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.
- Dog walking on leash
- Wildlife watching
- X-country skiing and snowshoeing