Shawangunk Ridge Trail: Run Your Own Race

“I just signed up for the Shawangunk Ridge 30.”

There was silence on my end of the phone as I took in what Freebird had said.  I attempted to deflect: But, we did that last year. He responded nonchalanty, So it will be easy.

Ice Cave Mountain

The Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT) is a 70 mile hiking trail that traverses the entire length of the Shawangunk mountains. The not-for-profit Run Wild Inc. created an event to celebrate the preservation of this incredible open space by encouraging people to come out and see its natural beauty. Directed by long distance runner/hiker and barefoot guru Ken Posner, the SRT Run is self-supported with an emphasis on minimalism.

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Lake Minnewaska: Before the Blaze

For weeks, I’d been looking forward to taking my brother from Denver for his inaugural visit to Lake Minnewaska. Over the years, he’d heard me rave about how it’s one of the most beautiful state parks I’d ever experienced, east or west.

Lake Awosting

I went on about how it’s a place where you could go biking, hiking, climbing, and swimming alongside gorgeous mountain laurel blooms in June, wild blueberries in July, and colorful foliage in autumn, and it never disappoints. Although he didn’t actually say it, I assumed that his attitude was, “yeah, but I live in Colorado, so we’ll see.” While pulling into the Peter’s Kill parking lot last week, I wondered if I’d oversold our ride.

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Mohonk Ramble to Guyot Hill

Let’s get the bad news outta the way first: I didn’t get up to Skytop, so no photos with stupendous views. It would have added 60 minutes to what was becoming a long day. Sunday was partly cloudy anyway. The good news: I found an important artifact of New York ski history, as we shall see.

lowland near Shawangunk ridge

When I think that there can’t possibly be anything I haven’t seen in a place, I’m often proven wrong. On Sunday morning, I flogged the shooting brake up the Thruway to New Paltz. Objective: Mohonk Preserve. Instead of the Spring Farm Road trailhead, or parking at the Mohonk gatehouse, I went to a trailhead off Butterville Road to explore the lower part of the trail network.

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