Minnewaska Lodge is an Upstate New York holistic vacation resort that is only 90 minutes from New York City but offers a tranquil and relaxed environment with world-class hospitality. The lodge offers 26 rooms, some with private balconies and others boasting cathedral ceilings, as well as several amenities.
However, its most attractive aspects are the wealth of outdoor recreation activities available to visitors and its proximity to historic Hudson Valley towns. The following are six things guests should do during their stay at Minnewaska Lodge.
1. Climb the Shawangunk Mountains
The Shawangunk Mountain range is an extension of the Blue Mountain and Kittatinny Mountain in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, respectively. Commonly referred to as “the Gunks,” the Shawangunk Mountains encompass 761 miles of trails and is one of the most popular climbing areas in the US. Minnewaska Lodge is conveniently located along the base of the mountain range, allowing guests to gaze upon its natural beauty from their balconies or watch the sun illuminate its cliff face from the Great Room.
Those who are more adventurous can set out to scale the Gunks, which offers climbs of varying degrees of difficulty. Fortunately, for beginners, it boasts some of the best easy-to-moderate climbs in the country. Some of the most popular cliffs to climb include the Trapps, the Nears, Peterskill, and Millbrook, the latter of which is better suited for advanced climbers. September and October generally offer the best conditions for climbing.
2. Explore Minnewaska State Park Preserve
The Minnewaska State Park Preserve encompasses 25,000 acres of natural and preserved land surrounding Minnewaska Lodge. The park offers an abundance of outdoor recreation activities, including swimming, scuba diving, and rock climbing. A 50-mile trail system is perfect for hiking and biking in the spring in summer, while visitors can cross-country ski in the winter. Those looking for an overnight experience, meanwhile, can set up a tent at the Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground.
Regarding natural attractions, the park features dense hardwood forests, streams that open into valleys, crystal clear lakes, and several waterfalls. It also houses the Minnewaska Bird Conservation Area (BCA), which consists of forest-dwelling birds such as the black-throated blue warbler, the Canada warbler, the Northern flicker, and the scarlet tanager. Also, the BCA features two peregrine falcons.
3. Fish Along the Hudson River
The 315-mile Hudson River presents angling opportunities throughout New York State and even in New York City, but the most serene and peaceful areas for fishing are found upstate, specifically near Minnewaska Lodge. Beyond the tranquility of upstate fishing areas, the Hudson River stands out for its variety of fish. The river is home to more than 220 species, including bluefish, largemouth bass, trout, perch, and catfish.
4. Hike in the Mohonk Preserve
Another popular area near the Minnewaska Lodge is the Mohonk Preserve. While the preserve offers rock-climbing and horseback riding opportunities, it is perhaps best known for its renowned hiking trail system that was named “Best of the Hudson Valley” by Hudson Valley Magazine. It includes more than 70 miles of trails and several loops for those looking to embark on a single-day hike. Popular loops include the Millbrook Ridge Loops, the Foothills Loop, and the Undercliff-Overcliff Loop. The latter once served to transport goods and people to mountain resorts.
5. Traverse the Shawangunk Wine Trail
Wine connoisseurs and collectors will particularly enjoy the Shawangunk Wine Trail, which begins 60 miles north of New York City and extends through Ulster and Orange Counties along the Hudson River and the Shawangunk Mountain range. The 80-mile trail encompasses 15 small-to-medium sized wineries, such as Angry Orchard, Baldwin Vineyards, and Brimstone Hill Vineyard. Meanwhile, Brotherhood, founded in 1839, is America’s oldest winery.
The trail boasts incredible scenery and a diverse range of Hudson River Region wines such as Vinifera, French-American, and fruit. Wineries often host annual tastings and other events, such as lobster festivals and jazz concerts.
6. Visit Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery
Conveniently located within a short drive from Minnewaska Lodge, Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery is the sole whiskey distillery in New York State. The business was founded by Brian Lee and Ralph Erenzo, who converted an old mill granary at Tuthilltown Gristmill into a micro-distillery. They produced their first batches of vodka in 2005 from scraps collected at a nearby apple slicing plant. The company continues to distill vodka from apples and also produces the award-winning Hudson Whiskey brand.
Guests can stop by the Visitor Center to sample the whiskey and vodka as well as other handmade spirits such as gins and liqueurs. Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery also offers tours where visitors can see how each batch of spirits is produced and visit the property’s orchards and farms.