MISSION: XC-Skiing Mohonk Preserve to Mohonk Mountain House
While I am WELL aware we here in the Northeast are beyond done with snow...I couldn't help but put this together from our journey in Mohonk Preserve!
Before this trip, I had yet to venture into Mohonk Mountain House's ever-extravagant grounds. This being due to the exorbitant entrance fee of $26 PER PERSON on weekends. Call me a cheapskate, but I think that's a little much to spend for one day of exploring.
However, I did not want that to stop me from discovering just what Mohonk Mountain House grounds were like! SO, with copious amounts of snow accumulated, we decided it was time to stealthily break into the Mohonk scene...on cross-country skis...
[I encourage you to open THIS in a new window before continuing...]
Now, in order to be successful in your mission, you must first infiltrate Spring Farm Trailhead [GPS coordinates: 41.795208,-74.128532]. After approaching the gate, nonchalantly pay the $12/per-person entry fee to the gatekeeper and nod your head thanks. He will be none the wiser...
THEN strap on your skis and prepare for some action! While you will be given a map by the gatekeeper, it is not very accurate, and is clearly a ploy to deter you from your mission. Instead, use THIS map from the NYNJTC to smoothly guide you into the Mohonk Mountain House grounds (which, henceforth, will be referred to as MMH).
You can follow a number of routes, but as noted in the video-guide above, one possibility is to take the un-groomed Cedar Drive trail 3 miles until the wonderfully groomed MMH trails.
Once inside the grounds, you will notice just why that entry fee is so darn pricey...it is GORGEOUS. There are miles of trails to explore once inside, but one choice destination is North Lookout, as seen above. At this location, feel free to consume your AL-monds or whatever provisions given to you while enjoying the view from the overhanging bench-zebo.
After refueling, you will backtrack to the border of Mohonk Preserve, following Bonticou Road back to the Spring Farm Trailhead. Upon your arrival at the trailhead, your services will no longer be needed.
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P.S. For a more detailed look at this route, visit the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.