Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, NY - Gertrude's Nose

Minnewaska State Park Preserve - New York State Parks

This is for the Jenny Lane parking lot (room for 8 cars) which is about a mile farther than the main park entrance so this information can be used to reach the main parking areas also.  The parking lots at the main entrance do not open until 9 am and a fee (around $8) is charged.  Parking at Jenny Lane adds 1.75 miles to the hike, avoids crowded parking lots at the park, does require fording a stream with no bridge, is accessible before 9am and there is no fee to park.

GPS Coordinates to Jenny Lane Parking: 41.74248,-74.254127

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Shawangunk Trails Map #104 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Minnewaska State Park Hiking Map - New York State Parks

Jenny Lane to Gertrude's Nose - 10.4 miles
Jenny Lane to Gerturde's Nose with Awosting Falls - 10.9 miles
Click here for the New York New Jersey Trail Conference 8-mile version starting from a closer parking lot (subject to parking fee).

Gated Jenny Lane is woods road that leads to...
Sanders Kill where there once was a bridge but it is long gone.
There are some rocks a little downstream but I came prepared to ford since I had to do that 2 years ago.
Reusable plastic boot covers did the trick...
I clipped them to a tree with a clothespin so they would be there when I had to ford back over at the end of the hike.
At the main park, the orange-blazed Sunset Carriage Road leads to some previews of the views to come.
The Catskills from the Sunset Carriage Road
Spectacular fall foliage.
The orange Sunset Carriageway leads to the red Minnewaska Lake Loop.
Lake Minnewaska
From the red Minnewaska Lake Loop to the orange Millbrook Mountain Carriage Road ...
... to head out to...
... Patterson's Pellet teetering on the edge.
The views become increasingly spectacular along the Millbrook Mountain Carriage Road.
A footpath to Gertrude's Nose leaves the Millbrook Carriage Road.  This is where the real fun begins.
Red-blazed path to Gertrude's Nose
The trail descends steeply...
... goes through pretty forests...
... through rock mazes...
... along ledges with steep drops ...
...and over fissures in the rocks - well, none this wide but that it what it feels like to someone like me who is afraid of heights - but I conquered them all and lived to tell about it :) 
She is afraid of heights, too, but stepped over the cracks like they weren't even there.
Breathtaking views along the way.  The views are to the west approaching the tip of Gertrude's nose then to the south and to the east coming around the bend at the tip of the "nose."
The tip of Gertrude's Nose looking south.
Views of farms to the south and east after rounding the tip.
Cave entrance?
Some rock scrambles up. 

That was much more graceful than my scramble up those rocks.
Approaching Millbrook Mountain it feels like walking on the moon.
The Catskill Mountains from Millbrook Mountain
The trail becomes a stream for a good distance through Mohonk Preserve before...
... crossing Coxing Kill back into Minnewaska State Park.
Back up to views of Mohonk Preserve...
Mohonk Mountain Tower
Lake Minnewaska with the Catskills in the background.
Awosting Falls
A parting shot of a variety of fall foliage colors on the way back to the car.

[  0.00]  Continue on Jenny Lane (woods road) beyond barrier
[  0.10]  At T-intersection turn right; trail blazed light blue
[  0.20]  At 4-way intersection with kiosk, keep straight on unmarked when blue goes right; follow trail as it veers to the right downhill into an evergreen grove to where a bridge used to be over the Sanders Kill - go downstream a short distance to the more shallow part and ford across, keep left back up to the woods road on the other side
[  0.90]  Turn left on Route 44/55 for a few steps, cross over to blue-blazed trail at large boulders across woods road on the right;
[  0.95]  Continue through parking lot towards the restroom building then on the gravel road to the left of the restroom building
[  1.20]  Turn right on paved park road at large kiosk on right and park entrance on left
[  1.25]  Cross bridge then turn right on orange-blazed Sunset Carriage Road
[  1.55]  Straight on orange when it crosses over the paved park road
[  1.95]  Turn right on the red-blazed Lake Minnewaska Loop when orange ends at Lake Minnewaska
[  2.05]  Keep left on red when green goes right; stay with red as unmarked roads leave to the right
[  2.30]  Keep straight on red when blue goes right
[  2.60]  Turn right on the yellow-blazed Millbrook Mountain Carriage Road when red goes left
[  2.80]  Keep left on yellow Millbrook Mountain Carriage Road when the yellow-blazed Hamilton Point Carriageway goes right
[  3.30]  Patterson's Pellet
[  3.70]  Turn right on the red-blazed Gertrude's Nose Trail when yellow veers left
[  4.20]  Cross power cut and rock hop creek in power cut
[  4.65]  Gertrude's Nose; continue around to the left
[  5.50]  Cross power cut
[  5.60]  Keep left at fork
[  6.30]  Keep right when a carriage road goes left
[  6.40]  Millbrook Mountain; continue straight when yellow Millbrook Mountain Carriage Road goes left
[  6.45]  Leave Minnewaska State Park and enter Mohonk Preserve (no Mohonk pass needed for this section); keep left on red towards Lake Minnewaska
[  6.65]  Straight on red when blue goes right
[  6.85]  Rock hop over Coxing Kill and enter Minnewaska State Park
[  7.50]  At Lake Minnewaska, turn right on red Lake Minnewaska Loop;  keep to the left around Lake Minnewaska when other carriage roads leave to the right
[  8.25]  Turn left to continue around lake at boat launch and porta potties
[  8.40]  Veer right on orange Sunset Carriage Road when red continues around lake
[  9.10]  At the end of orange, turn right on red-blazed Awosting Falls Carriageway
[  9.35]  Base of Awosting Falls; retrace (at this time the trail is closed from this point forward due to damage from Hurricane Irene)
[  9.60]  Turn right on paved road, cross bridge, turn left at kiosk on gravel road
[  9.85]  Continue through parking lot veering right towards the sign for the High Peters Kill Trail; continue on blue-blazed High Peters Kill Trail to Route 44/55
[  9.95]  Cross Route 44/55, turn left a few steps, then right on woods road blocked by boulders
[10.60]  Ford Sanders Kill
[10.70]  Keep straight at 4-way intersection with kiosk
[10.80]  Turn left on Jenny Lane when woods road continues straight
[10.90]  Jenny Lane parking lot


  1. Unbelievable! Pics are absolutely fantastic! What a wonderful day and a wonderful hike. I'm so looking forward to doing this and some other Minnewaska hikes you've written about. You, your descriptions, directions, pictures and Shawnee continue to inspire me to ever greater hiking heights. Literally. :)

    1. I was thinking about you and that it was a shame you didn't make it to Minnewaska last weekend but it gives you something spectacular to look forward to.


    2. Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  2. wow i really want to do this hike and the fall color makes it even better, hopefully i can do this soon, pics are fantastic

    1. Thanks! If you want fall colors go NOW! They won't last much longer.


  3. just have to research the trails and how to get there, never been ,i'd be going from north jersey area and most likely by myself

    1. Let me give you a suggestion from having driven both ways. Googlemaps or a GPS will tell you to take I-87 North to exit 18 (New Paltz). That might be fine on the way there if you go early in the morning but I learned the hard way that going back to I-87 through New Paltz later in the day is a really bad idea - traffic bottlenecks through town and I inched along for over an hour until I got to the interstate. This time I got off at exit 17 and took 300 North to 32 North to 44/55 West which goes straight to the park. Going home especially, stay on 44/55 East going back, don't turn on 299 to go through New Paltz, then 32 South to 300 South to I-87 South.


  4. I was hoping to get there for peak leaf season this year (after seeing photos from one of your prior hikes there in the fall), but I am missing it! I went mid-September, and won't get to go again until next weekend, which will be too late I think.

    Your photos are so beautiful. That is the place to go for fall color!

    I've been meeing to ask you - where did you get your plastic boot covers?

    1. Thanks! As you can imagine, the pictures don't even do it justice.
      I got the 5 pair of 6 mil ones: http://www.jeffersequine.com/elastic-top-boots/camid/EQU/cp/0033071/
      I rinse them out, hang them up to dry and use them over again. Be very careful when you are fording on slimy rocks. Where hiking boots give some traction, the plastic gives no traction at all and it's very easy to wipe out - then you would be completely wet :( If you have to carry them with you after fording (versus hanging them in a tree for the return trip like I was able to do this time), be sure to take a plastic bag along to put them in because most likely they will be muddy and gross and you don't want to carry them until they dry, which can take a long time.


  5. Loved the pictures. I'm thinking about taking my dog for a hike along same route. Were you ever concerned about her going over a cliff or was she instinctively cautious? Thanks

    1. I am ALWAYS concerned as well as terrified of heights. I put my dog out ahead often to get her in the picture because it adds dimension but she is nowhere near as close to the edge as it appears in some of the pictures. She is a very calm 12-year-old that does not run amok or chase wildlife, she never leaves the trail and is very highly trained to voice commands. There is a leash that retracts into her collar so I always have a handle on her. That said, any dog can have a lapse in memory (they are not by any means super human and make the same stupid mistakes us humans make) and it can result in a tragic moment that cannot be taken back. So please, always be very, very careful! It's a fantastic hike and you want to enjoy it without anything horrible happening.


  6. We live nearby and we hike here often. This area is by far the most beautiful area around. The water and the land is so clean and the trails are marked well. The footpath's are wet alot especially during the spring. Mohonk preserve is another very pretty place to hike although you have to pay- but its worth it. We are so lucky to live close by.

    1. You are, indeed, very lucky to live nearby in such a beautiful place! I try to hike in the Gunks at least once a year.


  7. Hi ... i saw that you had your dog with you on this hike ..... I am interested in going here but am having a hard time finding a campground that allows dogs nearby .... where did you stay . thanks Rita

    1. Sorry, can't help you with that. I am close enough to where I can do it in a day so I don't spend the night.