A Gunks Classic: Gertrude’s Nose Hike

As I discovered on a recent weekend while trying to park at Lake Minnewaska, it’s hard to call the Gunks hiking scene “overlooked.”

Gertrudes-Nose-hike

Granted it may seem that way to obsessed rock climbers and skiers who drive by searching for taller mountains. Still, after being pleasantly surprised by the in-lot snack shack, it was nice to see how empty the trails were once you got past the Minne swimming area.

I was on my way to rediscover a seminal Gunks hike, venturing out for a loop from the lake to Gertrude’s Nose, and then up to Millbrook Mountain.

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American Alpine Club’s New Gunks Campground

As popular as the Shawangunk Mountains are, they could be in the most underrated park in New York State. The case is strong; stellar hiking, bike trails, swimming holes, foraging, nordic skiing, and rock and ice climbing all find homes here. Even the wine is good.

AAC-Campground

On one hand, it’s hard for me to share beta. On the other, is my constant ‘pro’ argument: by sharing “the goods” perhaps more people will invest themselves in being good stewards of the land, or try to stay fit enough to enjoy it.

My quasi-populist desire to share hides my contradictory secret belief that the garbage-free, uncrowded shady paths are a direct result of the lack of camping options. I suppose I’m a hypocrite. The parks are perfect for me, and I sing their praises. Everyone should be able to see how amazing New York is, but like a picky Air-bnb host I can’t trust just anyone as a guest.

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Classic Rock, Baby

Over the past year, a schism has occurred among my friends. Some have decided to marry, settle down. Others decided to get serious about jobs, while a third group continues adventuring, guiding full-time or moving out west.

Gunks-Crack

After taking quite a bit of grief about my last few climbing trips and biting off more than I can chew, I connected for an outing with my friend and former lead guide for Brooklyn Outfitters.

Stetson, like me, fits into the middle group that’s getting “serious” about life, and jobs. Neither of us have the freedom to get out like we did when we were guiding every weekend and exploring during the week.

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