FKT: Kelly MacDonald - Notch Trail, Hudson Highlands (NY) - 2020-10-25

Route variation
out & back
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
2h 33m 2s
GPS track(s)

This route is a hidden gem. Flanked by overflowing trailheads just minutes to the north and the south, the Notch Trail does not offer instagram-ready Hudson views but is perfect for a quiet, peaceful day through beautiful forest. The roadside parking, just across the street from the trailhead sign, was quite small but still had a few open spaces when I returned from my run. Though various trails merge with and intersect the route, it's easy to stay on track by following the blue blazes. My GPS track is obviously off in a few places, but I stayed on the trail the entire time. The trail ranges from wide old dirt road to single track barely visible under a blanket of autumn leaves. It passes by old stone walls, some interesting ruins in the valley between the two climbs, and a downed log covered in carefully-balanced cairns. There are some nice views of mountain ridges, though these might be obscured by leaves during the summer. I had perfect weather but took my time shuffling through the leaves, taking photos, and staying on course. I enjoyed moving faster in the final miles but was so surprised by the lone hiker I saw that I took a bad fall. Otherwise, a great day!