Who says we have to hike in the Catskills every time we go out? Not us! After all, within shouting distance of our beautiful Catskills lies the Shawangunk Ridge, designated by the Nature Conservancy as one of the “Last Great Places” on Earth. No doubt, some folks think that they’re one and the same. But, in fact, the Gunks are part of the Appalachian Mountain Range, while the Catskills are the easternmost part of the Allegheny Plateau.
Besides their different geological histories, the Catskills and the Shawangunks have differing appearances and features. Unlike the heavily forested Catskills, the Gunks are characterized by large areas of exposed rock, sky lakes and by rare plant communities different from those in the Catskills. There are wide open views of the Hudson Valley to be had, paths through one of only two ridgetop dwarf pine barrens in the world and expansive stands of blueberries, once harvested commercially by a seasonal community of berry pickers. It’s common to see raptors soaring on the currents off the eastern slopes.
Join CMC board member Wendell George as we hike in Minnewaska State Park Preserve. We’ll hike to Awosting Falls, Lake Minnewaska and on to Gertrude’s Nose. From there, we’ll continue to Millbrook Mountain.
Dress for comfort in moisture wicking clothing and wear good hiking boots. A hat is recommended, as is sunscreen. Bring lunch and plenty of water for this exposed warm weather hike. No dogs on this hike, due to restrictive park rules. The hike is moderately difficult due to its length of about 10 miles. Elevation change is relatively modest.
Pre-register before Thursday, July 31, 6 PM by contacting Wendell at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-254-4546. If you need to cancel, call me by 7:30 AM the day of the hike. Group size is limited.
Directions: Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located on US44/SR55. From New Paltz, go about 10.5 miles west on SR 299 and then Rte. 44/55. From US 209 in Kerhonkson, go east about 5.8 miles on Rte. 44/55. Meet at the main entrance. There is a fee per car for parking (seniors park free M-F).