Best Hikes with Children in the Catskills & Hudson River Valley
Whenever we ask kids what features they appreciate most on a hike, “water” is what we hear time and again. And why not? It’s pretty to look at, fun to play in, and home to a great many interesting creatures. On this hike, you and the kids follow two delightful brooks, crossing over and back several times, tracking on fairly level terrain. The paradoxical name Dry Brook is actually a corruption of the words drei Brücke, which means “three bridges” in German (there were many German and Dutch settlers in the Catskills and Hudson Valley in Colonial times). Many years ago, three covered bridges crossed the brook; they are long gone without a trace. Two miles from the start is a well-constructed lean-to on the northern bank of Shandaken Brook (just inside the Catskill Park boundary). You can spend the night—or perhaps just relax—before heading back along the riverbank. For younger kids who prefer hands-on hikes to trips featuring long-distance views, this one is a winner. Don’t forget to bring whatever your youngsters need for river exploration: wading shoes, nets, jars, towels.