Minnewaska State Park – Witch’s Hole State Forest
Just 90 minutes north of the thriving metropolis of Manhattan is some of the most beautiful countryside in New York. A nature lover’s dream, nestled in the wilderness of the Hudson Valley are Minnewaska State Park and Witch’s Hole State Forest. There is so much to take in and enjoy its not surprising that this area has seen many new transplants from the city in the last few years.
Minnewaska State Park is well known as one of New York’s best and most gorgeous parks. Situated in the amazing Shawangunk Mountain Ridge this park has numerous water falls, three pristine lakes, dense hardwood forest, cliffs and ledges used as view points to take in breathtakingly gorgeous streams and valleys below.
Activities in Minnewaska State Park include hiking, world-class rock climbing, biking, swimming, scuba diving, boating, hunting, horseback riding, and cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Voted 2012 Editor’s Pick for “Best Scenic Hike” by Hudson Valley Magazine there is a hike for every difficulty level. Stroll down a scenic carriageway, take a brisk jaunt down on one of the trails, or if climbing is your thing there is the newly pioneered Dickie Barre Cliffs. Want to learn more about the Park? Take a guided hike or nature tour. The famous well- groomed historic carriageways are not only for walking you can also enjoy biking and horseback riding along these wide road-like paths. Enjoy the lakes at the designated swimming and boating areas. During hunting season, deer hunting can be enjoyed in certain areas of the park and in winter the park has specific trails designated for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Soon to be incorporated into the park is Witch’s Hole State Forest, a more primitive, but equally beautiful area. This Forest is host to many beautiful hiking trails and former wild berry picking grounds. Some unkempt historic carriageways can be found here as well.
It is not hard to fall in love with this piece of country. There are many beautiful places to call home here. A lot of people settle into the New Paltz and Gardiner areas. These towns are close to the park and offer a small town feel most expect to find in the country. There are many farmers markets, small shops, and community festivals to be enjoyed. New Paltz is home to The State University of New York New Paltz. The college lends to giving this small town just enough urban vibe. The arts scene has also made a growing impact amongst the popularity of these towns in the last few years. Many who call this area their home enjoy the quaint family friendly atmosphere and the much cheaper cost of living to that of nearby New York City, although city lovers can also be found buying up weekend homes for a retreat from the daily hustle. There are homes here to fit every taste and budget, ranging from about 200,000 into the Million-dollar range. Waterfront properties can even be found along the areas lakes and the banks of the Hudson River. With the wealth of outdoor activity and small town charm this is a wonderful place to settle into to raise a family or just enjoy life and nature at it’s finest. image Taken by User:Mwanner, 2001