Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mohonk Preserve, NY - Overcliff and Old Minnewaska

Mohonk Preserve - Mohonk Preserve
- There is a $15 per person fee to hike at Mohonk Preserve
- Dogs are allowed in Mohonk Preserve except on the yellow trail along Coxing Kill
- Dogs are NOT allowed on Mohonk Mountain House property

GPS Coordinates to Coxing Trailhead 41.74483, -74.19721
Parking at 8:30 AM
Parking at 2:30 PM.  It's an insanely popular place and parking fills up fast so get there early if you want to park, especially in the summer.

Shawangunk Trails Map 105 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference

HIKE DISTANCE:  8.1 miles

This is the New York New Jersey Trail Conference hike in reverse.  This hike was also for a very special occasion - Shawnee's 15th birthday!  I don't know exactly what her birth date is since she came from a shelter but it's around the end of February/beginning of March so with a weekend of unseasonably high temperatures (it reached 60 degrees) and family being able to join us for the celebration, it was the perfect day and the perfect place.
The Birthday Girl
To start the hike, walk out of the parking lot, cross Clove Road and continue straight ahead to...
The Enderly Barn
The Enderly House
Continue straight past the kiosk and cross the bridge over...
Coxing Kill
A few steps after the bridge, right on the red-blazed Showgum Path.
At a T-intersection with Route 44/55 up above, turn left.
Continue up the steps...
... then a hard left at the kiosk on Overcliff Road.
A view of the Catskill Mountains.
All of us in front of the Catskill Mountains.  (Me, Shawnee, future daughter-in-law Caitie, granddog Sebastian, son Bryan)
After Overcliff Road switchbacks down, left at the fork - there is no sign.
A short distance ahead, left on Laurel Ledge Road.
Leave Laurel Ledge Road to the left on the red-blazed Clove Path.
The hike was very easy up to now.
Some steep descents.
When the Clove Path ends, left on the light blue Undivided Lot Trail.
At the first overlook...
... time for the birthday party! 
Sebastian knew right away this was no ordinary birthday cake.
I had made it the day before, put it in the freezer, then put it in the fridge at night in hopes it would stay cold while hiking and it did stay cold all day without any frozen parts.
The "cake" is ground chicken breast, broccoli stems, egg and oats.  The "frosting" is muenster cheese melted over the cake while it was still warm with Zuke's minis for decorations.  Shawnee had been going nuts ever since the cake was baked.  She totally knew it was for her since there is never any meat cooking going on in this house.
Since this was all human food (except the Zuke's minis) the son tried some and proclaimed it "disgusting."
Shawnee and Sebastian apparently disagreed.
Not happy that I put half of the cake away for our next break.
Back to hiking on the Undivided Lot Trail.
A farm down below in the valley.
Shortly after this old fireplace...
...some deep fissures...
... and another steep descent.
Shawnee needed some extra assistance here.  I would not have chosen this route had I hiked alone with her but with extra help, it was doable for her.
Second break and time to finish off that birthday cake.
Finally satisfied that it is all gone.
At the end of the Undivided Lot Trail, right on Old Minnewaska Trail which is also blazed light blue.
The Old Minnewaska Trail, as well as the Undivided Lot Trail, are part of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail.
The trail veers left at old bridge abutments.
There is an easy crossing ...
... and climb back up on the other side.
After that creek crossing, the trail becomes a wider woods road.
Back at the bridge over Coxing Kill and the Showgum Path where we started the hike on the left
Some tomfoolery in the meadow.
And then on to...
... the parking lot.
Someone had a pawsome 15th birthday!

Hiking/birthday party hangovers: