Shawangunk Trail Run

I usually take Sunday as the day for a long run or ride, but the weather forecast did not bode well. Having more than paid my dues working out in the rain, I headed for Lake Minnewaska State Park on Saturday.

Wolf Jaw connector

My goal was to run west, past Lake Awosting to the High Point Trail, which goes north towards High Point, and a landmark called Four Mile Camp. This is the most remote part of Minnewaska State Park. Two years ago, I’d tried to get there from Sam’s Point Preserve, and didn’t quite make it.

Rain was a long shot on Saturday, but low clouds blanketed the parking area where the old Wildmere resort hotel had resided. I laced my running shoes, stuffed a jacket, a hat, and couple of Clif bars into my hydration pack, and set out.

Millbrook Ridge
Millbrook Ridge

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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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