This past weekend, I went to go see an early play with a friend of mine. He told me that he and another friend were thinking about hiking later that afternoon and that I should join. I said, "sure!" and didn't think much of it. I love going for hikes. I even was a camp coordinator for the Outdoor Adventure Camp at Gold's Gym in Lagrange last summer where we took kids to all these fishing and hiking trails. Whenever I would go out with the kids, in particular, I would make sure that we were loaded with supplies. Unfortunately, my campers would be disappointed in me this time around.

On Sunday, we went to Stissing Mountain in Pine Plains. There is a fire tower at the top of the mountain that we wanted to reach and take pictures from. For me, I just found out about this, so I did not prep anything, and neither did my friend who had just seen the play. That's all I figured my afternoon would be composed of. Nope. We meet up with our other friend at an entrance to this trail. We are on this trail for about 40 minutes, and we note that it is fairly easy- we hardly broke a sweat- and we didn't really go up in elevation. We soon find out that this was a separate walking trail from the trail that brings you to the fire tower.

So, we found the correct entrance, and right away, we could tell it was steep and that it was wet. I grabbed a walking stick perched up against the fence, and we made our ascent. I hadn't gone on such a rigorous climb since the summer. None of us were ready for this, and we were very ill-prepared. Perhaps if I had better footwear, and if we had water, we would've done better. Also, because we wasted time on the other trail, we had about an hour until sunset. Not smart. After many breaks (and a few choice words), we managed to climb to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view from the fire tower. We were very proud of ourselves for making it up there, but we also were kicking ourselves for not preparing properly.
As for our descent, the sun was setting it was getting dark quickly. Fortunately, one friend had some flashlights for us to use. I was only wearing sneakers, so making it down the dark, wet trail was not fun. If anything, it felt harder going down than going up. I even fell a few times but to no harm. We took things slowly until we finally found the road. In celebration, we drove to the nearest Stewarts for coffee and ice cream! The next day, we were all texting each other saying how sore we were. I was even wearing knee and back braces to help with the aches and pains.

Did we have a great time on the hike? We sure did! Did we make many smart choices in preparing for this hike? Not many... Could we have gotten into serious trouble for not preparing properly? Oh, definitely! Was it wise to go on an impromptu hike with little to no supplies? By no means was it! We got lucky, but to ensure that you are ready for your next Hudson Valley hiking trip, I recommend considering these things listed below.

12 Things to Consider for Your Next Hudson Valley Hike

Do not be like my friends and me, who decided to go on an impromptu hike up Stissing Mountain in Pine Plains with little to no preparation whatsoever. Learn from our mistakes, and consider these things before your next Hudson Valley hike.

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The Valley is filled to the brim with amazing places you can go right now, so what are you waiting for?

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