Sitting on the southern edge of New York's Catskill Mountains is the historic and picturesque Mohonk Mountain House overlooking Mohonk Lake. This spot has been welcoming vacationers for over 130-years, originally as small retreat it steadily grew to its present size as its popularity soared. The grand hotel and its pristine surroundings is an idyllic getaway for outdoor enthusiasts that want a few nights away or a day trip to enjoy the grounds. There are many great recreational activities within the grounds; the beautiful hiking trails being one of the most popular attractions.
Places We've VisitedClick Map to activate
The hiking here, simply put, is awesome! Well maintained and marked trails traverse through thousands of acres ancient forests that will enchant you with their tranquillity and beauty. You will truly be able to connect with nature here. These trails take you through a region known as Shawangunk, a place referred to as on of the 'last great places' on Earth. Nature here has remained untouched by development for hundreds of years. Several hikes are available, each of varying difficultly levels to suit extreme hiking enthusiasts and the more leisurely visitor. Maps of the routes are provided to both hotel guests and day trippers.
The shortest hike is the Sky Top route, which is 1.1 miles long and takes you up a fairly steep path to the Sky Tower. From the top the views are amazing and if you go on a particularly clear day, you will be able to see an impressive six states, a panoramic view of Mohonk Mountain House, and the surrounding forest. If you don't feel like walking back down the steep entry route, you should use the carriage road, a wonderfully scenic path.
The North Lookout is one of the best moderate hiking trails and is only 2.3 miles long. The route is fairly flat, but offers you the most amazing views of the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. When you reach the end of the route, you'll find a pretty gazebo sitting on a cliff's edge, providing a great place to stop, relax, and decompress.
If you're a first time visitor one of the best ways to get acquainted with the environment is to join a bird or nature walk. These walks are led by a naturalist with in depth knowledge of the local flora and fauna, you will even be provided with binoculars. You will learn the history of how the land here was formed, as well as some cool facts about the local creatures living there.