Did you know: New York’s second largest park is just 30 miles from NYC? Harriman State Park is a haven for hikers, cyclists, and lovers of the outdoors. Known for its 31 lakes, it also features 200+ miles of hiking trails, along streams, woods, and beautiful vistas of the Hudson Valley and NYC. Sound overwhelming? Let us help! Here’s our guide for everything you need to plan a perfect daytrip to Harriman State Park.
Getting to Harriman State Park from NYC
Both Sloatsburg and Suffern have easy access train stations right next to their main streets, making them popular for daytrippers. Once you’re there, it’s easy to get a cab or Uber that will take you to the trailheads. (Or, you can simply walk to some!) We’d recommend renting a car, though, to get the best out of a trip. Cyclists heading up for the day can take their bikes on the MetroNorth on non-rush hours and holidays; check MTA regulations on bikes for more info.
Begin Your Day Here: Fuel Up for Outdoor Adventure in Harriman State Park
In Sloatsburg, Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club opens on Saturdays from 12-9 at their open-air restaurant, serving up farm-to-table fare such as woodfired pizza, salads, and burgers. Alternatively, guests can grab a sandwich at the on-site organic café, and eat in Valley Rock Inn’s beautiful rose garden—or take it to go for a hike. Either way, it’s a must stop in Harriman! Next door, newly opened coffee house/café The Village Blend is great too, offering coffee, fresh baked goods, daily lunch specials, and post-hike ice cream. In Suffern, Mia’s Kitchen attracts locals and visitors in search of delicious, healthy food. One of the owners is a personal trainer, and uses her knowledge of fitness and nutrition to inspire some of Mia’s Kitchen’s healthier recipes.
Bike Down Seven Lakes Drive, a Cyclists Dream
Seven Lakes Drive is exactly as it sounds: a scenic drive that passes seven lakes, shortly after entering the park from Sloatsburg. As the main road through Bear Mountain and Harriman state parks, the windy passage offers gorgeous views of wildlife, landscapes and small lakes that dot Harriman. Cyclists know and love this route, with several stop off points for a rest, picnic, or even a hike! Not recommended for single or fixed gear bikes—and make sure to bring a helmet! (You’ll be fined for riding without one.)
Go For A Hike: Choose Your Own Adventure (or Follow Ours) on 200+ Miles of Trails
Just 1.5 miles from the Sloatsburg train station, Reeves Meadow Trailhead is one of the most popular in the park, offering multiple daytrip-worthy options. With so many options, it can seem overwhelming, but following the red blazes on this trail will take you to a mountaintop lake after about 2.2 miles; most people stop here for a bit before turning around and heading back down the mountain. If you’re up for more of a challenge, the popular Ramapo Torne/Racoon Brook Hills trail begins at the same trailhead. The seven-mile loop takes about four hours to complete, and offers expansive views of the New York City skyline, Torne Valley, and Hillburn.
In Suffern, a short walk on the Appalachian Trail provides stunning views of the NYC skyline. Take the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail, following the yellow blazes, up to the viewpoint for a short but rewarding hike. Most people turn around here, but note that this is the longest trail in the park, clocking in at 18.8 miles. If you forget to turn around at any point, you’re going to be walking for a very long time!
For more information on any of these hikes, check out the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference website; you can also buy maps at the Reeves Meadow Trailhead.
Dinner, Drinks, & Post-hike Rewards in Harriman State Park
Whether you do a short hike or a 22 mile bike ride, chances are you’ve worked up an appetitite by the end of the day. Before heading back to the city, check out a few of our favorite spots around Harriman. First up is Seven Lakes Station, a craft beer bar with a cute backyard serving up sandwiches, German pretzels, burgers and the like. Winos will enjoy Torne Valley Vineyard, with a tasting room housed in a Victorian mansion that overlooks Torne Mountain. A small menu is served, and it’s a host to frequent live music, making it a perfect spot to unwind. Last, for a meal of epic proportions, check out Mt. Fuji—a mountaintop Japanese restaurant featuring chefs working tableside hibachi grills. Inside and out, it’s pretty grandiose; plus, the views from its mountaintop location are absolutely stunning. Given its popularity with locals and visitors, reservations are highly recommended!
This post is sponsored by Rockland County Tourism. All views and recommendations are our own.