On Monday, my husband and I went hiking in Palisades Park, in NJ. We hiked about 4 miles up to New York, looped up the cliffs and hiked back. If you are looking for a surprisingly beautiful and challenging hike that faces the Hudson and NYC skyline, this is your hike. There are a lot of different options, and you can even just park and look over the cliffs if you prefer.
We had wanted to do this hike for a while, but the timing never worked out. I wanted a clear day (to see New York City) and snowy days weren’t an option because there is a 1-mile scramble across rocks.
What is scrambling? Scrambling is a walk up steep terrain involving the use of one’s hands. Basically, it means hopping from rock to rock. Doing that on icy or snowy rocks is extremely dangerous. You don’t have to do the scramble portion, and I wouldn’t recommend bringing any small kids or pets.
We started on the “long trail” which went down next to the shore of the Hudson. You could easily put your feet in the water if you wanted too, but I absolutely did not want too. I think seeing the floating dumpster justified that. For about 3 miles we hiked along the water just admiring the view.
I knew we would eventually have to get up to the top, but I did not know or think about hard that might be. I thought maybe we would take a natural staircase (which there were a few that we passed). All of a sudden, we saw this:
It took us about 90 minutes to hike up a single mile. I didn’t take any photos because I needed both hands just to get up there. It was quite the challenge and honestly one of the toughest hikes we’ve ever done. I wasn’t expecting that!
Around the halfway point we also made it into New York! As you can see by this fancy and prohibiting fence. I wish there was a sign that said Welcome to New York or New Jersey, but I guess both states decided to fund other things.
Finally, after about 90 minutes, we made it up to the top. I haven’t felt that accomplished in a long time.
From there we hiked back the way we came but on the “upper level”. There was a small waterfall where many people were taking photos, so of course, we did too. You can access the waterfall with about a mile of hiking, and don’t need to do the scramble (for my own personal reference LOL). It’s a nice view and worth the stop.
You can go into the castle and look out over the Hudson too!
We finally made it back to our car after about 5 hours and a much more difficult hike than anticipated. I loved the hike. However, I wasn’t ready for the scramble or the climbing. I’m glad I wore the Brooks Cascadia because I doubt I would have made it in regular running shoes and definitely not in anything else.
You can see more hikes I’ve done here.
Questions for you:
What is the hardest hike you’ve done?
Have you ever walked across a state line?