Lake Minnewaska Carriageway

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, New York

Elevation Gain637ft
Trailhead Elevation1,714ft
Elevation Min/Max1643/1760ft
Elevation Start/End1714/1714ft

Lake Minnewaska Carriageway

Lake Minnewaska Carriageway is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Town of Rochester, New York. It is within Minnewaska State Park Preserve. It is 1.4 miles long and begins at 1,714 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 637 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. Along the trail there is a viewpoint. This trail connects with the following: Sunset Carriageway, Millbrook Mountain Carriage Road, Castle Point Carriage Road and Upper Awosting Carriageway (Green).

Lake Minnewaska Carriageway Professional Reviews and Guides

"This moderate hike provides a walk around a crystal-clear lake, hemmed by white conglomerate sandstone cliffs, and far-reaching vistas of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley."

"If Henny Youngman knew about hiking in Minnewaska State Park, he would tell you, “Take this hike—please.” (Ta-dum.) The civilized carriageways around Lake Minnewaska are part of a 50-mile road system developed more than a century ago by area hotel owners who wanted their guests to be able to access scenic spots in horsedrawn carriages. Today’s hikers will appreciate those long-ago land barons for providing a way to take in lovely vistas without stumbling over roots or pushing aside prickly underbrush. And what vistas! The peaceful water views are enhanced by dramatic cliffs that rise from Minnewaska’s rugged shoreline. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suits; the hike begins and ends near the lake’s only official swimming area, and you may want to take a dip. But be warned: the water in this deep, spring-fed lake is chilly (read “like ice”), even on the steamiest August day. If the Lake Minnewaska loop sounds too tame for your adventurous group, you can extend this hike into a moderate day hike up Millbrook Mountain."

"Circle one of the prettiest sky lakes in the Hudson Valley region and discover Shawangunk geology. Thank the perseverance of the State of New York for the existence of the gorgeous Minnewaska State Park Preserve, a portion of the estate owned by twin brothers Albert and Alfred Smiley. The Smileys owned this land as well as the neighboring Mohonk property, building resort hotels on each of the sites in the late 1800s—the still-popular Mohonk Mountain House and the 225-room Minnewaska Mountain House, or “Cliff House,” as guests often called it.

Alfred Smiley eventually managed Cliff House separately from his brother and built a second and larger hotel, Wildmere, on the Minnewaska property as well. Property manager Kenneth Phillips bought Cliff House from the Smileys in 1955, but by 1972 the aging hotel had become overwhelmingly expensive to maintain."

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Trail Information

Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Nearby City
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Skill Level
Hiking, Cross Country Skiing, Biking, Horseback Riding
Additional Use
Minnewaska State Park Preserve, 5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson, NY 12446; (845) 2550752;
Local Contacts
NatGeo TOPO! Map (USGS): Napanoch, NY; NatGeo Trails Illustrated Map #750: Shawangunk Mountains; New York–New Jersey Trail Conference #104: Shawangunk Trails
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018