Adventures at the Preserve


Mohonk Preserve - a popular vacation destination - is located in New Paltz, New York. Hiking, canoeing, trail running, and mountain biking are just some of the fun activities to do at the Preserve. I only came for a day trip, but people can stay at the beautiful Mohonk Mountain House located right on Mohonk Lake. The first thing I did was check out the Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze Trail - probably one of the most fun hikes I've ever done. The trail goes under and in-between lots of cracks and crevices.

There's points in the trail where it feels like you're entering small underground caverns. Man-made ladders all over make it a lot easier and help along the hike. My favorite part is the Lemon Squeeze, which looks like a 200-foot crevice with ladders and boulders in-between. You need to navigate and squeeze yourself thru some really tight spots while climbing.

After the hike, we decided to check out all the different overlooks in the area to take in the views and climb up the Skytop Tower. The Skytop Tower presents 360-degree views of the surrounding area, and is also the highest point in the Preserve. The view of the Catskills was easily my favorite.

But, our day definitely didn't end here. We went on Mohonk Lake to try out the canoes and it was so fun and peaceful! They charge you $20.00 for a half-hour; I thought it was well worth the money, even though you also have to pay a $20.00 entrance fee per person.

All the views and fun payed off! After canoeing on Mohonk Lake for a hour, it was time for our next hike of the day, Bonticou Crag!

Although you need to drive to a different parking lot in the Preserve, the patrol let us in for free because we already purchased wristbands for the day. Since we had crammed so much in, we were too shot to check out Table Rocks. We just stuck to the 2.3 mile loop to Bonticou Crag. The hike starts out in some meadows and turns into a forest trail shortly thereafter. It isn't long until you come across this huge rock scramble...

Certainly not the easiest, but definitely not the hardest scramble. Your hard work is paid off at the top where you're greeted with a fantastic view of the Catskill Mountains...

After spending a hour up at the top of Bonticou Crag, checking out the cool rock formations, views, and birds flying in the sky, we ​decided to head back down. Besides the rock scramble, the hike is fairly easy and level. You're greeted with another beautiful view of the Catskills from the parking lot, one that looks just as good (or maybe better) than on top of Crag...

After a long, adventurous day, we got back in the car and found the nearest BBQ joint, and both got ourselves a nice rack of ribs (and ice cream, LOL) to treat ourselves after a hot day of hiking and exploring Mohonk Preserve.

This place was everything I imagined and more. I seriously recommend any hiker/adventure-seeker, or even families to take a trip to the Preserve.

There's something for all ages here. These pictures really don't do the place justice, go out there and start exploring!

Check out more from Daniel Manetta on IG: @myoutdoorhaven




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