Location: Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York
(Main image courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House) 

Date: July

Give me 30 seconds:

  1. Take the Metro North up and then cab it to Mohonk, its easiest and then you don't have to worry about parking at Mohonk.
  2. YOU CAN DO THE LEMON SQUEEZE. Don't let it scare you.
  3. Make sure to have your ID. If you aren't staying at the hotel, they might not let you into the park without it. Its for your own safety.
  4. Bring water, a lot of sunscreen, a hat and a backpack. The sun can be brutal. (You can buy some of these things at the gift shop, but you will pay a premium).
  5. If you aren't a guest of the hotel you really are not supposed to hang out inside the resort areas like the porch overlooking the water, but walk in like you own the place and you will be just fine.
  6. There is an admission fee for Mohonk Mountain.

The girls and I wanted to be one with nature. We agreed that a day escape was necessary for our sanity and so when Britt suggested Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York., we were on the first train out. We packed our best hiking gear and sunscreen and hopped onto the  Metro North at Grand Central. (Take the train in the direction of Poughkeepsie). Once you get off the train, you will need to take a short 5 minute taxi ride to Mohonk House.

Once at the Mohonk House gate, you will need to purchase a grounds pass and provide ID to the rangers. They photocopy your IDs and notate your description and clothing as a precautionary detail just incase you get lost on the hikes. I believe they only do this for day visitors and obviously not for hotel guests. Pets are not allowed. Golf, hiking, rock climbing, tennis, swimming and carriage rides are some of the few activities that they offer and we decided to have a go at the hiking and rock climbing. Along the hike are incredible views of the Hudson Valley the feeling of tranquility as you soak in all of the surrounding nature. Trails range from beginner to advanced and are labeled on the map. We got lost a few times and ended up walking around in a few circles, but it was all part of the fun. And then we decided to rock climb the "Lemon Squeeze". (See all the action below)

Labyrinth/ Lemon Squeeze

HARDEST. CLIMB. OF. MY. LIFE = Best adventures with my girlfriends. I am not sure how many times we said "OH MY GOD" on this 3 plus hour climb, but boy did it give us some great memories (and photos!) If you come up to the Mohonk House, you must try the Lemon Squeeze at least once, its a great adventure to do with friends or loved ones. 

Breakdown: (Information via Hike the Hudson Valley)

  1. Scenery: Absolutely insane. Instagram worthy.
  2. Difficulty: 9 out of 10 (squishing yourself between rocks, ladder climbing, rock scrambling, plus a two-mile-each-way stroll between parking lot and Labryinth)
  3. Highlights:  Insane views, cool stroll around Mohonk Mountain House and property, crazy rock labyrinth, claustrophobia-defying climb up a deep crevice, Sky Top Tower
  4. Distance:  5.5 miles, loop
  5. Approximate roundtrip time:  4 hours
  6. Total ascent:  973 ft
  7. Max Elevation:  1,617 ft above sea level

Overall opinion, when can we go back to do this again?! Its a fun day trip from NYC and a great outing to do with friends. Trust me, if I can do the lemon squeeze, so can you :) I need to do more hikes in the New York area. Let me know if you have other great hiking suggestions, I'd love to tackle another mountain!

As always, go JETSETAWAY!