For a short rock-scrambling jaunt that will get your heart racing and reward you with a killer view, check out Bonticou Crag trail in Mohonk Preserve. The preserve spans the Shawangunk Mountains, known as the “Gunks,” a popular rock climbing area about 90 minutes north of the city. Amateurs can get a taste at Bonticou Crag, a 2.3-mile trail that starts at the preserve’s Spring Farm trailhead (Note: There is an annoying $15 a person fee but kids are free). The trail starts in an open field and meanders through the woods before culminating at a steep, vertical rock scramble. Here you have two choices: Scale the sheer rock face for 20 minutes or take the longer, uphill but much less frightening detour (One party in our group did that, and it wasn’t the 7-year-old). Both end at the same place: a dramatic white crag overlooking the Hudson Valley. Go back down the easier way.
Pit stop: Before or after the hike, hit up Twin Star Orchards in nearby New Paltz. Closing for the season Nov. 7, the orchard makes hard cider (yes, the alcoholic kind!) for its Brooklyn Cider House location. In season, it sells delicious wood-fired pizzas and burgers, but order online ahead of time or risk waiting in a long line. – Sumathi Reddy