The best weekend getaway options are the ones that are not seasonally specific — and that’s why the Mohonk Preserve (west of the Hudson near New Paltz) is a great idea for travelers who don’t mind the drive — enjoy New York and bask in 48 hours of freedom from work.
The Preserve features year-round hiking and there is also skiing available in the winter. There are more than 65 miles of carriage roads and trails available for the weekend warrior and the 6700 acres also offer scenic cliffs, forests and streams to both explore and enjoy.
Maps and day passes are available at the visitors centre and trails vary in length and difficulty. The most difficult is said to be the 7.5-mile uphill High Peters Kill Trail. You can also ski or hike on Undercliff and Overcliff Carriage Roads, and this 4.7 mile stretch loops around the base of the cliffs allowing you to take in the absolutely breathtaking views of the Catskills and Shawangunk Mountains.
What’s the best part?
After you put your hiking boots to bed, you can warm up at the Village TeaRoom (10 Plattekill Ave., New Paltz, NY) where you can try the Dingle pie (spiced minced lamb w a pastry crust) or have a drink at the Harvest Café Restaurant and Wine Bar (10 Main Street, New Paltz NY).
Where to stay?
There’s the Mohonk Mountain House (1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz NY) which is a private resort styled like a storybook castle. In all honesty, it is probably the best looking hotel that I have ever seen. Its spa treatments which include an 80-minute indigo herbal poultrice massage are said to be some of the best in the world. The Mountain House was also voted the #2 Resort Spa in the United States by Conde Nast Traveler magazine last year. You can find out more information about the hotel at Mohonk.com. If splurging isn’t your style, other hotel accommodations are available in Poughkeepsie and Kingston.