New Paltz Things to Do

  • An original Huguenot house
    An original Huguenot house
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  • Things to Do
    by moiraistyx
  • Things to Do
    by moiraistyx

Best Rated Things to Do in New Paltz

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    Minnewaska State Park

    by moiraistyx Updated May 11, 2010

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    Patrick hiking at Lake Minnewaska

    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.

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    Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

    by moiraistyx Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    THE WALLKILL RIVER AS SEEN FROM THE RAIL TRAIL
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    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.

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    THE MOHONK PRESERVE

    by moiraistyx Updated May 11, 2010

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    The Visitor Center
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    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.

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    Rivendell Winery

    by moiraistyx Written May 11, 2006

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    When I first moved back to New York and started dating, the person I was dating was into wine. Actually a trip to a winery was our second date, so when Valentines Day came around I knew the perfect gift for him would be a high quality wine. I took a chance and went to Rivendell, a small family owned winery about 3 miles up the road from where I live. Well my chance paid off. Muratori loved the wine and so did I. Now when we have family events we all go to Rivendell and pick out a new bottle of wine to try. I highly recommend the 2001 Merlot, its absolutely fantastic. The 2004 Soho Cellars Johannisberg Riesling is also a great choice. When I went looking for the website to provide with this tip, I also found out that the Wine Bar Christopher was so fond of bringing me to last summer
    (www.vintagenewyork.com/winebar) is owned and operated by the family who owns this winery. It really is a small world.

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    Huguenot Street

    by moiraistyx Written May 11, 2006

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    A trip down Huguenot Street is like walking back into history. These are all very old structures with a historical significance to New Paltz. There are 6 original stone house all built before 1720 and a beautiful church and graveyard. The other structures here were built later on, but all have historical value to them. In the warmer months there are guided tours of the buildings. I went in March so the building weren't open, but it was still great to walk around a look through the windows in.

    There is a parking lot that is free.

    Being the ghost hunter that I am, we spent a lot of time by the graveyard. Patrick went to the area near the back of the church and came running back saying its spooky back there. I took a look and found very old graves marked with writing/symbols I did not recognize. You know they say children are the best sensors of paranormal activity. Those of you who believe will feel the energy.

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    Mohonk Mountain Resort Grounds

    by Easty Written Sep 7, 2003

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    Mohonk Mountain View

    The views from Mohonk Mountain are unbeatable. There are many hiking trails in the resort with beautiful vistas. From Sky Top, which is the summit of Mohonk Mountain, you can see 50 miles in all directions. You can see at least 3 states here if not more (Mohonk Mountain is within 50 miles of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts). The Mohonk Mountain House is a sight in itself. I also love the lake with the rocky cliffs. It is a great place to spend a day or two hiking around

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    Awosting Falls

    by moiraistyx Updated Jan 30, 2008

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    Awosting Falls
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    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.

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    High Peter's Kill Path

    by moiraistyx Written Jan 30, 2008

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    Me prior to making ass tracks
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    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.

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    New Paltz Youth Program-Annual Easter Egg Hunt

    by moiraistyx Updated Sep 23, 2008

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    Here comes Peter Cotton Tail

    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.

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    Hike Mohonk

    by donnasue Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Mohonk Mountain House

    MUST hike around Mohonk. A day pass is around $15and worth it - as you can spend hours all day hiking miles of secluded trails or populated areas such as the trails lined with gazebos around Mohonk Lake. The Mountain House itself is just spectactular to view. Dont forget to hike the steep ascent to Skytop tower to view miles galore.

    Also -off the beaten path on the trail guide ascending to the Mountain House is an old log cabin built in 1777. Worth a visit. (you can easily finegle your way inside to view the primitive living quarters -sshhhhhhhhhh)

    Even though its more crowded on weekends - its worth it to go just to eat lunch at the Picnic Lodge at the top. Only open on weekends - in the Fall I believe.

    For $20 for 2people you can eat huge sandwiches on homemade bread (the tuna melts are lush), enjoy homemade soup and pie and stretch out in front of the fire.

    If you dont go on the weekend - dont forget to pack a lunch and plenty of water!

    Too bad its too expensive to stay here at $400-700a night!

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    Dubois House 1705 -- Huguenot Historical Society

    by Ekahau Updated Aug 27, 2006

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    Dubois House 1705
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    Daniel DuBois built his house and a small fort called a Redoubt in 1705. this is one of the French Huguenots homes that start the settlement of New Paltz in 1677. it is now the point to gather for a tour of the old village and a gift shop.

    The little party of French Huguenots were lead by Louis Dubois and would stand to reason his house would be the fortified place they would go to in time of attack. Also this home was really one of the earliest democratic forms of a colonial regime in the Americas.

    Huguenot Street tour is about one-and-a-half-hour tour walk

    Hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. Last tour is at 4 p.m.

    tour gives the VTer a view Visitor Center, followed by a visit to three of the houses and the church/Gallery.

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    Jean Hasbrouck House1712

    by Ekahau Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Huguenot Street Jean Hasbrouck House1712
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    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.

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    Magnificient Modern Sculpture + Nature

    by danasuzanne Written Jan 5, 2007

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    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.

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    HIKING AT MOHONK MOUNTAIN HOUSE

    by moiraistyx Written Jul 20, 2009

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    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.

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  • If you are any kind of...

    by sartec3 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    If you are any kind of outdoors person you must visit the Gunks. It is a climbers heaven and even a great time for a day hike. The climbing walls go on and on seemingly without end. The view is one of the most spectacular views i have ever seen. If you are going to this area you need to pick up the Gunks Guide - its a book found at EMS and most other outdoor stores that is the best guide book to the area. Every climb is in here along with tips, maps and photos to help you along the way.
    Walls the go on and on.

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