Perhaps best known for Mohonk Mountain House, the spectacular Victorian castle resort listed as a National Historic Landmark, New Paltz, New York, is bursting at the seams with adventure and activities.
Imagine swimming in pristine glacial lakes, cycling on historic rail trails, riding horses near picturesque cliffs, kayaking through crystal clear waters or rock climbing on a White Quartz mountain range. There is no shortage of activities from which to choose, with the following being among the most popular for adrenaline-seeking visitors.
Experience great hiking, biking, birding, rock climbing and horseback riding at Mohonk Preserve in the Shawangunk Ridge. Discover plants and animals in the preserve’s 8,000 acres of forests, fields and streams. The Visitor Center is open daily 9 to 5 p.m. and the land is open daily, sunrise to sunset. Activities include hiking, biking and horseback riding on more than 40 miles of trails and rock climbing on more than 1,000 routes.
Located in Ulster County, Minnewaska State Park Preserve is situated on the dramatic Shawangunk Mountain ridge which rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by rugged, rocky terrain. The park features numerous waterfalls, three crystalline sky lakes, dense hardwood forests, incising sheer cliffs and ledges opening to beautiful views, clear streams cut into valleys, 35 miles of carriage roads and 50 miles of footpaths on which to bike, walk and hike. Visitors can also enjoy horseback riding, swimming, picnicking, scuba-diving, rock-climbing (technical rock climbing is permitted) or boating.
A little over an hour from the sky scrapers of New York City awaits a great day hike around Mohonk Mountain (Shawangunk). Sitting in the middle of a vast estate, the Mohonk Mountain House is surrounded by hiking trails. While there are many noteworthy trails on the estate, the Labyrinth trail is one of the most popular for good reason. It packed full of climbing ladders and crevices that require some crawling. Additionally, there are resplendent views of the surrounding area, especially from the Skytop Tower which you can access via the Labyrinth trail.
Visitors who choose to stay a night, weekend or week can enjoy a very special experience at the iconic Mohonk Mountain House, only 90 miles north of New York City. Surrounded by 40,000 acres of pristine forest, this resort’s inclusive pricing provides access to more than 85 miles of scenic hiking trails, yoga, meditation and fitness classes, indoor heated pool with underwater music, guided hikes throughout 85 miles of trails, lake activities, nine holes of golf with greens fees and much more. The 30,000-square-foot Spa wing includes 16 treatment rooms, solarium with stone fireplace, outdoor heated mineral pool and indoor heated swimming pool.
Dining at the resort is a gastronomic delight, and guests have access to a wide variety of options. Led by Executive Chef Jim Palmeri, the culinary team sources locally from some of the region’s finest farms to create flavorful, satisfying cuisine. The Modern American menu offers friendly service and a relaxed atmosphere with views of the Victorian garden. This menu features prime hand-cut steaks, pastas made fresh daily, fine seafood, gorgeous salads and mouth-watering soups. Weekend Brunch should not be missed. Indulge in signature omelets, breakfast favorites, mouthwatering entrees and homemade pastries with views of the Catskill Mountains.
Dining throughout the region:
After a day of adventure, travelers can head to one of the many culinary options that are available throughout the region. From American fare to Italian favorites, along with wineries and delectable desserts, there is enough variety to please any palate.
A Tavola, Italian for “at the table,” is an expression more commonly used to beckon friends and family to the table when it’s time to eat. A Tavola is a trattoria based on that same principle. With inspiration drawn from the Italian countryside, A Tavola focuses on fresh, local produce and ingredients in a rustic, family-style atmosphere. The seasonally inspired menu centers on bringing the farm to the table and includes many creative homemade pasta dishes inspired by classics found throughout Italy.
Their main goal is to produce premium artisan wines that are distinctive to their terroir. All of their wines are handcrafted in small lots to express unique and charming vintages, making them very limited in production. Because of this, they do not work with a big distributor, but instead they carefully select the retailers and restaurants that carry a small selection of their wines.
Located at the base of the Shawangunk Mountains in the historic Hudson Valley, Whitecliff is an artisanal family run winery created from the ground up by owners and founders, Michael Migliore and Yancey Stanforth-Migliore. They have dedicated more than 30 years to finding and planting grape varieties, and they have created one of the largest vineyards in the region, focusing on sustainability, environmentalism and producing vegan wines.
Located at 59 Main Street in the center of downtown, the quaint Bistro serves breakfast and lunch in a comfortable, casual atmosphere. They specialize in eclectic American and Vegetarian cuisine, but their varied menu features a wide range of dishes for every taste. The Bistro’s extensive beer and wine list contains some of the most interesting and unusual bottles from around the globe, and their in-house bakery provides wonderful, freshly-baked breads, muffins, brownies, pies and many other delicious treats.
New Paltz is a small town with a big personality. Home to fantastic restaurants, quaint boutiques and a lively music scene, New Paltz offers something for everyone. Historic Huguenot Street features ten acres of beautifully preserved 17th-century homes, buildings and artifacts. Enjoy guided tours, reenactments and storytelling year-round, plus special candlelight ghost tours in October. View the The Testimonial Gateway, a massive, beautiful stone archway and tower that served as the formal entrance to Mohonk Mountain House from 1908 to 1935. No matter how you choose to spend your time here, you’ll never run out of things to do.