- Carol Natoli
- The view from Overcliff Carriage Road
Protecting over 8,000 acres of mountain cliffs, forests, fields, streams, wetlands, ponds, and meadows, Mohonk Preserve is New York’s largest nonprofit nature preserve. Encompassing a vast swath of the Shawangunk Ridge, on both the Wallkill Valley and Rondout Valley sides, the Preserve has five trailheads with over 70 miles of well-maintained carriage roads and trails for walking, running, and hiking, plus world-class climbing. To support its conservation programs, environmental education, and land stewardship, Mohonk Preserve also hosts several challenges and community events every year to raise funds, such as the annual Rock the Ridge 50-mile endurance challenge.
Ranging from a wee quarter-mile jaunt to a 5.7-mile loop, here are five Mohonk Preserve hikes to bag—one from each of the main trailheads. Head to the Mohonk Preserve website for more suggested hikes and trail maps.
Undercliff-Overcliff Loop | 5 Miles
(Depart from the West Trapps Trailhead)
This iconic Gunks loop hike includes soaring cliffs and sweeping vistas of the Wallkill Valley (from Undercliff) and the Catskills and Clove Valley (from Overcliff). The hike is entirely on historic carriage roads. Do the entire loop or pick one of the two carriage roads for an out-and-back hike.
The J&S Grafton Sensory Trail | 0.25 miles
(Depart from the Visitor Center)
Step outside the Visitor Center for an easy stroll on a family-friendly accessible path with views of the Shawangunk Ridge. Signs describe natural features along the way, including a butterfly garden. One-quarter mile.
Bonticou Crag | 3.2 Miles
(Depart from the Spring Farm Trailhead)
Travel from open fields through the woods and hike to the top of a prominent, stark-white crag overlooking the Wallkill Valley. Includes an optional rock scramble.
- Marianne Markle
- Bonticou Crag
Valley View Loop | 5.7 Miles
(Depart from the Coxing Trailhead)
This hike features the Split Rock waterfall along the Coxing Kill and a tranquil forest path through hemlock groves that connects to Overcliff Carriage Road featuring views of the Clove Valley and Catskills beyond.
Foothills Loop | 3 Miles
(Depart from the Testimonial Gateway Trailhead)
Begin your journey at the Testimonial Gateway, the Preserve’s newest trailhead, as you explore the Mohonk Preserve Foothills. Pass through the historic Testimonial Gateway Tower arch and along the Pin Oak Allee on the Lenape Lane Carriage Road to the Mohonk Preserve Foothills Loop of the River-to-Ridge Trail. This hike features beautiful farm fields and majestic views of the Shawangunk Ridge.
- Stephen D. Stewart-Hill
- Testimonial Gateway Tower