While there are plenty of ways to take your date outside right here in the Montclair area, it’s also fun to venture and discover something new. For this date idea, head about 45 minutes north for a hike on the Rockland County side of Harriman State Park, before finding yourself at a charming winery by the name of Torne Valley Vineyard. A perfect pick for your next free sunny day, whether making plans with your significant other, or coupling up with a friend. Read on to get the full plan for a date filled with hiking trails, wine tasting, live music, and more in Rockland County, NY.
Harriman State Park has 22 miles of trails, and spans both Rockland and Orange Counties in New York. Just across the New Jersey border is the Reeves Brook trailhead, which provides a few different hiking options for northern NJ residents who aren’t looking to go far.
To get started, drive to Reeves Meadow Visitor Center at 100 Seven Lakes Dr in Sloatsburg, New York, where you can park your car, use the bathroom, and get any needed supplies before heading out on the trail. The parking lot can fill up — so get there early if possible — and don’t forget bug spray as the critters will most likely be out.
The most popular hike in this area is the Reeves Brook Loop Trail, a 3.8-mile loop with streams, small waterfalls, rock scrambling, and great views. Hikers suggest following this loop counterclockwise from the parking lot: white-blazed reeves to the blue trail to the red trail (turn left on the red trail).
If looking for something a bit shorter in length, take the Reeves Brook Trail (white blaze) out and back for a generous 2.7 miles. Even with the shorter length there are still plenty of rock scrambles, inclines, and dips to make this trail a moderate challenge.
Once the hiking fix is satisfied, get back on the Orange Turnpike to get to Torne Valley Vineyard — only about 10 minutes away.
Torne Valley Vineyard is a hidden gem, tucked away on the edge of Rockland County at 1-9 Torne Brook Road in Hillburn, New York. Founded in 2009, it was the first fully functioning winery in this area. Seated on a historic 19th-century country estate, the property and its Victorian mansion were restored to welcome visitors. The interior is still reminiscent of the 1800s, while the outside has been beautifully landscaped and boasts views of the Ramapo River.
The vineyard has live music on its outdoor patio area during the warmer months. Head here first to assess the wait, but you may want to hit the tasting room before sitting down so you know what kind of wine to order (the wine tasting is $15 per person). In case the hike wasn’t enough activity, there’s also a walk across the grounds — which pairs well with a cup of wine.
Once settled on the patio, order wine (there’s also beer and cider on tap) and a much-deserved, post-hike meal, and then sit back and enjoy the live band. The outdoor cafe serves up a mix of traditional bistro fare, including a cauliflower crust pizza, cheese platter, salads, paninis, burgers, and more.
The winery is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11AM to 5:30PM, with live music kicking off outdoors at 1PM. In the summer months, the winery also hosts dinner + music events with more live music, happening rain or shine under their outdoor tent.