Hook Mountain and Nycack Beach Hike

Hi friends, welcome back and happy first day of November! I had some hiking withdrawals since our last hike in Yosemite, so I did some research and found a moderate hike only thirty miles and an hour drive from NYC. We left a little after 9am, grabbed some coffee, and arrived at the trailhead by 10:30. The location from the Alltrails app takes you to Nyack Beach State Park along the Hudson River. Parking cost $8, but they have very clean bathrooms so we didn’t mind. The parking lot wasn’t full when we were there, but I could see it filling up in the summer.

This picture is my favorite from the hike.

Jon and I started the hike counterclockwise with a walk on Nyack River Trail along the Hudson River. This was a very easy, pleasant start to our hike and I enjoyed the fall foliage! I love walking through nature, especially along water.

To the left of the path we saw dramatic views of the Palisades Cliffs.

We saw some ruins along the way.

Then at the fork, we turned onto Haverstraw River Trail for a short while before making a sharp left turn straight up hill. From there we walked a short trip up a paved road before getting back on a rocky, dirt hiking trail. We followed the green markers leading the way to the top of Hook Mountain.

Along the way, we saw three giant deer frolicking along and I acted fast enough to get some pictures, but not fast enough to get all three. I spy two deer in the picture below.

Enjoying the fall day and fresh air!

The trail is listed as moderate, and I’d say once we got off the river trails and onto Long Trail it felt more like a hike than nature walk.

Jon and I only saw a few other groups as we made our ascent to Hook Mountain. The ascent is only 730 feet, so not very strenuous, but some points made us a little breathless. The sun came out for us at the top 🙂

The view atop Hook Mountain reminded me a bit of Acadia National Park because we could see water on both sides. The top of Hook Mountain became a designated New York State Important Bird Area in 1997 and a prime spot to watch for hawks. I did see one hawk, but it was too quick for a picture.

Views of Rockland Lake.

In the distance you can see NYC!

On the way down we took the white trail for a more scenic route than taking the road back. This route was pretty rocky, but more like rock stairs, so it wasn’t too hard. I’d recommend taking this way down.

We clocked in 6.35 miles in two hours and forty-six minutes, and finished VERY hungry! I saved my Halloween bagel for after our hike, and we enjoyed it overlooking the Hudson River. Such a peaceful way to end our hike, it reminded me of being back at my cottage seeing the waves hit the seawall.

Jon and I both enjoyed this hike and thought it was the perfect way to spend a fall day! It provided the perfect mix of difficulty and length where it was still enjoyable and not just a workout. Compared to Yosemite, this hike was a breeze and a great way to spend a Saturday, although the views don’t quite compare ha. The trail also wasn’t terribly crowded, maybe because we went on a chillier, partly gloomy day. I’d highly recommend checking out this hike if you’re looking for a relatively easier hike near the city!

14 thoughts on “Hook Mountain and Nycack Beach Hike

  1. Looks like an invigorating hike. Loving the views and the fall colours, which are very similar to the ones we had today on our own hike here in Sarajevo. Happy November!

    1. Sounds like an awesome day you two had! A little fresh air and great views are always the best 😃

  2. Despite the lack of sunshine, the autumn colours dominate the landscape, and the Hudson River is so wide and powerful that it is impressive when you are close to the shore.

  3. Until the pic with NYC in the distance I wouldn’t have believed you were hiking only thirty miles from the city. Talk about a unique view of New York! Looks like this hike has a little of everything. Nice find!

    1. It’s amazing how much different even 8 miles north of the city is, seems like a whole different area. I am glad I found the hike, provided a perfect afternoon and views of NYC 🙂

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