Winter holiday walks and hikes - BlueStone Press
December 14, 2017
Our Parks

Winter holiday walks and hikes

At Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Posted

Winter Echo Walk
Join Laura Conner, environmental educator, for a late fall walk, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3,  to visit two scenic vistas located across a steep ravine from each other. Following three scenic carriage roads, the group will walk to the picturesque Echo Rock, which offers cliff-edge views over the Palmaghatt Ravine. Then, stroll around to the opposite side of the ravine to visit Patterson’s Pellet. This approximately 5-mile round-trip walk is a great way to warm up, get outside and fight cabin fever. Meet at the Minnewaska Nature Center, 5281 Route 44/55, Kerhonkson. Preregistration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.

 

Cunning Coyotes
Come join other homeschool families, 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, and explore the world of the most common wild member of the canine family, the coyote. Coyotes are often portrayed as intelligent yet crafty and cunning tricksters. Children will see a mounted coyote, hear coyote calls and play a game that teaches about coyote behavior. This program is recommended for children between the ages of 7 and 12 years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Well-behaved younger siblings are always welcome. Meet at the Minnewaska Nature Center, 5281 Route 44/55, Kerhonkson. Preregistration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.

 

High Point and Verkeerderkill Falls Hike
Join Sam’s Point staff from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, for an invigorating 8.5-mile hike to High Point, the point of highest elevation on the northern Shawangunk Ridge. Along the route, enjoy scenic views of the valleys below and the dwarf pitch pine barrens knowns as “the badlands.” Stop at Verkeerderkill Falls, which falls 187 feet over a dramatic rocky ledge. This hike includes five miles of challenging hiking on a rocky footpath with some steep, scrambling sections. The group will also enjoy easier walking 3.5 miles of old woods roads and carriage roads. Participants must wear appropriate outerwear and shoes and bring a backpack with plenty of water, snacks and lunch. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Sam’s Point Visitor Center, 400 Sam’s Point Road, Cragsmoor. Preregistration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. 

   

Tuesday Trek: Cliffs and Catskills views hike
Join Laura Conner, environmental educator, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, for an approximately 4-mile walk to two scenic vistas at Minnewaska. The group will walk up through the meadows and check out the nearly complete view of the Catskill Mountains from the top of the hill; then everyone will make their way out to Kempton’s Ledge on Castle Point Carriage Road. From there, on a clear day, hikers can see the tower at High Point State Park in New Jersey in the distance as they look out over the pristine Palmaghatt Ravine below. For the return trip, the group will swing back through the meadows, walking through the old orchard for another view of the Catskills, until reaching Upper Awosting Carriage Road, which they’ll walk back to the starting point. Meet at the Minnewaska Nature Center, 5281 Route 44/55, Kerhonkson. Preregistration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.



Animal tracks for kids

The family will join Laura Davis, interpretive ranger, 1-2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, to make their very own plaster track of one of the many types of animals that live at Sam’s Point. While the tracks are drying, the group will hike up to the Sam’s Point Overlook, looking for signs of animals along the way. This hike is just over 1 mile round-trip on a carriage road which ascends 200 feet. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Sam’s Point Visitor Center, 400 Sam’s Point Road, Cragsmoor. Preregistration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. 

 

Around the lake, up the hill and across the ledges
Join Laura Conner, environmental educator, 1-4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 17, for this 4-mile walk along the carriage road that encircles Lake Minnewaska, with a side trip up a hill for a great view of the Catskills. When the group reaches the east side of the Lake, they’ll walk the Beacon Hill Footpath, which follows along the escarpment edge, until they reach the Beacon Hill Carriage Road, which has a stunning viewpoint at its junction with the footpath. Meet at the Minnewaska Nature Center, 5281 Route 44/55, Kerhonkson. Preregistration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.

 

Pre-holiday walk around Lake Minnewaska
The holidays can be a stressful time for many. What better way to unwind and de-stress than to immerse in the beautiful landscape of Minnewaska. For this leisurely stroll, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, the group will follow a few historic carriage roads to various scenic vistas. They’ll start the walk by going around the west side of Lake Minnewaska and traversing down the Millbrook Mountain Carriage Road to Patterson’s Pellet, a large mass of rock left behind by a glacier approximately 11,000 years ago. On the return trip, they’ll retrace their steps to Lake Minnewaska and continue around the east side of the lake, checking out the gorgeous views of the Wallkill Valley and Catskill Mountains from various scenic vistas. Meet at the Minnewaska Nature Center, 5281 Route 44/55, Kerhonkson. Preregistration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.

 

A family loop around the lake

Enjoy an afternoon of family fun, 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, with this 3-mile hike to view magnificent Lake Maratanza. On the way back toward the visitor center the group will stop at the Sam’s Point Overlook, where on a clear day there is a great view of the Wallkill Valley, the Catskills, and much more. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Sam’s Point Visitor Center, 400 Sam’s Point Road, Cragsmoor. Preregistration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. 

 

Tuesday Trek: Two views scenic hike

Enjoy a stimulating and refreshing 2-mile snowshoe hike, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26, to two scenic overlooks in the Peter’s Kill Area which feature stunning views in clear weather. While the distance is relatively short, there are a few moderate hills, which may be difficult for some. A limited number of snowshoes are available for participants to borrow for this program from the education department, located at the Peter’s Kill Area. Early arrival is suggested in order to borrow snowshoes. If there is insufficient snow cover, this program will be offered as a hike, and the hiking destination may change. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Peter’s Kill Park Office. Preregistration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.



Project FeederWatch

Become a Citizen Scientist and help the community learn more about the beautiful birds that visit the feeders at the Sam’s Point Visitor Center. Project Feeder Watch will be held 10 a.m.-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30. Using binoculars, the group will observe birds and learn how to identify them as they visit their feeders. The data taken from the program will be sent to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help other scientists learn about these birds. Participants will also make pinecone bird feeders to take home so they can continue their observations in their own yard. This program is recommended for beginner and experienced bird watchers of all ages. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Sam’s Point Visitor Center, 400 Sam’s Point Road, Cragsmoor. Preregistration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. 



Note that there is a vehicle use fee of $10 per car at all park preserve entrances.

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