Lake Minnewaska Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • Top of the falls.  Be carefall.
    Top of the falls. Be carefall.
    by blueskyjohn

Lake Minnewaska Things to Do

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    by blueskyjohn Written Nov 10, 2014

    Lake Minnewaska is a spring fed lake in a beautiful setting of forest and exposed cliffs that encompass the water. The lake is one of the highest points in the park. After the main entrance, there is a steep winding drive up to a large parking area. During the spring, summer and fall this upper parking lot fills quickly. Overflow parking is at the Awosting Falls parking lot at the bottom of the mountain.

    There is a carriage road that circles the lake. It is a favorite of the park because of its easy access and cliffs that can be explored. I recommend walking this in a clockwise manner. A short walk straight from the parking area gives great views of the lake. turn left and follow the carriage road which has red markers located on trees along the way. It is not long until you come to an open area which was formally the site of a resort hotel many years ago before it was a state park. This is a great picnic area ontop of the cliffs looking down at the lake.

    Continue down the carriage road another 10 minutes and you will reach a view point just off the road. This view point has an unobstructed view of the Hudson Valley and the town of New Paltz. Back on the road you eventually descend to water level. The lake is crystal clear. This is the half way point. The remainder of the carriage road is through a forest of pines, oaks and maples. Toward the end of this 2 miles loop is a restroom building and a beach that has a dock in the summer and lifeguards on duty for swimming.

    This walk is suitable for any age and highly recommended.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography
    • National/State Park

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  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    by blueskyjohn Written Nov 10, 2014

    Also known as Awosting Falls, this popular waterfall is located near the main entrance of the park. There are two places to park. Right after paying the entrance fee, turn right down a dirt road to a large parking area. After parking, walk back down the road you just drove and turn right at the entrance booth and cross the street. Here you will access the Awosting Falls Carriage Road. This well maintained dirt road travels along a stream for a short distance and then turns right. At this point you can see the top of the falls to the left. Be careful exploring this area. The falls are 90 feet high but the water below is very shallow.

    Continue down the carriage road as it switch backs down tot he base of the falls. It is a beautiful area. I have seen the falls gushing and roaring away and I have also seen it at just a trickle. It is very rain dependent so if there has not been rain in the forecast for some time, it is likely the falls will only be a trickle of water.

    The golden tint to the water is due to tannins found in the leaves and wood of the forest the stream runs through.

    You can also gain access tot he falls if you park at the Peterskill parking area and walk 1 mile on the Awosting Falls Carriage Road. The carriage road is a total of 1.4 miles. I enjoy the walk more from the Peterskill area because there are much less people walking this way.

    Top of the falls.  Be carefall.
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Photography

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