Hiking is my favorite weekend activity. For me, the best time to go hiking is in the fall – being able to enjoy the perfect not-too-hot-too-cold weather, while strolling through the changing autumn leaves with your significant other(s). The fresh air, the challenge, and the peaceful break from the city are just a few of the many reasons why I fancy hiking.
Whenever someone thinks of New York City, s/he thinks of the typicals – Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Times Square, etc… But outside of New York City, there are actually wonderful places of nature filled with beautiful scenery. One such place is the Mohonk Preserve. I went with my posse on a normal weekend, and it turns out that this was one of the most exciting and challenging climb I ever did!
The hike around the preserve is generally quite easy and costs $26 dollars per person. There are suggested hiking trails, but the most difficult challenge would definitely be the labyrinth (a challenging section of the hike that brings you to the tops of the mountains, which are over 1,000 ft above sea level) and the total walking distance. There are easier routes, but I would not miss the labyrinth if I were you.
If you do decide to take on the challenge of the labyrinth, please carefully read the instructions on the board before climbing it. Take a moment to read all about the danger of climbing under rocks, squeezing through rocks, pulling yourself up, and almost being squished by rocks.
Below are the MUST SEES if you go hike at the Mohonk Preserve:
- Amazing views at the gazebos – There are plenty of beautiful gazebos throughout the hike – built for visitors to enjoy the gorgeous mountain views. While hiking, stop by at these gazebos to take a deep breath and enjoy the wondrous view. They are also the best and safest spots (instead of going near a cliff) to grab a picture for your memories or for social media :)!
2. Lily pond – Visit this stunning lily pond nearby before you start going towards the top of the mountain. This serene location is perfect for a picnic or a small snack.
3. Walk around the mountain house – Visit the beautiful mountain house. There are plenty of activities to do here. You can go kayaking, biking, golfing, horseback riding, and etc. Here is the link of activities they offer for both day guest and overnight guests: Mohonk Mountain House.
There are also plenty of locations to enjoy the view of the lake if you want to just relax after hiking around the preserve.
4. Labyrinth – For me, this was the best and most unique part of the hike. Be aware that there is no way back, once you start the hike you will have to finish it. There are four parts to this hike – the headache rock, the fat man’s misery, the lemon squeeze, and the crevice. I thought it became increasingly difficult, so beware! Take your time climbing through the rocks, and think about it before you make a move. I probably bruised myself slipping and sliding from rock to rock. Like me, you might experience a wave of emotions going through the labyrinth – pain, excitement, success, fear.. basically everything. Most importantly, wear appropriate shoes!
Finally made it!
5. Skytop Tower: The labyrinth leads you here. See the view below from what I believe is the highest point. You can climb up the Skytop Tower to enjoy a 360-degree view of the mountains!
I followed the directions here for the hike: Hike the Hudson Valley. They have detailed step-by-step instructions from the parking lot to the end of the hike. If you would like to visit the lily pond also, before you “take a left onto Huguenot Drive, toward the Mohonk House.” Just head straight down to the lily pond, and walk back to Huguenot Drive to continue the journey to Talman Seat gazebo.
Hope you will have fun on this hike! Thank you for reading <3!