Mohonk Preserve Bonticou Crag and Table Rock, New Paltz Hike

This past weekend I made a trip down to New Paltz to hike in the Gunks with the fall foliage, it was beyond beautiful. We were ready for another rock scramble, our last one was at the nearby Mohonk Mountain House over the summer – this one was at the Mohonk Preserve [Pass the entrance to the Mohonk Mountain House (1000 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561) and go under the one-lane bridge go under the one-lane bridge Continue on 1 mile, and turn right on Upper 27 Knolls Road. Within ¼ mile, you’ll reach the kiosk for the Spring Farm Trailhead], two totally separate entities. Just like it’s ritzy resort friend, there is a fee to hike, $12 per person. Hiking around New Paltz can break the bank, Sam’s Point Preserve is another expensive beauty in the area! But once you step out of the car at Mohonk Preserve, you’ll see it’s worth it. You won’t have to walk very far to capture astounding views.

bonticou_crag_ bonticou_crag_1 bonticou_crag_2Don’t worry, there’s more where that came from. A jaunt through the woods on the Crag trail

bonticou_crag_3will lead you to the Bonticou Ascent trail, a rockin’ scramble on up the edge of a cliff.

bonticou_crag_5As I was holding on to rock ledges for dear life I found it hard to resist snapping some pictures, the formations were so unique and in the Shawangunk nature white rocks were popping brightly against a blue sky.

bonticou_crag_6 bonticou_crag_9 bonticou_crag_8 bonticou_crag_7Carefully make your way up, it won’t take you too long to make it to the top where you are rewarded with absurdly gorgeous views.

bonticou_crag_10 bonticou_crag_13 bonticou_crag_12 bonticou_crag_11The colors, dude, the colors! It looks like New Paltz is on the far edge of peak foliage nearing the copper age. You could easily turn back now after a solid hike with impeccable views…however you’d miss Table Rock…and you don’t want to do that! A little extra effort, creating a 5.5 mile loop, and you can visit a pretty neat sight. Head back into the woods and enjoy the dense forest, don’t worry – views will keep revealing themselves along the way.

mohonk_preserve_ mohonk_preserve_1We reached the base of table rock and the cracks were well taller than either of us.

table_rocks_Take the blue blazes to the top of it and explore, mindful of the deep dark fractures now below you.

table_rocks_1It’s a stunning sight and a really interesting geological occurrence.

table_rocks_2 table_rocks_3We walk back through the woods, into a picturesque meadow, passed those glorious mountains, to the parking lot. What a breathtaking preserve with one of a kind trails!

Leave a Reply

  1. Guess it pays to go to a fancy preserve once in a while! Breakneck was swarmed when I was there over the summer as well. Still enjoyed it, but peace and quiet is always preferred :).

  2. At the same time, I was hiking Breakneck Ridge across the river thinking about how similar it is to Bonticou, but with so many more people!