There’s no beer quite as tasty as the beer at the end of a glorious day outdoors. And nothing makes a hike quite so perfect as having the perfect spot for that beer all figured out. So we’ve paired some of the Hudson Valley’s best hiking options with wonderful places to find that post-hike beverage.
Mohonk and Gilded Otter
The Skytop Tower at Mohonk Mountain House is iconic, branding even hasty renditions of the Shawangunk Ridge as undeniably New Paltz. The 100-step tower offers a multi-state view on a clear day. Choose from an easy 45-minute amble up Sky Top Road, a direct, still-moderate ascent of Skytop Path, or the Labyrinth rock scramble. Back in New Paltz, at Clemson Brothers at the Gilded Otter, quaff fresh brew while gazing at the sunset framing the icon you’ve so lately conquered.
Mount Beacon and 2-Way Brewing
Mount Beacon earned its name as a place of Revolutionary-era signal fires. Later, the splendor of the view inspired the placement of a now-defunct incline railway. That’s history, but your own two feet will take you to the highest of the Highlands via a 5.9 mile loop. It’s strenuous in spots, but the payoff is superb. Replenish with the fine artisanal microbrews and free popcorn right on Main Street at the Two Way Brewing Company.
Schunnemunk and Newburgh Brewing
Schunnemunk Mountain State Park offers you eight marked trails to choose from, with enticing, descriptive names like Sweet Clover Loop and Dark Hollow; choose your moderately challenging route to the ridgetop and enjoy the wide variety of flora, fauna and landscapes, from meadow to swampland to waterfall. Afterwards, sip the latest creation in the taproom of the Newburgh Brewing Company, one of the masterful houses that helped kickstart our craft brew scene, still fresh and thriving.
Bash Bish Falls and Roe Jan Brewing
Love a quick hike to a gorgeous water feature? Head for Bash Bish Falls on the New York/Massachusetts border. From the Taconic State Park entrance, it’s just a mile and a half walk up a slight incline to the highest waterfall in Massachusetts, cascading nearly 200 feet through a gorgeous gorge. (Both Taconic State Park and Mount Washington State Forest also offer longer trails, if you’d like more of a workout. Follow up at Roe Jan Brewing Company in Hillsdale, sited in a historic 1851 mercantile building.
Ferncliff Forest and Kingston Standard
Ferncliff Forest is an enchanted old-growth forest with four miles of trails to explore, maintained by a private nonprofit. You’ll see old foundations, cisterns, and root cellars on your way to a fire tower with commanding views of the Hudson. You can bring a rod and fish Rutsen Pond, even camp overnight with a free permit. Across the bridge, quench your thirst at Kingston Standard Brewing Co., a recipe-focused nanobrewery that serves up beer and vittles in a renovated auto repair shop.
Wittenberg and Woodstock Brewing
Wittenberg Mountain is one of the famed “35 over 35,000 feet” summits of the Catskills, and it’s a serious hike, over seven miles with some steep spots and rock scrambles. The summit offers ample reward, and if you’re feeling ambitious you can add two more miles and add Cornell Mountain to your scorecard as well. Nurse tired tootsies with a brew at the funky industrial digs of the Woodstock Brewing Company, nestled up to the mountainside in Phoenicia.