Sunday, January 31, 2016

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, NY - Lake Awosting

Minnewaska State Park Preserve - New York State Parks

GPS Coordinates 41.73504, -74.23900
After paying the $10 entrance fee, make an immediate right and follow the gravel road to the parking lot. Check the link above for park hours as the gate needs to be open to park here.  (This picture was taken after the hike.  I arrived at opening time, 9 AM on this particular day, and was the only one there. It is a hugely popular park, especially in the summer.)

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

HIKE DISTANCE:  7.2 miles

Last weekend we couldn't hike because The Great Blizzard of 2016 was dumping 28.7 inches of snow on us.  Still too much snow around on this particular weekend for Shawnee to hike on so we headed north where there was no snow.  I know, unheard of!  This is between Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park in NY where there was less snow than at our house.
This is near Goose Pond Mountain State Park - no snow!
Heading towards the Gunks.  Still no snow.  Unbelievable!
This hike starts on the Lower Awosting Carriage Road, right at the kiosk in the parking lot at the end of the road to the right of the entrance booth.  (That's not snow, it's ice.)
A few steps in on the carriage road, the yellow-blazed Mossy Glen Footpath leaves to the left.
So stoked about hiking since we had to miss last weekend.
That is until we come to this bridge.  I split the movies below into 2 parts to cut out some of the waiting time where nothing was happening.

Part 1:

Part 2:
She was not feeling that narrow bridge.

Peter's Kill from the bridge.
Waiting patiently (worried?) while I took pictures from the bridge.
The trail follows along Peter's Kill almost all the way.
The only problem with that during this time of year - sheets of ice,
This is why one should always come prepared with spikes.  (Whew, glad I remembered to throw them in my backpack!)
Since I could hopscotch over the ice with Kahtoolas on, I had to help Shawnee across or let her walk along the edge where there sometimes was no ice while I walked on the ice.
Very scenic all along this trail and the ice made it even prettier.
I just upgraded from the Canon SX40 HS with 35x zoom to the Canon SX60 HS with 65x zoom so I had to play with zooming in on ice far away.
The Mossy Glen Trail ends at the Blueberry Run Trail where we were turning left but instead we turned right for a short distance to check out ...
... some pretty cascades.
Back the other way on the Blueberry Run Trail which climbs up and up.
Near the top, views of the Catskills from behind.
The Blueberry Run Trail crosses over the Upper Awosting Carriage Road but this is where we turn right.
Some easier carriage road walking after the more strenuous first two miles.
Views of the Catskills from the power cut.
Lots of ice formations along the way.
In the distance...
... partially frozen Rainbow Falls.
Views of the Catskills.
I was going to turn left for a short distance on the Rainbow Falls Trail for views at the top but it was a solid sheet of ice going up so we passed on that.
At the intersection, the Lake Awosting Carriage Road begins a 3.5 mile loop around Lake Awosting.  As much as I would have liked to do that, it would have made the hike too long for Shawnee so we just did a short out-and-back to the views.
Coming up on...
... Lake Awosting
We backtracked a little where there were some nice break spots off to the side.  You can actually sit on the rocks overlooking the lake but even though there had been a balmy breeze (it got up to 60 degrees!) a wind kicked up at the lake that was way too frigid so we had to stay in the shelter of the trees.
Heading back, we stayed left towards the shore of Lake Awosting.
I would agree, the ice is not safe.
Staying right on the Lower Awosting Carriage Road, there are views of the Catskills just as the carriage road starts to descend.
The Shawangunk Ridge Trail joins in briefly before leaving to the left.
Getting bored with the carriage road walking.  Would have preferred trails myself but it would have made the hike too long for her.  Shawnee has been kind of stiff lately so I didn't want her to overdo it until she gets to the chiropractor this week.
Back at the parking lot.
Tired dog.
Back home to snowy New Jersey.