26. Castle Road Carriage Road, Shawangunk Ridge Trail, New York (8.5 miles)Learn More
Just a two-hour drive from New York City, in the village of New Paltz, is one of the most scenic day hikes on the eastern seaboard. Mostly known to climbers, the Shawangunk, or “Gunks,” is the easternmost ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The hills are covered with old carriage roads that once connected the region’s homesteads and villages, and the broad, hard-packed routes make for excellent hiking. The Castle Road loop in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve includes dramatic cliff-side vistas of the Hudson Valley. At the 2,200-foot Castle Point, the park’s highest summit, you get a glimpse of Lake Awosting directly below and the Catskill Mountains to the west.
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