The days are cooling and I can hear old man winter approaching just around the bend. It's time to put a punctuation mark on the 2013 hiking season by doing one of the most spectacular hikes in the Northeast -- the Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze in the Shawgunk Mountains. Beauty multiplied exponentially by the reds, yellows, and browns of the fall foliage around us.
We'll start our hike off in the Mohonk Preserve where we're going to stroll the gentle Undercliff trail, a magnificent spectacle with amazing rock formations to our left and sweeping views of the Hudson Valley to our right. If I ended the hike here, you'd head home feeling satisfied, but this is only the appetizer for the visual and physical feast to come. We will continue on to hike the rock formations known as the Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze. What the heck are they? They are insane views, a crazy knuckle and knee scraping rock labyrinth, and a claustrophobia-defying climb up a deep crevice capped off by 360 degree views from a sky top tower. Yeah, I know, sounds awesome.
A $3.00 organization fee will be collected at this event, your organizer is in the running for hardest working person on meetup. While everyone else is running in the other direction, I'll be the first one to jump in front of that bear when he tries to eat you.
The Important Stuff ...
• This is going to be an INTERMEDIATE loop hike of about 9 miles round trip. You don't need to be a world-class athlete to participate, but you need to be in decent physical shape as this is one of the more challenging treks in area with a bit of elevation gain and a few rock scrambles. We will be out all day so leave your afternoon/evening open.
• This is a social hike, the pace will be moderate -- we'll be stopping to take in the views and smell the flowers. If you yearn to channel your inner Mountain Goat and feel the need to race everyone to the top of the mountain, this is not the hiking trip for you.
• Dress in layers of non-cotton clothing, wear hiking boots or trail shoes (I wouldn't recommend sneakers but that is at your discretion), a hat, bring 2-3 liters of fluid, a packed lunch and/or snacks, and sunscreen.
• There is a preserve day use fee of $12.00 per person, cash only.
• Rain cancels the hike.
• No guests allowed, sorry.
• RSVP only if you seriously plan to attend as space is limited.
How To Get There ...
Take the New Paltz exit 18 off of the NYS Thruway. Go 7 miles west (through New Paltz) on Route 299 to the end: make right on Route 44-55 and then 1/2 mile to the Visitor Center on right.
Please post if you are driving and can pick up passengers (how many and from where), If you need a ride, please be proactive and contact a driver directly. Passengers, as a courtesy you should chip in for gas, tolls, and coffee for the driver.