There’s never a bad time to be outside on a hike or chilling with a beer en plein air, and that includes the summertime. In the Hudson Valley, like most of the Northeast, the natural world is at its active apex in the summer, and the splendor of parks, forests, and preserves is apparent in abundance. If you can get past the heat and the humidity, rewards abound on the trails of the Hudson Valley—as they do at its breweries, which begs the question: is there a better prize at the end of a hike on a hot day than an ice cold beer? Below are four perfectly paired hikes and breweries in the Hudson Valley to visit this summer.

Round Hill Hudson Valley
A rare view of the Hudson Highlands from just beyond the top of Round Hill in Fahnestock State Park.

Fahnestock State Park and Sloop Brewing Company

Spanning more than 14,000 acres in Dutchess and Putnam Counties, Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park is a big, woodsy delight that caters to a variety of outdoor activities, from groomed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter to hiking, mountain biking, and paddling in the summer. Whereas many of the Hudson Valley’s best hikes rely on big views, however, Fahnestock’s appeal is in its deep woods feel—even though it is popular (the parking areas consistently telegraph this fact), it’s still very possible to have significant stretches of trail all to yourself even on a nice weekend.

A nice loop hike connecting the School Mountain Road, East Mountain, Perkins, and Fahnestock Trails will net you a very pleasant 7.0 miles that tags two of the park’s higher points: East Mountain and Round Hill.

In addition to being a great access point to the hilly northwestern section of the park, the School Mountain Road trailhead is also, conveniently, just 15 minutes from The Factory, Sloop Brewing Company’s taproom and restaurant. Sloop is known for their delicious line of IPAs—including their excellent flagship NEIPA, Juice Bomb—but they also serve up some killer food. And what says après hike better than a beer and a pizza?

Hudson Valley Megaliths
The Megaliths atop Schunemunk Mountain offer excellent views and are an ideal place for a snack.

Schunemunk Mountain and The Drowned Lands

Despite its relatively low elevation—just 1,664 feet above sea level—Schunemunk Mountain makes an impression. The sheer bulk of it, peeking just above its peers in the Hudson Highlands, is visible from miles around, and its long ridgeline boasts an abundance of trails that can offer hikers of all abilities a worthwhile outing. The draw of Schunemunk is its sweeping views, for sure, but just shy of the mountain’s true summit is a striking and unusual rock formation referred to as “the megaliths.” The megaliths are a collection of absolutely massive puddingstone boulders nestled into the western aspect of Schunemunk. The view is spectacular and the easily accessible spaces atop the boulders are a premier picnic location.

Schunnemunk State Park is bifurcated by a Metro-North line that, unfortunately, has been deemed off-limits in recent years, so the ridgeline is inaccessible from the once-popular Meadow Trailhead. Instead, begin at the Trestle Trailhead, and link up the Otterkill, Dark Hollow, Jessup, and Trestle Trails—with a short detour on the Megaliths Spur, of course—for a lovely 7.25-mile outing.

Now that you’ve put in the work, it’s time to hit the road and grab a brew. Just 30 minutes due southwest, thirsty adventurers will find The Drowned Lands, an outstanding farm brewery in Warwick, New York. Their lineup of infinitely drinkable beers celebrates the terroir of their surroundings and their bucolic setting affords the weary hiker ample opportunity to kick back.

Hudson Valley Slide Mountain
Though Slide Mountain’s summit is completely viewless, a small outlook just shy of the top provides a beautiful vista to the northeast.

Slide Mountain and Woodstock Brewing

The Catskills’ highest peak and one of only two 4,000-footers in the area, Slide Mountain is big, burly, and well-suited to hikers of all abilities. As such, it’s also extremely popular, and can be a bit of a zoo on a nice weekend—an early start or a mid-week outing is the way to go for this one.

Aside from its superlative status, Slide’s appeal lies in its accessibility and the varied levels of difficulty its handful of approaches offer, from the burly Burroughs Range Traverse (a 10-mile one-way shuttle hike) to an out-and-back on the Slide Mountain Trail (a moderately graded old woods road that makes for an excellent first 4,000-footer experience). A loop climbing the Curtis-Ormsbee Trail before descending the Slide Mountain Trail, however, delivers the best of both worlds at a reasonable 6.5 miles.

From the trailhead, make a beeline to Woodstock Brewing, conveniently located right on NY-28 in the town of Phoenicia. Aside from being right in the middle of some of the best terrain the Cats have to offer, Woodstock Brewing has a fantastic menu of beer and food that feel as if they were specifically designed for Catskill hikers.

Hudson Valley Brace Mountain
Brace Mountain’s summit cairn and windsock look over the Harlem and Hudson River Valleys to the west.

Brace Mountain and Suarez Family Brewery

Nestled in the southern Taconics, in the cartographical joinery of New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, Brace Mountain and its open, grassy summit make a worthy day hike for anyone willing to make the effort. And, by any approach, hikers will need to make the effort—Brace Mountain’s high ridgeline is guarded by the same short, steep ascents that are characteristic of the range.

The reward for that effort is a sweeping summit view over the Harlem and Hudson River Valleys, all the way to the Catskills. To climb Brace Mountain from the west, take the Quarry Hill Trail to gain the ridge and the South Taconic Trail. Head left (north) over South Brace Mountain and don’t stop until you hit the massive cairn, complete with windsock (this is also a popular destination for paragliders). Out and back, this hike will cost you around 4.0 miles.

Once you’ve returned to your vehicle, head west, about 30 minutes, to Suarez Family Brewery, one of the finest breweries in the Hudson Valley if not in all of the Northeast. You can’t go wrong here—just take your pick, kick back, and enjoy.