Mohonk Mountain Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze, New Paltz Hike

The Mohonk Mountnain House is a ritzy resort in New Paltz [1000 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561]. Those who stay at the castle have access to Lake Mohonk, tennis courts, golf, and all sorts of activities; it sure looks like a beautiful place to stay if you’ve got the funds. All of that seems well and nice, but I was interested in taking a visit to Mohonk for a different reason – to hike! The Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze trail was on my summer bucket list, a hike I had wanted to take for years and finally splurged on. This hike is pretty expensive, but remember it’s located on the grounds of a lavish Victorian castle. It will set you back twenty-one dollars on weekdays and twenty-six dollars on weekends, per hiker. The trails are renowned for impeccable views and the 5.5 mile round trip adventure did not disappoint, money well spent. If you plan on visiting during the late fall or early winter call first for hiking conditions at 845-256-2197. We took the woodsy path from the day hiker lot into the resort winding up to sky top carriage road.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_8We detoured at Talman Seat where we potted the first views of the day.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_3 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_12Meandering down towards the castle, be sure to check out the gardens. They were exploding with color during our summer visit!

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_13 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_17 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_16 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_15 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_14We took time to run around in the hedge maze, climb up the tree house, and peak in the garden here. Soon we were at the Mohonk Lake and Mountain House.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_18As a day hiker you’re not allowed inside, but you don’t have ‘day hiker’ written on your forehead so no one will know whether you are an overnight guest or not. We explored and admired for a few minutes, but soon enough we were ready to get the real portion of our hike on. We walked around the edge of the lake and found the trailhead and entered at our own risk.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_19We began precariously scrambling over rocks, climbing up ladders, and having a grand old time following the red blazes.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_20 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_21It didn’t take too long to get through the labyrinth and exit into the woods. It was quiet on the day we visited and on the short path we found a perfect blue feather.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_22Enough with delicate details, it was time for more intensity before we knew it. We needed to climb up to the top of these rocks to get to the views.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_23We were at the lemon squeeze.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_25 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_27 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_26A series of ladders in a narrow passageway, and a bit of hoist to get yourself on top of it all. After all of your exertion you will see the sky top tower, you may have noticed it on top of that mountain in front of you as you were driving up the road earlier.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_31Climb it and be rewarded with panoramic views of this striking land, you have earned it.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_30 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_29 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_28After you’ve had your fill, make your way back down towards the resort. We stopped by the children’s garden and had a surprising amount of fun there. There are many fruits and vegetables to eat, so sweet fresh from the vine.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_34 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_36Inside we sampled some ground cherries, they were so delicious, especially amazing after our hike.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_7The little shop was filled with unique scenes and beautiful plants, we went home with a living stone succulent.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_6 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_33 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_37The walk back to complete our loop to the lot was filled with partial views, wildflowers, and beautiful rock formations.

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_4 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_2 mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_5Hiking the Shawangunk Mountains is always a treat, and this particular trail an extravagant one. I am so happy I had the opportunity to complete the labyrinth and lemon squeeze, I will always remember this hike. The drive back into town was beautiful and we happily stopped to gawk at a sunflower patch

mohonk_labyrinth_lemon_squeeze_before going to get a well deserved lunch!

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