15 Best Hiking Trails In Saratoga Springs (For Year-Round Hiking)

Just a few hours from New York City, Saratoga Springs is an upstate New York gem. Known for its mineral springs, equestrian trails, racetrack, and its historical and cultural centers, Saratoga Springs is best known as a getaway town, an escape from the bright lights and crowded streets of any one of the surrounding metropolitan centers.

With Saratoga Springs’ lush environment, the area is primed for all varieties of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, rafting, and kayaking.

However, the greatest feature of Saratoga Springs is the ability to flee into nature along one of the areas stunning hiking trails. There are hundreds of hiking opportunities in the Green Mountains that lead you to powerfully crashing waterfalls, deep mountain gorges, and panoramic mountain overlooks.

T&T Tip: Most New York State Parks require an entry fee. You may purchase an annual NY Empire Pass to gain unlimited access to all of New York’s 180 State Parks.

Here is a guide to 15 of the best hikes in and around beautiful Saratoga Springs.

1. Geyser Loop Trail

Credit: Shutterstock


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head south on Broadway for 1.4 miles and turn right onto Avenue of the Pines. Drive 0.8 miles and make a left turn onto N South Road. Merge onto Roosevelt Drive and continue for another 0.4 miles. Turn right onto Roosevelt Ext and the parking area will be on your left.

Geyser Creek is the gem of Saratoga Springs. This short path will take you to two of the region’s signature springs, both Orenda and Island Sprouter Springs.

In addition to these famous springs, multiple mineral deposits resemble those of Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs. Saratoga Springs has the only sprouting geysers this side of the Mississippi River.

These features are formed through the convergence of the mineral-rich Geyser Creek with the crossing of Kayaderosseras Creek.

In the 19th century, these waters were thought to have healing properties and were used as a variety of remedies for illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, and the mightiest of hangovers.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.9 Miles
Elevation Gain: 196 Feet

2.  Five Mile Trail

Credit: Fall Back 5 Mile Trail Race / Facebook


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head south on Broadway for 1.4 miles and turn right onto Avenue of the Pines. Drive for 1.0 miles and turn left onto Hadleys Beck followed by an immediate left and the parking area for the trail will be on your left.

The Five Mile Trail in Saratoga Springs has a little bit of everything. Similar to Geyser Loop Trail, this trail goes past both Orenda and Island Sprouter Springs. Beyond these seemingly carbonated springs, you will enter a densely wooded forest with plenty of shade.

After a short climb, you will reach the shores of a small pond – an excellent place to attempt to spot Great Blue Herons, ducks, and Canadian Geese.

After another short climb, the trail will lead you through a lush and peaceful forest until reaching a beautifully picturesque wetlands overlook. The return trip will follow the overlooking ridge and through miles of dense forests.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 5.2 Miles
Elevation Gain: 259 Feet

3.  Bee Trail Loop Trail

Credit: David Braverman / AllTrails


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head west on Church Street for 0.2 miles and make a right turn onto Clinton Street. Stay on Clinton Street for 1.5 miles and the parking area for this hike will be on the opposite side of the stop sign.

The Bee Trail Loop Trail is the perfect hike if you want the peace and quiet of a trail less traveled. This loop is a technically difficult mountain biking trail that limits this area to only experienced bikers, limiting the amount of traffic through this beautiful path through nature.

The hike itself can be more difficult than advertised. This trail is technically challenging to mountain bikers due to its short inclines and declines without the ability to maintain speed.

The same applies to hiking through the forest. The trail is very well maintained and is wide enough to avoid traffic jams. Try to wake up early and take advantage of the serenity in the silence of this amazing forest.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.2 Miles
Elevation Gain: 413 Feet

4. Gideon Putnam Trail

Credit: Jim Hugh / AllTrails


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head south on Broadway for 1.4 miles and turn right onto Avenue of the Pines. Drive 0.8 miles and make a left turn onto N South Road. Merge onto Roosevelt Drive and make a quick left followed by an immediate right and the parking area for this hike will be on your right.

The Gideon Putnam Trail is a beautiful hike through lush meadows of vivid and vibrant flora and fauna. Most of the hike wanders through an exposed valley, creating ideal conditions for beautiful fields of blooming wildflowers.

The lack of elevation makes this trail enjoyable for hikers of all skill levels, but the distance is long enough for experienced hikers to feel satisfied with the journey.

The best times to visit this trail are between March and October (March and April are still in mud season, however, the frosty winter months do allow for some truly wonderful snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities that will leave lasting memories forever.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 6.4 Miles
Elevation Gain: 164 Feet

5. Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail

Credit: Mostly Modern Festival


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head east on Lake Avenue toward Britton Place for 4.2 miles and a right onto Stafford Bridge Road. Continue for 0.8 miles and make another right onto Meadowbrook Road. After 0.2 miles, the trailhead for the Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail will be on your left.

The Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail is a wetland hike consisting of a variety of wetland habitats – open marsh, forested wetland, and wet meadows. This makes for messy and difficult conditions; however, it does create a unique opportunity. With most of the trail being a comfortable wooden boardwalk, the conditions will not affect you much.

Some sections are on a slick and muddy trail, but take this opportunity to look for animal tracks and try to identify them, the muddy conditions will make tracks much more visible and easier to identify. The trail is poorly marked but try to follow the old railroad ties to stay on track.

T&T Tip: The conditions are ideal for a healthy bee habitat (hence the name). Yellow jackets rest in the railroad ties, so if you have a bee allergy, be sure to bring emergency supplies.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4.1 Miles
Elevation Gain: 49 Feet

6. Spring Run Trail

Credit: Saratoga.com


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head east on Lake Avenue toward Britton Place and turn left onto Maple Avenue. After 0.4 miles, merge onto Excelsior Avenue and take a right turn onto East Avenue and the trail will be on your left.

The Spring Run Trail is a wonderful trail that runs through the heart of Saratoga Springs. This short trail is fully paved and has a decent width, making this trail popular for both hikers and cyclists.

The trail does not veer much, as it runs parallel with Spring Run Creek, ducking beneath overpasses through trail tunnels. This trail is well-maintained and clean.

While passing through, try to take breaks and attempt to identify the many varieties of birds that make this area their home. Saratoga Springs is a favorite spot for birdwatchers around the country due to the diversity of this natural habitat.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.2 Miles
Elevation Gain: 36 Feet

7.  Warming Hut Loop

Credit: Hank Bickel / Flickr

Directions: From downtown Saratoga Springs, head south on Broadway for 1.4 miles and turn right onto Avenue of the Pines. Drive 0.8 miles and make a left turn onto N South Road. Make an immediate left onto Gideon Putnam Road followed by another quick right. Take one last immediate right and the parking area will be on the left.

The Warming Hut Loop is a simple trail that is great for families and pet lovers. This trail is only two miles long and there is little-to-no elevation gain for the entirety of the hike.

Starting in the beautiful Saratoga Spa State Park, this hike takes you just off the road through an area that is far from remote, but takes you far enough into the wilderness to escape any crowds.

The loop is an excellent nature walk but is rarely visited, making this hike a private adventure for children or your fur babies.

There is a short section that does take you against the low-speed park roads, but there is little safety concern and the section is only temporary.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.9 Miles
Elevation Gain: 13 Feet

8. Carriage Trail Loop

Credit: Taylor Way / AllTrails


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head west on Church Street for 0.2 miles and make a right turn onto Clinton Street. Stay on Clinton Street for 1.5 miles and the parking area for this hike will be on the opposite side of the stop sign.

The Carriage Trail Loop is an old carriage road that runs along the edge of Daniels Road State Forest. This moderate trail takes you through a stunning valley that runs through the center of a quiet suburban neighborhood.

The trail is well-maintained, but the conditions are made up of rocks of a variety of shapes and sizes – making this perceivably easy hike considerably more difficult.

This trail is a double-track path popular with mountain bikers for their subtle climbs and descents within the beautiful New York wilderness.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.0 Miles
Elevation Gain: 324 Feet

9. Hemlock Trail

Credit: Mark Hover / AllTrails


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head east on Lake Avenue toward Britton Place for 0.4 miles and make a right onto Nelson Avenue. Continue for 1.9 miles and make another right onto Crescent Avenue. After 0.3 miles, turn left and the parking area for this hike will be on your right.

The Hemlock Trail was initially purchased in 1966 with the idea this land would be use as a golf course – thank goodness the plan never came to fruition.

Today, the Hemlock Trail is a wonderful walking trail through the naturally undisturbed wilderness that remains the way it was found.

The hike is a stroll through a forest of old-growth oak and beech trees around every corner. The trail is narrow and overgrown, but has little-to-no elevation gain, making this trail suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.4 Miles
Elevation Gain: 36 Feet

10. Kalabus – Perry Forest Loop

Credit: North County Public Radio


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head east on NY-29/Lake Avenue toward Britton Place for 7.2 miles and turn left onto Homestead Road. Drive for 0.9 miles and turn left onto Gailor Lane. After 0.6 miles, the parking area will be on your left.

The Kalabus – Perry Forest Loop is a peaceful hike that is perfect for individuals who want a private and secluded adventure. This trail runs through the seldom-used Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park and has miles of open trail to explore.

Originally intended to be a mountain biking trail, the surface is a loose and sandy surface – after a rainy day, it can be quite the slog. With little human foot traffic, the preserve is an excellent place to spot wildlife in their natural, undisturbed habitat.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4.7 Miles
Elevation Gain: 229 Feet

11. Carriage, Main, and Upper Canyon, Devil’s Den, and Backstretch Trail Loop

Credit: Sam Cherubin / AllTrails


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head west on Church Street for 0.2 miles and make a right turn onto Clinton Street. Stay on Clinton Street for 1.5 miles and the parking area for this hike will be on the opposite side of the stop sign.

The Carriage, Main, and Upper Canyon, Devil’s Den, and Backstretch Trail Loop is a moderate-to-difficult trek that combines four single-track trails into one all-encompassing and picturesque hike around the beautifully lush and quiet Daniels Road State Forest.

Like many of the trails in Saratoga Springs, this too doubles as a mountain bike trail, however, because of the abrupt rocky surface with an exposed root system due to years of erosion, this trail is a better-suited as a backwoods hiking adventure. Mosquitos are big fans of this trail as well, bring a healthy amount of Deet.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 10.2 Miles
Elevation Gain: 853 Feet

12. North Woods Outer Loop

Credit: Loyola Academy College Counseling / Flickr

Directions: From downtown Saratoga Springs, head north on Broadway/NY-29 Truck E for 0.8 miles. Turn left onto Broadway Entrance Road and then make an immediate right at the first cross street onto Skidmore College. After 0.1 miles, make a quick right and the parking area for this hike will be on your left.

The North Woods Outer Loop is within walking distance from the campus of Skidmore College. However, it does not take any time to escape school into the northern woods of Saratoga Springs.

The forested trail is not well-maintained and can be difficult to follow, but the trail is not too vast, rediscovering the trail is just a matter of retracing your steps.

The path is listed as easy, but as you approach the middle of the loop, there is a short and steep climb that may be difficult for some hikers.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.8 Miles
Elevation Gain: 206 Feet

13. Kayaderosseras Creek from Lake Lonely

Credit: dwight pierre / Flickr


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head east on Lake Avenue toward Britton Place for 0.4 miles and make a right onto Nelson Avenue. Continue for 1.9 miles and make a left onto Crescent Avenue. After 0.9 miles, the parking area for this hike will be on your left

The Kayaderosseras Creek from Lake Lonely runs through Ballston Spa before draining into Saratoga Lake. A popular place for water sports, Kayaderosseras Creek has a beautiful and well-maintain trail that begins from the exceptionally reflective shores of Lake Lonely.

The hike is rated moderate due to the overall distance, but the conditions are quite mild. This path follows the creek along a smooth dirt path with very little elevation gain, making this trail very suitable for hikers of all levels.

The path is relatively private and is an excellent opportunity to birdwatch along the tranquil shores of Kayaderosseras Creek.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 45 Feet

14. North Woods Blue, Orange, and Red Loop

Credit: eveeross / Flickr

Directions: From downtown Saratoga Springs, head north on Broadway/NY-29 Truck E for 0.8 miles. Turn left onto Broadway Entrance Road and then make an immediate right at the first cross street onto Skidmore College. After 0.1 miles, make a quick right and the parking area for this hike will be on your left.

Just like the North Woods Outer Loop, the North Woods Blue, Orange, and Red Loop is in the same park outside of Skidmore College. This campus hike connects three distinct trails that make up this beautiful trail.

The North Woods Outer Loop hike skirts the perimeter of the hill, however, the North Woods Blue, Orange, and Red Loop wanders through the hill, ultimately reaching the peak – a wooded overlook of campus as well as Saratoga Springs.

The hike is challenging enough to get your heart rate going, all while walking through vibrant fields of flora and fauna.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.0 Miles
Elevation Gain: 216 Feet

15. Rowland Hollow Creek via White Trail

Credit: The Slender Adventurer / Facebook


Directions:
From downtown Saratoga Springs, head south on Broadway for 0.2 miles and turn right onto Washington Street. Continue for 2.5 miles and take a left turn onto Slade Road. Drive for 0.2 miles and turn right onto Grand Avenue and the parking area will be on your left.

The Rowland Hollow Creek via White Trail is a peaceful afternoon walk along a flowing and babbling creek. This short hike is comfortable for adventurers of all skill levels.

The limited elevation gain and the smooth pathways create a pleasant atmosphere for young children to put away their screens and enjoy nature.

The hike wanders through the wildlife-abundant Rowland Hollow Creek Preserve. Follow the creek the length of the hike before turning back through a wonderfully wooded forest.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.1 Miles
Elevation Gain: 6 Feet