New Paltz, NY
If Henny Youngman knew about hiking in Minnewaska State Park, he would tell you, “Take this hike—please.” (Ta-dum.) The civilized carriageways around Lake Minnewaska are part of a 50-mile road system developed more than a century ago by area hotel owners who wanted their guests to be able to access scenic spots in horsedrawn carriages. Today’s hikers will appreciate those long-ago land barons for providing a way to take in lovely vistas without stumbling over roots or pushing aside prickly underbrush. And what vistas! The peaceful water views are enhanced by dramatic cliffs that rise from Minnewaska’s rugged shoreline. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suits; the hike begins and ends near the lake’s only official swimming area, and you may want to take a dip. But be warned: the water in this deep, spring-fed lake is chilly (read “like ice”), even on the steamiest August day. If the Lake Minnewaska loop sounds too tame for your adventurous group, you can extend this hike into a moderate day hike up Millbrook Mountain.
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Directions to: Lake Minnewaskaprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Nearby City||New Paltz|
|Elevation Gain||200 ft|
|Skill Level||Easy for children|
|Duration||Day hike; 1 hour|
|Season||March to December|
|Top Elevation||1,765 ft|
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