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Minnewaska State Park Preserve, New Paltz

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.9/5 based on 360+ reviews on the web
The Minnewaska State Park Preserve is a 22275acre preserve located on the Shawangunk Ridge in Ulster County, New York on US 44/NY 55, 5mi west of New York State Route 299. The park, which features scenic overlooks of the nearby Catskill Mountains, is primarily used for picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and swimming. The park is managed by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.There are three sky lakes within the preserve: Lake Minnewaska, Lake Awosting, and Mud Pond. Lake Minnewaska is approximately 1mi long by 1//4mi wide at its widest point. Lake Awosting is roughly twice as large.HistoryOriginally part of Albert and Alfred Smiley's Mohonk Mountain House property, the Minnewaska Mountain House, or Cliff House, was built in 1879 overlooking Lake Minnewaska; it could accommodate 225 guests. After managing and developing Mohonk's early growth for ten years, twin Alfred H. Smiley purchased and developed Minnewaska separate from Mohonk, but the brothers exchanged courtesies to each other's guests. A second hotel, Wildmere, accommodated 350 guests. In 1955, Kenneth B. Phillips, Sr., the Minnewaska general manager, bought the property from the Smiley family. Cliff House was abandoned in 1972 due to maintenance costs; it burned to the ground in 1978. Wildmere closed in 1979 and burned to the ground in 1986.
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  • Very easy hiking trails (at least the one we were on), beautiful trails and scenery overlooking Minnewaska Lake 
  • Wet cloudy day, still found beauty in the park. The paths are easy to navigate and have beautiful views 
  • We hiked the trails around the lake and stopped at every overlook because the views of this little lake were so stunning from every direction. Well worth the price of admission!! 
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