New Paltz Hikes: Shawnagunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge

If you’re looking for a more mellow hike down in New Paltz, the Shawnagunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge (phew that was a mouthful!), is your perfect spot [807 Hoagerburgh Rd, Wallkill, NY 12589]!


This quiet, flat, low key, meadow is filled with chirping birds, flowers, and even a deer in the middle of a clump of trees! I couldn’t get her photo as she jumped so quickly after she heard us, but her tracks pressed into the wet mud underfoot.


There are two trails, the blue and the red, pick your starting point and create a loop. But wait, remember to follow the rules:


There are 3 miles of trail here and it is a very sunny hike, with no shady relief so dress accordingly. The view of the meadow and the Shawnagunks as a backdrop was beautiful, and the spring wildflowers added so much popping color!


Pinks and blues were a minority amongst all of the yellow, what a beautiful sight!

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We saw lots of little wet bubbling nests nests along the path.


For the most part the sights may get a bit redundant, except for a short portion of the blue path which nears the woods.


Watch out for poison ivy here, it litters the path! The most exciting sight here for me was a new bird to me, called a Bobolink. An awesome name for an songful bird with an interesting peach cap. We loved going into the bird blind and watching these guys fly around, although they didn’t mind us getting up close and personal for a photo shoot.

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Lots of grasshoppers and butterflies enjoy this green space, and I caught one resting on a clover flower just before we made it back to the car.


This is a fantastic spot for bird watching, nature study, and some great sunny exercise near New Paltz.

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