high peters kill Ascend from Mohonk Preserve through a wooded area of former fields and stone walls, enjoying ridge views and reaching the seasonal Peters Kill stream in Minnewaska State Park Preserve. photostory by calum murray @calcentrate
length: 7.5 miles, round-trip
parking: Coxing Parking Lot, Mohonk Preserve
Coxing is the preserve’s smallest parking lot and fills very early on peak weekends. During summer and fall, arrive early and consider carpooling to ensure a parking space. If there are no spots, you can park at the West Trapps Trailhead Parking Lot and then hike down to Split Rock.
directions: Take Exit 18 to New Paltz, off the NYS Thruway. Go seven miles west on Route 299 to the end. Make a right on Route 44-55. The visitor center will be a half mile on your right. Go 1.5 miles past the visitor center, turn right onto Clove Road, and then bear right at the fork. After one mile, turn left into the parking area.
details:Located at the site of the former Enderly family sawmill, Split Rock has long been a favorite place for picnicking by the Coxing Kill stream. I love this hike because there are tons of places to branch off from and because of the excellent view of the sunset.
This trailhead provides access to several popular trails through hemlock groves and the stream. I would estimate that it would take about four hours to go all the way to Peter’s Kill and back, but there are views in the middle that would give a perfectly good excuse to stay for longer. There is also Split Rock Hole, located directly across the road from the parking lot.
There are also views in almost every direction, including an excellent view of the sunset. On the far side of the mountain from the parking lot is the Peter’s Kill. This stream comes down from Awosting Falls in Minnewaska, and the rushing water causes the air in that valley to smell sweet. In the summer, the summit of this hike is covered with bountiful blueberry bushes.
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