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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Celebrate Spring in Ulster County


3. What to Do

The view from the top of Mohonk Mountain House's Labyrinth rock scramble.  

Throw on your hiking shoes and conquer the Shawangunk Ridge, better known as the “Gunks.” Discover one of the area’s best springtime views by heading to the Spring Farm entrance of the Mohonk Preserve and go east from the parking lot to travel a three-mile loop to Bonticou Crag, which overlooks a green valley with blooming wildflowers and wild cherry and dogwood trees. This moderate hike winds through hardwood forests and glens before ending at a high point from which you can see the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains.

Challenge your inner daredevil by attempting the Labyrinth rock scramble at the Mohonk Mountain House. Get a day pass ($25) and then take on the one-mile trek filled with boulders, narrow cave-like crevices, and wooden ladders. The strenuous obstacles are worth it for the vistas from the top of the trail’s tower, which extend to six states on clear days. Reward yourself afterward at the resort’s day spa, where you can choose from a dozen massage therapies ($75–$185).

Spot birds and see the first leaves of spring during a bike ride on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, a 12.2-mile course that passes through woods, open fields, and farmland. For a standard self-guided ride, get a rental from the Bicycle Depot ($35/day); for adventures deeper in the countryside, arrange a bike tour with guides from Favata's Table Rock Tours and Bicycles ($45 per hour) or head down on horseback at Payne Farm Too ($30 per hour).

Published on Mar 29, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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