The Mohonk Preserve
Rising prominently along the western New Paltz skyline, the cliffs of the Shawangunk Mountains are iconic to the area. The Mohonk Preserve has numerous carriage roads and trails to hike, bike and ski every day of the year. Hike the flat six mile loop of Undercliff and Overcliff Roads, with views of both the Catskills and Wallkill Valley. Take the more rugged High Peterskill Trail into Minnewaska State Park Preserve or scramble up the cliff face at Bonticou Crag.
The Mohonk Preserve is home to some of the most popular cliffs for technical rock climbing in the United States. On a nice weekend day, several hundred climbers are usually scaling rock faces and boulders at the famous Trapps and Near Trapps cliffs.
Day fees are $12/person for hikers and $17/person for climbers/bikers. The Visitors Center is open 9 a.m. to 5.p.m.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Located 15 minutes from New Paltz, Minnewaska encompasses 21,000 acres of the Shawangunk Mountain ridge. Explore majestic waterfalls, beautiful lakes, and towering cliffs. Hike and bike along 35 miles of carriageways and 25 miles of footpaths. Swim in the pristine waters of Lake Minnewaska or Lake Awosting. Excellent bouldering and rock climbing can be found at the Peterskill area. In winter, Minnewaska offers some of the best cross-country skiing in the region on its groomed trails.
Fees are $8/car or $10/person for climbing and $6/person for skiing. Minnewaska is located on Route 44/55, 5 miles west of the intersection with Route 299.
Mohonk Mountain House
Even if you aren't staying at the luxurious resort hotel modeled after Victorian castles and built in the late 1800's, you can still enjoy the many hiking, biking, and cross-country ski and snowshoes trails that surround the property. Climb ladders and scramble up rock at the prominent Skytop cliff to reach the base of a stone fire tower with the best views in the region.
Cross-country ski conditions and grooming information is available at: http://www.mohonk.com/content/download/1053/13048/file/ReportSnow.pdf
Fees on a weekday are $20/adult and $15/child under 12. Weekend fees are $25/adult and $20/child under 12.
Slabsides/John Burroughs Sanctuary
Famed naturalist John Burroughs built this home in 1895 as a retreat and source inspiration for his work. The house is open only at select times, but the surrounding property is accessible throughout the year. The protected land around the retreat now comprises nearly 200 acres near the Hudson with four miles of trails along cliffs and through dense forests.
No fee is charged.
Black Creek Preserve
A small but serene setting, Black Creek flows into the Hudson and features 4 miles of trails in 130 acres of river and forest habitat. Hike, bird-watch, fish, and take in the views on trails crossing a 120 ft suspension bridge and leading down to the Hudson River.
No fee is charged. The Preserve is located 5 miles north of the 9W and 299 intersection, approximately 20 minutes from New Paltz.
Excellent mountain biking and hiking on 760 acres of forest and ridgeline make Shaupeneak an attractive destination with Hudson River scenery and winter-time views of the Catskills. Ski down ungroomed trails when the snow falls or canoe in Louisa Pond when the weather is warmer.
No fee is charged. Shaupeneak is approximately 25 minutes from New Paltz, near Esopus NY.
Sam's Point Preserve
Southwest of New Paltz, Sam’s Point Preserve protects 5400 acres of the Shawangunk Mountain ridge. Enjoy hikes of all difficulties that will take you to a variety of sights. Pass through rare dwarf pine barrens, stand atop the impressive Verkeerderkill Falls, enter the frigid ice caves, or reach the high point of the Shawangunk Ridge with stunning views of the surrounding area. Stop by the Conservation Center at the entrance for exhibits on the ridgeline and its ecosystem.
Parking fee is $10. Sam’s Point is about 45 minutes from New Paltz off of Route 52 near Ellenville.
The Catskill Mountains offer a wealth of recreation of all types. Enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, bird-watching, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing and much more. New York State manages 600,000 acres, much of which are kept in wilderness conditions. The Catskills provide a lifetime of exploration, much of which starts just 45 minutes from New Paltz.
Walkway Over the Hudson
Once the site of an old railway line, the Historic Park opened in 2009 and features a pedestrian bridge spanning 1.28 miles across the Hudson River. Walk, run, or bike starting from either side and enjoy amazing Hudson scenery. Great for wheelchairs. Hours of operation vary seasonally. There is a $5/four hours parking fee.