Get a WHIFF of this hike!
I seriously don’t think I can get enough of the Gunks…Can ya blame me?!
While temperatures are a coolin’, this place is just heatin’ up! The Gunks are home to not only plenty of great hiking, but also SUPERB XC skiing! ONE thing I am looking forward to come snowfall and prolonged bitter coldness.
Enough about the season to come, let me take you along this gorgeously snow-dusted, circa 5.5 mile hike in Minnewaska State Park Preserve!
After parking and paying the $8 entry fee (gotta support the NYS Parks, y’all!), you’ll make your way along the rolling hills of Minnewaska’s red-blazed carriage road encircling Lake Minnewaska itself.
After about 0.5 miles, you’ll turn right onto a yellow-blazed carriage road. Be sure to take the left fork when the trail splits about ¼ mile in to continue on the still yellow-blazed Millbrook Mt. Carriage Road.
Note: Park staff will supply a basic map for you at the entrance,
otherwise, use the NYNJTC Map 104 for a more accurate guide.
Moving along this easily saunterable walkway, you’ll pass by many glacial erratics like the precariously perched Patterson’s Pellet (I couldn’t help myself to that alliteration…).
Beyond this geological landmark, you’ll spot signange for the red-blazed Gertrude’s Nose Trail which ventures away from the carriage road and into the brilliant pine forest.
This piney pathway leads you through the forest and back out to a spectacular viewpoint atop that ever-fabulous white Shawangunk conglomerate we know and love.
After this lookout, you will pass through another section of luminous pines and mountain laurel.
Past this are more glorious glacial erratics. Marek couldn’t help but take advantage of the situation...
THEN, after walking just a bit further, you will reach the PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE! The glorious outcropping whose profile you have seen many times online (as well as in deceiving "Catskill Backpacking" ads from REI...nice try guys!). Tada!
Believe it or not, though, this is NOT Gertrude’s Nose! While many a hiker, myself included, mistake this for the hikes namesake, it is simply a viewpoint along the trail TO Gertrude’s Nose (our turnaround point).
The more you know. Feel free to GALLIVANT in this area for quite some time because, frankly, it is the best outcropping on this route! Though that’s just this girl-in-wolf's-clothing’s opinion...
Beyond this rocky protrusion, the gunk’s white staggering cliffs beckon you to continue trekking the trail.
The trail continues further until you reach a MASSIVE view overlooking the Hudson River Valley’s farmsteads, forests and fields.
While the view was quite nice, we were surprised to find that THIS is in fact Gertrude’s Nose, not the trails more prominent proboscis. Marek was seemingly more interested in the icy puddles huddled atop this outcrop versus its fortuitous title. It’s okay, Gertrude, you still got props for expansive views!
After taking in the vast landscape, we turned back to follow the red-blazes back over conglomerate rock, and piney goodness alike.
We made sure to take a moment to soak in some of the views before we were through, as well, before the setting sun scampered away from the horizon.
All in all, this hike is a MUST on your Gunks to-hike list. Everyone NOSE you can’t lose when exploring this tremendous place, so have at it, before snow and ice commandeer its pathways!