marshes along the way), and expect to spend the whole day.
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