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Dickie Barre, Peters Kill and Awosting Falls Loop
This loop hike goes by the ruins of a former farm, climbs to the ridge of Dickie Barre, with expansive views, descends to cross the picturesque Peters Kill, follows a ridge high above the stream, and passes Awosting Falls.
Allowed on leash
Views, Waterfall, Fees
Buy Trail Map:
Mohonk Preserve trail map (available at visitor center)
Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 18 (New Paltz). After paying the toll, turn left onto Route 299 and continue west through the Village of New Paltz. When you cross the bridge over the Wallkill River at the west end of the village, continue ahead on Route 299 (do not turn right towards the Mohonk Mountain House). In another 5.5 miles (from the Wallkill River bridge), Route 299 ends at a T intersection with Route 44/55. Turn right here and follow Route 44/55 for half a mile to the Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center, on the right side of the road. Stop at the visitor center to purchase a pass), obtain a free map and view the interesting exhibits. Then continue ahead on Route 44/55. The road makes a very sharp hairpin turn and climbs to Trapps Bridge (a steel overpass). Continue for 0.3 mile past the Trapps Bridge and turn right into the West Trapps Trailhead Parking Area.
Bus service to New Paltz from New York City, Nanuet, Newburgh and Kingston is available via Adirondack Trailways, www.trailwaysny.com (800) 776-7548. Limited weekday bus service to New Paltz from Kingston and Highland is available via Routes R and H of Ulster County Area Transit, www.co.ulster.ny.us/ucat (888) 827-8228. Ulster County Area Transit also offers bus service from the Metro-North station in Poughkeepsie to New Paltz via their Ulster-Poughkeepsie Link. Taxi service from New Paltz to Mohonk is available from New Paltz Taxi, www.npztaxi.com (845) 255-1550.
From the eastern end of the parking area, follow a yellow-blazed trail which leads east, parallel to Route 44/55. In about 750 feet, a sign on the left marks the start of the red-blazed Shongum Path. Turn left and follow the Shongum Path - the route of an old Lenape Indian trail - downhill. The trail crosses rock outcrops, descends through a dense hemlock forest, and follows a stream, which it crosses several times. After leveling off in a deciduous forest, the trail approaches the Coxing Kill. It briefly parallels an old stone wall, then turns left to end at the Old Minnewaska Trail, a gravel road.
Turn left onto Old Minnewaska Trail and cross the bridge over the Coxing Kill. To the right is Split Rock, where the stream passes through a fascinating crevice in the bedrock. Continue ahead along the gravel road, passing ruins of the Enderly home on the right and their barn on the left, and cross paved Clove Road to reach the Coxing parking area. Bear left at the parking area towards a kiosk, where three light-blue blazes mark the start of the High Peters Kill Trail.
Follow the High Peters Kill Trail as it crosses a wet area on a narrow boardwalk and continues through a hemlock forest. After crossing a stream, the trail begins a gentle climb, paralleling the stream for a short distance and then bearing right, away from the stream.
Soon, you'll come to a junction with the yellow-blazed King's Lane Trail, which continues straight ahead. You should turn left, following the blue-blazed trail, which levels off and follows an old stone wall through a former farm. After crossing another stream, the trail bears right and begins a steeper climb. Soon after recrossing the stream on rocks, the trail leaves the Mohonk Preserve and enters Minnewaska State Park Preserve.
The climbing now becomes very steep, with the trail routed over stone steps in places. For part of the way, the trail follows the Dugway, a 19 th century woods road used to transport millstones quarried near here. After passing lichen-covered rock outcrops and an interesting "cave" formed by an overhanging rock, the grade moderates.
Just beyond the end of the steep climb, look carefully for an unmarked trail that leads to the right, reaching in about 150 feet an expansive east-facing viewpoint over the Trapps ridge, with the Sky Top tower of the Mohonk Mountain House visible to the left. This is a good spot to take a break.
Return to the High Peters Kill Trail and turn right. The trail now follows a relatively level path through blueberries and mountain laurel, with some pitch pines. After reaching the crest of the rise at a pass between the low cliffs of Dickie Barre, the trail begins a gradual descent.
Soon, you'll reach an open area with exposed rock ledges. Here, the High Peters Kill Trail turns sharply right and begins a steady descent. You should continue straight ahead along the rocks to a dramatic viewpoint from the edge of the cliffs, with the Catskills visible in the distance to the right.
After enjoying this beautiful spot, return to the blazed trail and turn left, beginning a rather steep descent over exposed rock ledges. At the base of the descent, you'll reach the picturesque Peters Kill. A red-blazed trail leads left to the Peters Kill parking area, but you should continue ahead on the blue-blazed High Peters Kill Trail, which crosses the stream and a tributary on wooden bridges and then begins a steady climb, first quite steeply through dense mountain laurel, and then more gradually.
The trail follows the ridge high above the Peters Kill for about a mile, climbing gradually, with many views from rock outcrops overlooking the valley below. Although the stream is not visible, the roar of the water can be clearly heard. The scars on the hillside across the stream are remnants of ski trails established in 1964 as part of the Ski Minne resort and abandoned in 1978.
After a while, Route 44/55 comes into view. The trail now begins to parallel the road, soon passing through a densely forested area. About a mile and a half from the crossing of the Peters Kill, the High Peters Kill Trail ends at Route 44/55.
Turn left and follow the paved highway for about 250 feet, then turn right at a locked gate at the northern end of the Awosting parking area. In a short distance, turn left and continue along a dirt road parallel to the highway. When you reach the kiosk at the entrance to Minnewaska State Park Preserve, turn right, cross a bridge over the Peters Kill, then turn left, following the sign to Awosting Falls.
You're now following the Trapps Carriage Road, built in 1907 to link the Mohonk Mountain House with Minnewaska, and marked with red diamond blazes. The road descends on a broad curve to reach the base of spectacular Awosting Falls, then continues to parallel the scenic Peters Kill. After about half a mile, you'll reach a fork, where you should bear right.
Continue along the Trapps Road for another three miles. For the entire distance, the road follows a very gentle descending grade. It parallels Route 44/55, but for most of the way, it is located some distance from it (although sounds of traffic can sometimes be heard). You'll re-enter the Mohonk Preserve (the red blazes end here) and cross the Coxing Kill on a wooden bridge. When you reach the Trapps Bridge over Route 44/55, cross the bridge, turn left, descend stone steps, and turn right on the yellow-blazed trail that leads back to the parking area where the hike began.