Personally, I prefer a paved path with a gentle incline, but there's some psychos in the Hudson Valley.

From the Catskills to the Hudson Highlands and everywhere in between, it's easy to find beautiful trails of all skill levels. Mount Beacon is a short but very steep hike that begins with an inhumanely-long staircase. The lemon squeeze at Mohonk is a claustrophobic's nightmare that makes you contort your body to fit through narrow crevasses. Neither makes the list. So what are the 5 toughest?

The view from Breakneck Ridge (Google)
The view from Breakneck Ridge (Google)
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5. Breakneck Ridge in Philipstown, NY

The question was posed to members of the Hiking the Hudson Valley & Beyond  Facebook group, and one of the most popular answers was one of the most famous Hudson Valley hikes: Breakneck Ridge. "Breakneck for sure. Anyone can walk far. Scrambling up a steep mountain like that is much more physically demanding (and fun and rewarding too!)", said one hiker.

Slide Mountain has the highest peak in the Catskills (Google)
Slide Mountain has the highest peak in the Catskills (Google)
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4. Slide Mountain in Shandaken, NY

A hike that often flies under the radar, Slide Mountain is the highest peak in the Catskills with a prominence of 3,300 ft. Its elevation gain is also over 500 feet greater than Breakneck Ridge. Slide Mountain Trail is designated as "hard" and has a 4.5-star rating on AllTrails.com.

Fishkill Loop Trail (Google)
Fishkill Rudge Trail (Google)
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3. Fishkill Ridge Loop in Glenham, NY

"Fishkill Ridge Loop via Overlook or Wilkinson is under appreciated", came another local answer. The 8 mile loop in Dutchess County has an elevation gain of over 2,000 feet and is located on the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve.

Bear Mountain (Google)
Suffern Bear Mountain Trail (Google)
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2. Suffern Bear Mountain Trail in Stony Point, NY

This challenging trail tests your endurance as well as your muscles. As one Hudson Valley hiker said, "'Hardest/challenging' can mean different things depending who you ask. Breakneck is challenging vertically. The Suffern-Bear Mountain trail is challenging in distance/remoteness." At over 23 miles, this trail will certainly leave a lasting impression. So what's number one?

Devil's Path is among the hardest hikes in the entire Hudson Valley, according to local hikers (Google)
Devil's Path is among the hardest hikes in the entire Hudson Valley, according to local hikers (Google)
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1. Devil's Path in Elka Park, NY

Far and away, the most-nominated trail for difficulty was Devil's Path. Described by one local hiker as "24 grueling miles with a ton of elevation gain and loss and lots of scrambles", most adventurers take multiple days to conquer this trail, although the nearly 16-hour hike can be done all at once. Are you up for the challenge?

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Safe travels and good luck if you're ready to attempt one of the five most challenging hikes in the Hudson Valley. If you're looking for something slightly more moderate check out 30 beautiful (and not death-defying) options below.

30 Beautiful Sights, Nature Hikes, and Historical Landmarks in the Hudson Valley

Welcome to some of the best Nature Trails, Historical Landmarks, and all-around great views right here in the Hudson Valley!

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

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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