Mohonk Preserve, New Paltz

#1 of 12 in Wildlife in Catskill Region
Park · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
The Mohonk Preserve is New York State's largest visitor- and member-supported nature preserve, with 165,000 annual visitors and 8000acre of cliffs, forests, fields, ponds and streams. It is located on the Shawangunk Ridge, a section of the Appalachian Mountains, 90mi north of New York City in Ulster County, New York. The Preserve maintains over 70mi of carriage roads and 40mi of trails for hiking, cycling, trail running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding. It is also a major destination for rock climbers, hosting 50,000 climbers each year who enjoy more than 1,000 climbing routes.
The origins of the preserve date to 1869, when twin brothers Albert and Alfred Smiley purchased Lake Mohonk and established the Mohonk Mountain House. On February 26, 1963, the Smiley family, friends, neighbors and supporters formed the Mohonk Trust to protect the area's unique natural landscape for future generations. The "property" of the Mohonk Trust on that day in 1963 consisted of $100, a gift from Mabel Craven Smiley. Land was acquired by the Mohonk Trust over the years, and it became the Mohonk Preserve Inc. in 1978. According to their 2012 IRS Form 990 their assets today exceed $20 million. Through the support of members, donors and partners, the preserve has become a center for outdoor education and a conservation advocate, especially for natural lands in the Shawangunks and the Hudson Valley. Its mission includes land protection and stewardship, sponsorship of environmental education programs, which according to Preserve officials have served more than 100,000 children over a thirty-year period, and maintenance of biological, weather, and natural history records spanning more than a century.
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Mohonk Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
422 reviews
  • We were appaled by the extra day pass regulations even with membership from the main gate. - Day pass must be purchased on line. $29. Car after car was turned away from the main gate. Not good for....  more »
  • The view at the preserve is as beautiful as the pictures online. Definitely worth the trip to check out  more »
  • We've been here several times and each time we are more charmed by this Victorian castle. The food, most of which is locally sourced, is excellent. They really try to accommodate their guests. The grounds are lovely with many interesting destinations to which to hike. The lake is stunning and indoor pool and spa/health club areas perfect.
  • Beautiful nature and fun rock scramble. You can walk around it , but I highly recommend wearing the appropriate footwear and scrambling up to the top. A couple challenging spots if there is traffic but not too challenging. Kat and I had fun and someone offered to take our photo! Next time I'm bringing the dog.
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