Even in a concrete jungle like New York City, nature is always an hour or two away. Exploring natural sights and scenaries was one of our main goal during our most recent trip to New York. We also wanted to take advantage of the fact that our visit coincided with the Autumn season.
We did an outdoor activity almost every weekend! The previous weekend we went to Hartford and did a quick hike there. This week, we decided to visit somewhere closer to the city with our friends.
One of them suggested the Storm King Mountain Loop trail which is just an hours drive away from the city. This post is a review of our experience hiking the trail.
Getting to the trailhead
There is a parking space right beside the trailhead. Driving is the most convenient way and the one we’ll recommend if you’re thinking of visiting the trail.
Try to reach the car park before 8:30 am if your trip is on a weekend. It gets really full after 9 am and there are no other nearby parking alternatives.
You can see an amazing panoramic view of the Hudson Valley right at the parking lot. It offers a sneak preview of the rest of the trail.
Along the trail
The trail is very well pathed. Barring any snow or ice, a basic running shoe will suffice. There weren’t many intense uphill stretches as well, with the gradients well spread out.
Markers are visibly placed along the way. You can always spot the next marker from where you are, ensuring that you’ll be on the right path and not go missing.
This hiking region has multiple coloured trails for hikers to choose from. We followed the blue/yellow trail for our hike.
I was tracking the fall foliage report constantly for the past couple of weeks to make sure that we will get to ensure peak fall on this trek. Unfortunately, according to the NY Fall Tracker, it was only 60% on the weekend we visited.
From the photos, we can see that a large part of the trees is still very green.
There are gentle gradients like this throughout most parts of the trail. The most strenuous part will have to be at the start where it’s a continuous uphill, but that only lasts about 15 minutes.
The trail ends perfectly where we started, at the car park. By the time we ended our hike, the parking space was full! We saw a few cars hanging around waiting for an empty lot.
Viewpoints along the way
There are plenty of viewpoints along this trail. The 2 main views you’ll be looking at will be the highway leading to West Point and the Hudson River.
During the first half of the hiking trail, we were primarily looking at Route 9W which leads to West Point.
Once you’re past the midpoint, you’ll start seeing the Hudson River. This is arguably where the more beautiful viewpoints are located at.
There were so many viewpoints along the way that we kept stopping to take photographs. When we visited in mid-October, it was fairly chilly though the winds were not very strong. We could comfortably hang around the viewpoints to take in the impressive views.
The trail is rated moderate on Alltrails and we think it’s rightfully so. The uphills are very manageable and most parts of the trail are well pathed. We did this on normal running shoes.
Looking for more?
We hope that this review of the Storm King Mountain Loop trail has piqued your interest in hiking around the US Northeast region! Are you looking for more outdoor activities to do in the Northeast? How about the Green Mountain state of Vermont?
It has a beautiful hiking trail that overlooks the vast Vermont plains. We guarantee it will satisfy your craving for the outdoors!