A great “outdoor classroom” for introducing kids to nature.

ESOPUS, Ulster County (130 acres) — For a family-friendly hike, you can’t beat Black Creek Preserve. Yes, the steep uphill climb at the start may make the under-10 contingent groan, but they’ll love crossing the suspension bridge that spans the creek and skipping stones on the Hudson River shoreline. In between, have them watch out for wildlife — from blueback herring, which journey from the ocean to deposit their eggs in Black Creek, to bald eagles.

Free and open year-round, sunrise to sunset.

Activities

  • Dog walking on leash
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife watching
  • X-country skiing and snowshoeing
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