Start your day with a hearty breakfast in New Paltz, then head west on Route 299. Ride along the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway. Take Rte. 44/55 to the Mohonk Preserve Visitors Center where you can enjoy free indoor and outdoor exhibits. Located in the Shawangunk Mountains, you can enjoy 6,500 acres of heaven on earth, with cliffs, forests, fields, ponds and streams. Explore 70 miles of carriage roads and trails for hiking, running, mountain biking and horseback riding. The internationally renowned "Gunks" offer over 1,000 technical rock climbing routes. Bring a lunch!
After you travel through the 5 mile per hour hairpin turn, find the first overlook for breathtaking views. Continue westward on Rte. 44/55 to Minnewaska State Park Preserve, listed as Best Park by Hudson Valley Magazine. Located 2,000 feet above sea level, this Preserve offers sights of the impressive Gunks. With 35 miles of carriage roads and 25 miles of foot paths, it's a favorite among rocking climbing enthusiasts and attracts hikers, sightseers, and horseback riders. You will also find four pristine sky lakes and several waterfalls.
The next two overlooks offer views of the Catskill Mountains. Continue to the intersection of Rte. 209 and turn right onto Rte. 209 North. You'll soon arrive at the home of the 200-year old family-owned and family-friendly Kelder's Farm, 5755 Rte 209, Kerhonkson. Meet Chomsky, the biggest garden gnome you'll probably ever see. This pick-your-own farm also has a farm market with local goodies, friendly farm animals, corn and meadow mazes, unique edible mini-golf, picnic area and playground, and amazing views.
Continue north on Rte 209 through the hamlet of Accord, make a right turn onto Lucas Turnpike (County Rte 1). Rondout Creek meanders alongside farms and pastures along the way. At the light, turn right onto Rte 213 into the delightful hamlet of High Falls. The D&H Canal Museum at 23 Mohonk Road (Rte 213), antiques, gifts, flowers and restaurants are all within walking distance of one another, with apple orchards and the High Falls waterfalls nearby.
Head west on Rte 213 one mile to Rte 209. Turn right at the light and enter the charming hamlet of Stone Ridge. From Rte 209, turn left onto Rte 213 (County Rte 4) for a very pretty ride. Continue on Rte. 213 to Olive Bridge. Turn left onto Rte 28A, then right onto Reservoir Road (Rte 42) which leads to a bridge with spectacular views of the Ashokan Reservoir. You can park nearby and take a walk. Or, from Rte 213, turn left on Rte 28A and continue around the western portion of the reservoir past West Shokan and to Boiceville, where you'll reach Rte 28.
Turn left onto Rte 28 to Mt. Tremper, home of The Emerson Resort and Spa, an ideal getaway destination. Shop at the Emerson Country Store, home of the World's Largest Kaleidoscope, fine shops and a deli for a casual meal or snack. Indulge in treatments at their award-winning spa, then relax with an evening meal at The Phoenix or Catamount Restaurant and Coffee Bar. Take a stoll along River Walk, play cards and chess in the Great room, then settle in for the evening for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Start your day with a delicious breakfast at The Emerson, or take a right onto Rte. 28 to Phoenicia, a Top 10 "Coolest Small Town in America" for a morning treat at Sweet Sue's (845/688-7852) on Main Street or Mama's Boy. Explore the nooks and crannies of Phoenicia, which has art galleries, shops, lots of dining choices, and plenty of outdoor activities.
Continue westward on Rte 28, passing the Village of Pine Hill, to Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, New York's Winter Snow Park/Nature's Theme Park, for hiking trails and scenic views.
APPROXIMATE MILEAGE: 73 miles