One of the best ways to enjoy Dutchess County's scenic beauty is by foot! Some may think hiking means a racing a heart rate and challenging trails, but truth is Dutchess has paths for individuals of all experience levels. Enjoy a stroll on one of these easy trails with no shortage of specatular views.
The Dutchess Rail Trail is a 13-mile rail trail that stretches from the former Hopewell Junction train depot, north to the Poughkeepsie entrance of the Walkway Over the Hudson. It's a shared use rail trail open for pedestrians and bicyclers and is part of the Empire State Trail. The trail is mainly flat and a great option for adults and children.
The Walkway Over the Hudson is the world's longest elevated pedestrian bridge, spanning 1.28 miles over the Hudson River offering visitors with panoramic views of the river and surrounding landscape. The Walkway is accessible from the Poughkeepsie side, completely flat, and a wonderful place to take a stroll and soak in Dutchess County.
The Harlem Valley Rail Trail is a paved rail trail on an abandoned portion of the New York and Harlem Railroad, north of the hamlet of Wassaic and easily accessible by train. This 23-mile rail trail even extends north into Columbia County and is a scenic destination for walkers, runners and cyclists alike.
Once a vital rail link, Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park is now a people-pleasing riverfront destination. This popular spot provides access to Beacon’s Riverfront Trail - a beautiful nature walk along the Hudson River with trails sprawling into Denning’s Point. No strenuous inclines here as the trail remains flat throughout.
Poets' Walk Park is intended to celebrate the connection between landscape and poetry. The 120-acre park features miles of trails through woods with rustic pavilions, bridges and benches. A great hike for beginners, it offers beautiful sprawling views of he Hudson River.
Stroll along more than four miles of well-maintained trails at Bowdoin Park. View the wetland areas from the boardwalks, observe the wildlife, or sit on a bench and enjoy the surrounding beauty. There are some slight inclines, but overall this park is a great option for all-levels.
Dover Stone Church makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of Dutchess County and into another world. Start off making your way across a long field, and then find yourself on a wooded, lush adventure. This short walk leads you to the Stone Church - quite a sight to see! Although there are some rocky surfaces, this walk is generally easy and for all experience levels.
In addition to these great walking paths, don't forget about Dutchess County's Historical Sites. Although tours are currently not being offered, most still have their grounds open for visitors. Browse Historical Sites in Dutchess County here. Please inquire ahead to confirm ground hours.