For memorial day weekend this year, we scheduled a camping trip near Mohonk Mountain House so we could hike its labyrinth. We booked a spot at the Samuel Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground (sure is a mouthful), which had just opened this year. While researching the campground, we found out that it’s also near many other hiking areas, including Minnewaska State Park Preserve. It was a prematurely summery spring weekend, so the weather was a little hot for hiking, but we definitely didn’t regret going because it was one of the most rewarding things we’ve ever done. We did Minnewaska for our first hike. The parking lot was as full of cars as a mall right before Christmas. It’s not surprising, since the place is gorgeous, and is perfect for both avid hikers or people just looking to hang out by the lake. There’s a parking lot that’s right near a picnic area, a food truck, and a lovely view of the lake. It’s about a 15-20 minute hike down to the lake from there for those interested in some light hiking. If you’re looking for some intense activity and gorgeous views however, they have miles and miles of trails for you to enjoy. (Check out their trail map here.) It’s a lovely area that I would come back to since there was plenty we weren’t able to explore (including a waterfall!) due to some closures.

You should probably know that the Gunks campground isn’t quite a normal campground. You’re not allowed to cook or have a fire at your spot, I think because the grounds were built inside a preserve. But they do have a fire ring by the main pavilion if you’d like to experience that like we did. I would check out their rules first if you try to book there. I would also suggest camping there only if you’re mostly using it for sleeping and are having a trip that’s focused on hikes and activities instead of hanging out. Or, if you’re rich and want to sleep in luxury, go book yourself a room at the Mohonk Mountain House!

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

5281 Route 44-55
Kerhonkson, NY 12446

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