This is the Jean Hasbrouck House, built in 1712. This Vter was told on the tour that the home is very uique type of structure built in colonial America architecture style ( well I did not quite get it either but the main beams indicates that Jacob built this place in 1712. For Vters in Eruope and Asia yup you are not impressed with 1712 being old but for the USA this is very old.
It is today the place the Huguenot Historical Society calles it HQ. This is the group that maintains Huguenot Street and host the tours that run from May through October.
The fee $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-17 as of 2006, But the VT may saunter along Huguenot Street free if you wish.
Whether you walk it, bike it or ride your horse, this is a great way to get your exercise and see some of the most spectacular views of the Schwangunk Ridge. The trail is 12.2 miles in length officially, but you can continue beyond the New Paltz Rosendale town line for about another mile or so. I biked the entire trail round trip with my friend Matthew last summer. It was an invigorating ride. There are strange cold patches along the line. If you believe in spirits you might believe its from the Native Americans that once inhabited the area. Be careful on the road crossing since cars don't usually obey the speed limit. If you do decide to bike the trail, I highly recommend a hybrid bike or a full mountain bike. Some of the path are lined with a fine stone and other have rough stone, yet others are pounded dirt. A regular road bike just will not do the job.
There are several activities each year involving the trail. Consult the website for more info.
This is one of Patrick's favorite walks since we can start half way between home, walk to New Paltz, stop for a snack and visit the toy store and then head home. On our last walk, he got to see a squirrel sitting in a tree eating a nut. He thought that was the coolest thing.
Entrance fee of $6.00 or $7.00 per car, you get access to 2 lakes and numerous hiking/biking/cross country skiing trails. What a peaceful and wonderful time to spend in any season, but I favor hiking in the autumn...
The Mohonk Preserve is the largest member and visitor-supported nature preserve in New York State. The land occupied by The Mohonk Preserve was the first land trust established to protect the northern Shawangunk Ridge. The Shawangunk ridge is a section of the Appalachian Mountains. The Mohonk Preserve provides access to over 6,500 acres in the Shawangunk Mountains. It provides access to cliffs, forests, fields, ponds, and streams and to a network of over 100 miles of carriage roads and trails for hiking, running, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. The Shawangunks are also known as the “Gunks”. The cliffs are internationally know for rock climbing and offer over 1,000 technical rock climbing routes. There is a fee for using this land if you are not a member, it's $15 per person. The visitor center is located just off of 44/55 on the right hand side as you head west into the Shawangunks. The visitor center is definitely worth a visit, it has several display on the areas ecology, geology and history also live and stuffed specimens representative of the areas wild life.
At least once a week you can find me and Patrick hiking the trails in this glorious state park. The trails vary in length, when Patrick is with me I generally take the red trail. It runs around Lake Minnewaska providing great views from the cliff and the base. Depending on which way you start, you can finish with a refreshing dip at the swimming area of the lake. The trails here are said to be the best in New York. I agree. The trails are dog friendly, they just ask that you clean up after Fido. Be aware that children will want to pet your dog, so if it isn't friendly you should just keep it home for this walk.
Minnewaska State Park is definitely one of the most beautiful attractions in the Hudson Valley. the scenery is to die for and their is bountiful outdoor activities to chose from. There's hiking, biking, rock climbing, horse back riding, swimming, snow shoeing, skiing, etc. All you need here is the right equipment and you are set to go. Here's some general information about the activities offered.
BICYCLING - permitted on miles of scenic carriageways.
BOATING - car top boats permitted on Lake Minnewaska subject to issuance of a permit.
HIKING - permitted on trails and carriageways.
HORSEBACK RIDING - permitted on carriageways subject to permit.
HUNTING - is permitted in certain areas subject to restrictions.
PICNICKING - permitted in designated areas.
SCUBA DIVING - by certified divers is permitted in Lake Minnewaska.
SKIING - is permitted on all carriageways.
SWIMMING - in designated areas at Lake Awosting and Lake Minnewaska.
ROCK CLIMBING - at the Peter's Kill Area which is located one mile east of the main park entrance, on the north side of route 44/55 opposite Lyons Road
There is a $8.00 per vehicle parking fee. I suggest coming early in the summer months since the lots fill up quickly.
Mohonk Mountain House is more than a lavish hotel. It's also a great place to hike, rock scramble and sit and relax. Richie and I spent one day of our vacation exploring the various trails and sites of The Mohonk Mountain House. We decided first to go to the Skytop Tower. There are three options to get there. The first is the easiest, it's a footpath that runs from the main house to the tower. It isn't all that easy to hike since it's 100% uphill. The second option is to take the Labyrinth rock scramble to the Skytop trail and then finish the hike up. The third option is to take the Labyrinth rock scramble and continue along the Crevice path to a series of ladders that lead straight up to the tower. We started with the third path and made it to the ladders, but Richie's fear of height kicked in so we back tracked to the stairs and finish to the tower. There are some fantastic view from each path. Be sure to bring your camera and take lots of pictures.
After we made it to the Skytop Tower, we decided to climbed the stairs and enjoy the view from the top of the tower. It was really great to see things from the tower since we usually see the tower form the various roads we are driving along.
From the tower we went to the Lily Pond. It was really pretty with the pink and white flowers floating on top of the water with the deep green lily pads. We didn't see any frogs or toads but we sure could hear them. Make sure you bring along bug spray since there are lots of mosquitoes and horse flies around the Lily Pond.
It usually costs $16 per person to hike the trails here if you are not a hotel guest. Richie and I are preserve members so it cost us $5 per person. There is a shuttle from the day visitor parking lot up to the picnic lodge or you can hike it. It's your choice.
Richie and I decided to stay home for our vacation this year and spend it together doing what we love most, HIKING. Alright what we love second best. Anyway, on our second day of vacation we ventured back up to the Mohonk Preserve and took the Banitou Crag trail. To get to this trail you have to park in lot four, the Spring Farm lot. We took the quickest and toughest route to the top of the Crag. It started with a long and steady incline up the mountain to the base of the Crag. From here we could either scramble up the rocks to the top or take the blue trail around to the other side then go up to the top. We first tried the rock scramble. About a third of the way up, Richie's fear of heights kicked in so we climbed back down and took the blue trail on up. This wasn't a rock scramble but it was not the easiest of routes to take either. It goes down hill for a while and as we all know what goes down must go back up. When we finally made it to the top, I was sucking wind like a pro. Well not really, but I was winded and sweating. The views are fantastic and thank goodness for the most excellent breeze at the top of the Crag. This trail is for a more experienced hiker and not a good choice for kids. If you want to do the rock scramble wear shoes with good tread, flip flops will not work for this. Bring lots of water and some snacks, you are gonna need to keep your energy up.
I've been hiking at the Mohonk Preserve twice now. The first time I came with my friend Tony. We walked a good portion of the West Trapps trail. It wasn't a difficult trail at all, but the fresh air was good and I got some much needed time outdoors. Trish and I brought the boys here this past weekend. This time the parking lot was full so we had to park at the visitors center. There is a series of carved stairs that go from the parking lot to the East Trapps trail. I will warn you ahead of time this is not an easy set of stairs. Anyway, we didn't get very far, it was hot and the boys kept asking to stop every 5 minutes. Trish and I are planning on coming back without any children, that way we can walk the entire trail.
Minnewaska State Park is another treasure located just outside of New Paltz. I have lived in the Hudson Valley all my life and had never been up to Minnewaska until this past year. Trish and I took our first hike her in January of 2008. Even though it was the middle of winter, the weather wasn't overly cold. We hiked about 8 miles that day. We brought the boys up here in Spring of 2008. They loved it a lot, especially Awosting Falls.
I am one of those people who loves to be outside, so whenever I get the chance, I grab my bike and head on out. Trish first told me about the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in winter of 2008/2009. It wasn't until Fall 2009 that she actually got me out her biking. On our first ride we covered about 1/2 of the trail between Gardiner and New Paltz. The next couple of times I hit the trail alone. On my last visit I reached the end of the trail. I was excited that I finally reached the gorge that Trish had told me about.
So I'm back to playing in my own backyard again, at least my old backyard. Today Rich and I took Patrick and his boys out for the annual Easter egg hunt sponsored by the New Paltz Youth Program. I was surprised at the number of children that showed up. What was nice is that the egg hunt is broken up by age group, which allows for the younger children to have a fair shot at gathering eggs. Patrick and Thatius opted to join the 7-9 year olds as opposed to the 4-6 year olds, which worked out well for them, well at least for Patrick, Thatius was a tad bit afraid of the Easter Bunny and ended up hanging out with Rich for the hunt. Sebastian and Patrick both got about 15 eggs which were filled with various candies, caramels, smarties, gum, tootsie rolls and taffy. The event is well organized and starts off with the Easter Bunny arriving on a fire truck. There are bathroom facilities for the weak bladdered, but no food and beverages were for sale. We had perfect weather for our egg hunt, mid 50's, bright and sunny. This is a great event for children of all ages. I highly recommend this even for anyone and everyone. This event is free too.
New Paltz was founded in 1677 by French Huguenots who had taken refuge in what is now Mannheim, Germany for a few years before coming to America. New Paltz was dominated for over 150 years by the 12 partners and their heirs, referred to as the Twelve Men or the Duzine--who had acquired the royal patent of over 33,000 acres, which stretched all the way from the Shawangunk Mountains to the Hudson River.
We enjoyed exploring historic Huguenot Street with it's collection of houses and museums that date as far back as the early 1700's. The houses are furnished with antiques from the families' time. Included in the site are the Jean Hasbrouck house, Deyo house, Freer house, Grimm Gallery, the French Church and the Museum. In addition there is a cemetery, library, gallery, gift shop, and picnic facilities.
For many years, I have been hiking in Minnewaska State Park. It wasn't until recently that I ventured off of my usual trail that looped around Lake Minnewaska. Rich and I were off of work and lucky for me, we decided to hike the High Peter's Kill path and lucky for me we missed the turn off and ended up at the lower parking lot near the park entrance. Rich wanted to just walk back down to the Peter's Kill parking lot via the road, but I talked him into taking the Awosting Falls path. We are both so happy that we did. The path was full of snow and much colder than the Peter's Kill path that we had just come off of, but holy smokes was it beautiful. One of the things we got to see was a small cave nearly covered by and filled we long icicles. Rich was daring and ducked inside the cave. I wasn't nearly as brave. After the cave we came to a beautiful, beautiful waterfall. We tried to take a bunch of pictures, but it was so cold my hands felt like they were gonna crack. I took the opportunity to take some black and whites of some great ice patterns while we were at the falls. Rich again was brave and hiked up next to the falls and stood up on some rocks to take some pics. The rest of the Awosting Falls carriage way was filled with great scenery. I am looking forward to seeing the falls in the warmer months and being able to sit and eat a picnic lunch. I might even be brave enough to swim there, if its allowed.
The beauty of Minnewaska State Park is the wide variety of trails, paths and carriageways it has to offer. Rich and I both had a day off from work so we decided to head up to Minnewaska and take advantage of a beautiful, bright and sunny day. I wanted to take a trail I hadn't done before, lucky for me I saw the turn of for the Peter's Kill parking lot. A quick right and we were off. We checked into the ranger station to find out if there was a parking fee or a trail fee, lucky strike number 2, no fees in the winter time. We started on the red trail which took us down to a beautiful little stream. Parts of the stream were frozen over, but many weren't due to the many little drops and falls. It was quite breath taking. From there we hit the yellow trail and finally the blue trail, which is the High Peter's Kill Path. A good portion of this path is uphill, so be prepared. I got winded at a couple of spots and had to stop and rest. All along the trail are views of the catskills and the park that are absolutely amazing. At one point Rich and I laid down on a rock and just looked up at the beautiful blue sky. I am a bit more daring than Rich and found it cool to crawl up to the edge of the cliffs and look over. In one spot the rock I was on was covered with a hard ice/snow, so I took advantage and lifted up my hands and heals and slid down the rock, it was fun. I left a butt mark which I now have termed ass tracks. Be sure to watch for the yellow trail marker that will take you back to the original red trail. If you miss it like we did you end up at route 44/55 at the state park entrance. Be sure to bring plenty of water and some snacks, this hike is gonna take you about 3 hours to do. We went in the dead of winter and were very comfortable dressing layers. At one point we were even sweating. Good hiking boots are a must.
Storm King Art Center is a museum that celebrates the relationship between sculpture and nature. Five hundred acres of landscaped lawns, fields and woodlands provide the site for postwar sculptures by internationally renowned artists. At Storm King, the exhibition space is defined by sky and land. Unencumbered by walls, the subtly created flow of space is punctuated by modern sculpture. The grounds are surrounded by the undulating profiles of the Hudson Highlands, a dramatic panorama integral to the viewing experience. The sculptures are affected by changes in light and weather, so no two visits are the same.