Take a Ride on the Scenic ‘Goat Trail’ In the Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley is full of scenic wonders. One of those beautiful views can be found by simply driving on the Goat Trail.
I've lived in the Hudson Valley for over 30 years, but I can honestly say I've never heard of the goat trail until this week. Apparently, this is the nickname given to a winding, scenic road that has some of the best views in the area.
Of course, there are many incredible places to check out the foliage and gaze at the natural wonders of the Hudson Valley. A majority of those places, however, are a literal hike. If you don't want to spend the day trudging up a hill or walking through a muddy path, the goat trail is for you.
While locals refer to it as such, those who look for the goat trail on a map will find themselves out of luck. The three-mile stretch of road is actually US 6/US 202 on the eastern side of the Bear Mountain Bridge in the Town of Cortland.
The goat trail wraps around Anthony's Nose, which is part of the Hudson Highlands, a range of mountains that surround the river in Orange and Putnam, stretching down to Westchester in the Town of Cortland. One of the best-kept secrets of the Hudson Valley just so happens to be on a stretch of the road a mile away from the intersection with 9D.
Just as the road rises to 200 feet above the Hudson River a small little scenic overlook will be on the western side of the goat trail. Those who pull in will be rewarded with a spectacular view of Peekskill, Iona island, and Dunderberg Mountain across the river. The overlook features displays that tell about the history of the area, including the chain that was strung across that section of the Hudson River to stop ships during the Revolutionary War.
So why is it called the goat trail?
I couldn't find a definitive answer to why this stretch of highway is called the goat trail, but it's most likely because driving on feels like you're a mountain goat climbing to the peak of a mountain. Goat trails are generally narrow paths on a hillside made by goats as their feet trample the earth below. While this two-lane state route isn't quite that narrow, it can feel that way especially when the mountain rises right next to the westbound lane as you overlook the river.
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