Luckily, even people stuck in the concrete jungle of New York City can easily escape to nature, thanks to nearby getaways like Minnewaska Lodge, a short drive away in the beautiful Shawangunk Mountains.
Surrounded by 25,000 acres of wilderness, Minnewaska Lodge offers gorgeous views of the woods and mountains. Additionally, the resort provides guests with immediate access to a wide range of outdoor activity opportunities. The following are just some of the ways Minnewaska Lodge guests can enjoy the outdoors:
Hiking and Rock Climbing
The Shawangunk Mountains offer some of New York’s best hiking. Affectionately nicknamed “the Gunks,” these mountains are home to broadleaf forests of oak, chestnut, and hemlock trees, interspersed with crystal-clear lakes, streams, and bogs. Rock climbing is a major attraction here due to the many rock cliffs and formations that dot the area.
Additionally, the Shawangunks are an excellent destination for hikers of virtually all experience levels. There are plenty of trails that are ideal for those just trying hiking for the first time, as well as trails that will certainly prove challenging enough to keep seasoned hikers interested. You can even hike 71 miles to New Jersey via the Shawangunk Ridge Trail, which winds through Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Within the preserve itself are 50 miles of footpaths for hiking and biking.
Those who’d prefer a more strenuous mountain climbing experience can find one in the nearby Trapps, the largest and most popular rock cliff in the Gunks—not to mention one of the more famous destinations among climbers in the Eastern US. Even those who don’t have experience rock climbing can try it out, thanks to multiple nearby businesses and guides that offer rock climbing instruction for beginners.
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
An arduous hike or rock-climbing experience may appeal to some, but others might want a more leisurely way to enjoy nature. Luckily, the Minnewaska Lodge is also just a few minutes away from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.
The Rail Trail follows the route taken by the now-defunct Wallkill Valley Railroad for some 23 miles. Traveling the entire route will take hikers through several small towns and quaint historic districts, including Gardiner, New Paltz, and Rosendale. The trail ends in Kingston, New York’s first state capital. Trees and the Wallkill River border both sides of the Rail Trail for much of its length, but hikers can step off the trail and explore the many towns through which it passes. The trail crosses several historic trestles and truss bridges along its way.
Best of all, the Rail Trail is relatively flat, making it ideal for nature walks, runs, leisurely bike rides, and even horseback riding. It’s also a popular cross-country skiing route in the winter.
Anyone daring enough to give skydiving a try will be happy to know that Minnewaska Lodge is also fairly close to Skydive the Ranch, which is also the closest skydiving drop zone to New York City. Skydiving from this drop zone naturally provides guests with incredible views on their way down. In addition, the company caters to both experienced skydivers and beginners alike.
Autumn and Winter Fun
The warmer months are by no means the only time of year when Minnewaska Lodge offers guests easy access to fun outdoor activities. Fall offers ample opportunities for leaf peeping. One way to view the multi-colored foliage is to drive the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway. This 88-mile loop begins in Kerhonkson and ends in New Paltz, ascending into the mountains and offering views of the beautiful countryside in between. Viewpoints along the way allow drivers to pull off the road and take photos.
Winter is a magical time in the Shawangunks. Minnewaska Lodge is only a short drive south of some of New York’s popular downhill ski mountains, including Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, less than 90 minutes away. Closer to the lodge, both Minnewaska State Park Preserve and Mohonk Preserve are prime destinations for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Because Minnewaska Lodge is close to the Wallkill River and several smaller lakes and streams, guests can also find plenty of water-based activities to try out in the area.
Options include kayaking, boating, tubing, fishing, and more. In addition, anyone willing to ask locals about their favorite swimming holes will learn that during summer, many enjoy cliff jumping into the deep pool at Split Rock Hole, just outside of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Within the park, there are designated swimming areas on Lake Minnewaska and Lake Awosting.
Anyone planning a stay at Minnewaska Lodge has a range of outdoor activities to choose from. While the lodge is a perfect place for rest, relaxation, and pampering, its proximity to a range of outdoor experiences makes it an ideal destination for those looking to spend time in nature. Best of all, the lodge and the Shawangunks are so close to New York City that getting there is a snap.