I joined the Jewish Outdoors Club for this trip to Ulster County, about 80 miles northwest of New York City. I drove through Manhattan picking up three other hikers on the way. We were told to arrive at the park at 10:00 a.m., and that we would begin hiking promptly at 10:30 a.m. We arrived right at 10:00 a.m., though the group ended up waiting on stragglers (as always happens, despite the threats to the contrary), and we didn’t begin hiking until around 10:40 a.m.
10:47 a.m.: We began hiking south (counterclockwise) on the red trail (Lake Minnewaska Carriageway), traveling along the west side of Lake Minnewaska. The fall colors continue to impress.
I haven’t mastered picking an exposure when there is a sharp contrast between the sky and the foreground. Either the foreground is well-exposed but the sky is overexposed and washed out, or else (as here), the sky is well-exposed but the foreground is too dark. Maybe someday I’ll learn how to take multiple exposures and blend them together with HDR software.
11:07 a.m.: After 0.8 miles, we approached the south of the lake and arrived at the yellow trail, which we followed to the west. After another 0.2 miles, the trail diverged into two yellow trails (confusing!), the Hamilton Point Carriageway and the Milbrook Mountain Carriageway. These two trails are divided by the Palmaghatt Ravine. We followed the Millbrook Mountain Carriageway to the southwest, to the south of the ravine. We began to see a lot of bare rock and continuous scenic views of the ravine.
11:23 a.m.: After another 0.6 miles, we stopped briefly at Patterson’s Pellet for a photo opportunity.
11:35 a.m.: The trails so far had all been “carriageways,” which are very easy trails with shale surfaces, with gentle grades. Many of these are used for skiing in the winter. I took this photo only a couple of minutes before we left the carriageway for a red-blazed footpath (the Gertrude’s Nose Trail) that would take us to Gertrude’s Nose.
11:42 a.m.: About 0.4 miles after Patterson’s Pellet, we diverted from the yellow trail (which turned southeast, away from the ravine) to follow the red trail, which continued toward the southwest, parallel to the ravine.
11:51 a.m.: This is most of the group, except for myself and four others who were standing next to me and also taking photos.
11:59 a.m.: A number of people mentioned that they preferred the footpath to the easier shale carriageways, as it provided more of a workout.
12:27 p.m.: Walking along a wide path and keeping a safe distance from the sheer cliff face.
1:08 p.m.: After 1.0 mile on the red trail, we reached Gertrude’s Nose, the southernmost point on the trail, at which point we turned to the northeast, away from the ravine. I don’t know if I realized when we reached Gertrude’s Nose, as there were so many scenic views that it was hard to correlate them to the map, which only showed a few. So if you know what Gertrude’s Nose looks like and don’t see the photo here, it could be that I didn’t photograph it, or it could be that I photographed it but didn’t select it as among the most pleasing photos to include in this hike description.
1:46 p.m.: Even though we no longer had a view of the Palmaghatt Ravine, we still had nice views of the surrounding countryside, including farmland.
2:45 p.m.: After Gertrude’s Nose, we continued along the red trail for 1.6 miles, where it rejoined the yellow trail (Millbrook Mountain Carriageway). We almost immediately turned north onto another red-blazed trail, the Millbrook Mountain Trail. The first 0.5 miles of this trail ran through the Mohonk Preserve, and this included a trail that had standing water in some places, with many slippery leaves. I slipped on leaves and fell once, as did several others. We finally crossed the Coxing Krill, seen below, at which point we re-entered the Minnewaska State Park Preserve:
3:13 p.m.: After another 0.7 miles, we returned to Lake Minnewaska, leaving the red-blazed Millbrook Mountain Trail for the red-blazed Lake Minnewaska Carriageway. (You’d think they could find more colors.) This time we traveled north while skirting the eastern bank of the lake.
3:43 p.m.: After 0.5 miles, we stopped for a while at rock ledges that offered a nice view of the lake.
I think this was advertised as an 8-mile hike, but I estimate it was only about a 6.5-mile hike. In any case, it was fun.