We’ve all been craving the outdoors a bit more lately than usual. Hiking has become the latest craze, which means we’re all looking for new routes to explore and conquer mountains!
If you’re thinking of hiking Mohonk in New York’s Hudson Valley, you’ve come to the right place.
There are 85 miles of winding trails that range from beginner to advanced in varying degrees of difficulty.
How do I get to Mohonk Preserve?
First drive up the New York Freeway to Exit 18 – New PaltzIn this quaint university town, take a break for breakfast, pack a picnic, and then head out the Mohonk Reserve.
You can not miss it … aim for the tower on top of the limestone alabaster cliffs.
The reserve is world famous Mecca for climbers.
Keep an eye on the road as you make your way up winding Route 55. It’s hard to resist the temptation to watch the colorful climbers on their precarious routes. Park at West Trps Trailhead Lot, our starting point for the Undercliff Carriage Road where our hike begins.
As you hike in Mohonk you will get up close and personal with the rock rats – men, women and children burdened with a variety of backpacks, clanking climbing gear attached to every part of their body that look more like walking hardware stores than natural people. Rope reels, which are slung over both shoulders like a bandolier, complete the uniform.
However, we are here to hike. If you keep marching along the undercliff you will soon lose sight and be out of earshot of screaming … “Safe!”, “Climb!”, “I can’t go any higher” (scared), “Bring your left foot up”.
Two miles from your start you will come to an intersection. On the left you will come to the busy Overcliff Road.
The law leads you to … somewhere.
Stay straight as you go through cool valley of Laurel Ledge A canyon that plunges you into a green blanket … mountain laurel and rhododendron.
The cool moist air hugs and refreshes you. After a few smaller cliffs on your left you will come to the less traveled road – the Old Minnewaska Trail. A gradual ascent will bring you to an intermediate level of the ridge. Invisible at the top, Overcliff Road is a parallel to your hike.
The air is significantly warmer as the warmth radiates from the rock slabs and the scent of pine trees floats in the wind like dragon breath. Two miles later you will arrive Split rock, a split limestone that channels the —creek—. Once a lock was used for a sawmill.
Turn left on that Red trail for a short but steep mountain hike back to your starting point at the parking lot.
This 5-mile hike is just one of the 70-mile horse-drawn carriage roads and trails available in the conservation area.
Don’t forget to bring your camera when hiking Mohonk!
About the Mohonk Reserve
Open 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset. Walking is permitted in daylight from 7 a.m. until dusk.
Mohonk trail fees:
ril – November
29 USD – per adult (13 years and older)
USD 24 – per child (4-12 years old)
At this point, all hikers MUST be Buy your hiking passes online. Your hiking pass includes access to the hiking trails on the Mohonk Mountain House property.
Your temperature will be checked upon arrival. Full-day hikers are required to wear masks when hiking in Mohonk, and hikers must be physically at least 6 feet away from other hikers.
Get on the way:
Take Exit 18 on New Paltz from the NYS Thruway. Travel 7 miles west (through New Paltz) on Route 299 to the end: Turn right on Route 44-55.
You can see the Mohonk hiking trail m Here.
To prepare for your day of hiking, we recommend that you bring a packaged meal, bottled water, rain gear, and a headlight. You can also read our post on the best hiking gear.