The Mohonk Mountain Lemon-Squeeze: The Funnest Hike Ever
When my good friend asked me to do a labyrinth hike in the heart of the Hudson Valley, I was all in -- but what's a labyrinth hike? Why does it want to squeeze me?
This is a hike around, up, over, and through rock formations. It takes balance, courage, and requires you to follow red arrows literally squeezing through tiny crevices. If you're wondering how small this crevice is, I'm a tall, skinny girl and needed to remove my backpack to get through. Although the big burly man at the front desk said he's done it a few times (I'm still in awe -- I imagine it was similar to how the grinch fits through the chimneys.)
Now let me be clear, this is a fun hike but it isn't an easy peasy lemon squeezy kind of hike (pun intended). The rock scramble is a ladder climbing, steep experience that takes a good hour- hour and a half from the base of it, depending on how in-shape you are. They do not allow dogs and I wouldn't recommend bringing kids under 10 years old. The base of the labyrinth is located on the property of the Mohonk Mountain House, which is worth seeing. It's out-of-a-story book level gorgeous.
You've got two options to end up at the base of this beast. You can skip the $20+ per person parking fee (yikes!) which is requested at the actual Mohonk House Parking lot and opt for the $6 fee to start from the Mohonk Preserve instead. This will add about 8-9 miles onto your trip, so I guess it depends on how cheap you'd like to be. And if you choose the preserve route make sure to pack snacks, lots of snacks.
You will think you're at the top, you're not. But once you get there the views are gorgeous. This peak overlooks the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley. The top has a sky top tower you can climb and look out the windows. You will then realize that to get down, it is a simple walking road back to the base of the labirynth.
While you're visiting make sure to hop over to the town of New Paltz! It's adorable. I loved swinging by Huckleberry, which is a hipster-styled outdoor bar and restaurant. The string lights and great cocktail menu set the tone for a perfect post-hike meal.
Make sure its not closed: This hike could get gnarly in poor weather conditions and is closed in the winter, make sure you check to see whether or not its open before you head over by calling 845-256-2197.