Rated first of the eight attractions of New Paltz NY is Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The preserve is 13.5 miles west of New Paltz , 5 miles east of route 299, on route 44/55, and a 2-hour drive of 95 miles north of New York City.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve is a 21,106-acre reservation on the Shawangunk Ridge of Ulster County, New York. Shawangunk Ridge is a buildup of bedrock extending from northern New Jersey to the Catskill Mountains.
The park preserve is elevated over 2,000 feet above sea level offering a multitude of inspiring outdoor activities. It has dense forests, three gleaming lakes (Lake Minnewaska, Lake Awosting, and Mud Pond), streams, waterfalls, steep cliffs and ledges with scenic views.
There are thirty-five miles of roads and 25 miles of trails for hiking or biking. Activities include picnicking, hiking, biking, rock climbing, horseback riding. Aquatic activities include swimming, scuba diving and boating. Cross-country ski trails are available during winter.
Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, caused damage to the preserve resulting in limited operations in the park. Some trails were closed, biking and horseback riding have been restricted needing repair. The park is open for picnicking, hiking and climbing.
Dogs must be leashed and are restricted from walkways, camping, picnic or bathing areas and buildings. Within the park preserve are a variety of plants and animals unique in the state. There are Timber Rattlesnake, Bobcat, and the noctuid moth Zale curema.
Until March 9th – 9.00 AM to 5:00 PM
Starting March 10th – 9.00 AM to 7:00 PM
$8.00 per vehicle
Ellenville is a village at the junction of route 209 and route 52 of 4,135 population. Its position in the Roundout Valley is at the eastern base of the Catskill Mountains and western base of the Shawangunk Ridge. It is 90 miles northwest of New York City and ninety miles southwest of Albany.
The hamlet of Napanoch is in Ulster County, 2.5 miles north of Ellenville at the junction of routes 209 and 55. The village of Monticello is twenty-one miles south west of Ellenville in Sullivan County. New Paltz is a town of 14,003 population founded in 1678 by French Huguenots.
A few miles south of Ellenville off route 209 Spring Glen Campground has 100 campsites, 70 with electricity. There are hot showers, a recreation hall, store and Laundromat. Catskill Forest Preserve is nearly 300,000 acres in the Catskill Mountains, north of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. It has the best fishing streams in the state.
Ellenville is a 4 hour drive of 239 miles from Rochester NY. Drive I-90 east to Syracuse then US 81 south to Binghamton. Then drive route 17 to Monticello and finally route 209 north following signs to Minnewaska State Park Preserve.
Here is what one visitor thought of the park preserve.
“This park is Beautiful 2 be in & walk around. The sights & smells will blow your mind.”