There are many fabulous hikes in the Hudson Valley, but few offer as great a combination of ease and natural beauty as Little Stony Point.
Little Stony Point is a small piece of land that juts out into the Hudson River in Putnam County, NY within Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve. This parcel of land has been owned by the park since the mid-1960s when it was purchased to protect it from development.
Today, a short loop hike can take you around the relatively flat land on the point and along the shores of the Hudson River. There is also a short spur trail that takes you to the top of the point for phenomenal views of this part of the Hudson Valley (and much easier-to-reach views than at other spots in the park).
Here’s everything you need to know to visit this incredible spot.
Parking for Little Stony Point
There is a large parking area for Little Stony Point along Route 9D just north of Cold Spring, New York. This parking lot is shared with other trails in the park, and it does fill up at times, so make sure to arrive early on a busy day.
This parking area can be found at the following coordinates: 41.426534, -73.965311. You can also use the address for the state park’s visitor center, which is located across the street from the parking area: 3011 NY-9D, Cold Spring, NY 10516.
There is no charge to park in this lot or to enter the park, so you won’t need to worry about paying or using an Empire Pass here.
Little Stony Point is located across NY-9D from the parking area. There is a crosswalk but please use caution when you cross this busy road.
[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]
Hiking at Little Stony Point
The trail to Little Stony Point starts next to a large sign across the road from the parking area. Take note of the restrictions here, such as no swimming, as you pass through the gate and over the Metro North train tracks.
Just beyond the tracks, the trail splits and goes to both your left and right. The trail here is a loop, so it doesn’t matter which way you go, but I think it’s probably more scenic to turn right and head counterclockwise around Little Stony Point.
This first bit of the trail is through a nice forest and is wide and easy to follow. However, you will hear a good bit of road noise on this part of the hike.
Take a right at the first trail split you come to and then a left at the next. In just a few minutes of hiking, this will bring you out onto a beautiful sandy beach on the Hudson River.
The views from this spot are truly incredible. The river here is relatively narrow and Storm King Mountain rises up imposingly directly across the water.
The beach here is inviting, though there are signs indicating that no swimming is allowed here. Still, the beautiful sand and the abundant driftwood make this a great spot to stop and enjoy the incredible beauty of the Hudson Valley.
Once you’ve enjoyed this spot, continue hiking along the beach. At the far end, you’ll see an information sign that offers some nice tidbits about the area. Beyond this sign, the trail is easy to follow as the land between the river and the cliffs is relatively narrow.
Just after the trail turns away from the river, you’ll see an old mine entrance on your left.
I only went in a couple of feet because I didn’t have a strong flashlight, but the tunnel continues deeper into the rock. However, from what I’ve read, it never opens up into any chamber, so I wouldn’t recommend going deep into it.
For the rest of the loop, the trail around Little Stony Point continues through the forest before returning back to where you started after a bit less than a mile of hiking. However, don’t head to your car at this point.
Instead, look to your left for a trail marked with a sign pointing to the overlook.
From this point, a short trail leads slightly uphill to the top of the cliffs you saw earlier in the hike. This trail gets a bit rocky as you get near the top of the hill, but is relatively easy otherwise.
From the top, you can fully appreciate the beauty of this spot, and the view from here is truly outstanding.
From the top of Little Stony Point, you can see Storm King Mountain directly across the Hudson River. Looking upstream, there are views of Bannerman Castle in the distance, and, to the south, you can see West Point.
It’s truly astounding how great this view is despite it lacking the height of nearby spots like Breakneck Ridge. Just make sure you don’t stare too intently at the view and walk right off the cliff’s edge as there are no barriers up here.
Once you’ve had your fill of the view, simply retrace your steps back downhill and onward to your car.
Overall, Little Stony Point is a fabulous hike, and I’d say it’s a must-do hike when traveling through Putnam County. Not only is it a relatively easy hike, but you get fantastic views along the shoreline and from the top of this small hill that allow you to see for miles in every direction.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best hikes in the Hudson Valley.