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Review of Mohonk Preserve

Mohonk Preserve
Ranked #1 of 27 things to do in New Paltz
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Mohonk Preserve is the largest private nature preserve in New York. The Preserve protects 8,000 acres of the Shawangunk Ridge and inspires people to care for, enjoy, and explore the natural world. Preserve lands are open sunrise to sunset every day for hiking, climbing, biking, skiing, horseback riding, and nature study. A current membership or day pass is required to access the lands. Admission to the Visitor Center is always free.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Reviewed May 18, 2011

I love Mohonk! I've been going here every year since I was a kid on my family's annual camping trips. We have never stayed overnight in Mohonk Mountain House because it's very pricey, but the day hikes we have done are always amazing. We always come in the summer, so even when it has rained, it's been a great time (as long as you're wearing durable sneakers or watershoes). The Rock Scramble is one of my favorite things in the world, and the views from the top of the mountain are breathtaking. We always try to pack a lunch because there isn't a whole lot in the way of food, but there are water fountains in a few places on the grounds. There are too many things at the preserve to list, so I'll just say if you're interested in hiking, boating, spa treatments (massage, mani/pedi), flower gardens, and generally gorgeous scenery, go here!! A warning about the horseriding though, the horseflies are huge here and they do bite the horses and can make them buck. I didn't fall off, but too scary for me...

Thank asienjade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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341 - 345 of 350 reviews

Reviewed December 31, 2010

We went up there to hike, but the snow beat us there! With a foot of snow on the ground, now what do we do? We rented skis from Rock and Snow in New Paltz and tried cross-country skiing for the first time! And we loved it. The Trapps trail was perfect - nice and flat 5 mile loop with excellent scenic views of the mountains beyond.

Thank Jenny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2010

Totally worth the $20 day-hiking fee, especially if you come early enough in the day. We hiked up to the Skytop, a tower from which you can see 6 states on a clear day, with myriad hawks swooping gleefully over the trees. Checked out several pretty trails, and rowed for a while on Mohonk House's lake ($12 for 1/2 hour...very nice). We'd definitely do a return trip!

4  Thank nepoconnell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2009

We went there because we saw pictures on tripadvisor and we were not dissapointed.
It is a nature paradise with old charm. You have to go there to see how beautiful it is!
Dont miss it!

Thank quebectraveller_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2008

Mohonk Mountain House may be too expensive to stay at ($600 per night for two), however you can still hike its grounds. We drove to the "day hike" area, parked and paid our fee (I think about $40 for the family). We had an option to take a shuttle to the hotel, or hike 2.5 miles up. Do take the hike if you can, it was varied and interesting, well maintained cinder. Parts of the hike are shaded wood [we spotted a deer just off the trail], interesting rocks, creeks, and spectacular views [they built some simple lookout towers to really enjoy the view]. My daughter even found a fossil during the hike, which was very exciting.

Once you reach the hotel grounds proper, you are greeted with beautiful gardens, several interesting infrastructures, and nicely hand made fences from branches. There is a maze for kids, and of course the spectacular view of the hotel. You can rent boats to enjoy their pond/lake.

From there, the hike to take is the "labyrinth" also known as the rock scramble. This hike is challenging, not for the faint of heart or wide of girth. My son is 7, in excellent shape and I would not go any younger than that as there are dangerous spots and tough reaches. If you are claustrophobic, you will be challenged as well.
[note you can take an easy hike to the top on a cinder path if you like].

The views from the top, and the challenge of the hike itself, really make it worth-while. At the end of the hike is the Lemon Squeeze, a very narrow path between two rock cliffs, and a steep vertical climb on a very slanted ladder.

The hike down is the cinder path, with breath-taking views of the hotel. I would suggest taking the shuttle back down to the parking lot, as you are likely going to be rather tired at this point. Our hike, including some relax time at the hotel grounds, was about 4 hours.

9  Thank Central_MA_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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