Dickie Barre, Peters Kill and Awosting Falls Loop

Overview

This loop hike goes by the ruins of a former farm, climbs to the ridge of Dickie Barre, with expansive views, descends to cross the picturesque Peters Kill, follows a ridge high above the stream, and passes Awosting Falls.

Details
Time:
5.5 hours
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Length:
7.8 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Waterfall, Fees, Historic feature
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Ulster
State:
NY
Maps/Books
Buy Trail Map:

Map:

Mohonk Preserve trail map (available at visitor center)


Buy Book:
Publication
First Published:
05/18/2004

Updated/Verified:
01/05/2015
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

View of Sky Top in the Mohonk Preserve. Photo by Daniel Chazin.

Parking


View West Trapps Trailhead Parking in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.736039,-74.200394
Driving Directions

Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 18 (New Paltz). After paying the toll, turn left onto Route 299 and continue west through the Village of New Paltz. When you cross the bridge over the Wallkill River at the west end of the village, continue ahead on Route 299 (do not turn right towards the Mohonk Mountain House). In another 5.5 miles (from the Wallkill River bridge), Route 299 ends at a T intersection with Route 44/55. Turn right here and follow Route 44/55 for half a mile to the Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center, on the right side of the road. Stop at the visitor center to purchase a pass, obtain a free map and view the interesting exhibits. Then continue ahead on Route 44/55. The road makes a very sharp hairpin turn and climbs to Trapps Bridge (a steel overpass). Continue for 0.3 mile past the Trapps Bridge and turn right into the West Trapps Trailhead Parking Area.

Bus

Bus service to New Paltz from New York City, Nanuet, Newburgh and Kingston is available via Adirondack Trailways, www.trailwaysny.com (800) 776-7548. Limited weekday bus service to New Paltz from Kingston and Highland is available via Routes R and H of Ulster County Area Transit, ulstercountyny.gov/ucat/ulster-county-area-transit (888) 827-8228. Ulster County Area Transit also offers bus service from the Metro-North station in Poughkeepsie to New Paltz via their Ulster-Poughkeepsie Link. Taxi service from New Paltz to Mohonk is available from New Paltz Taxi, www.npztaxi.com (845) 255-1550.

Description

From the eastern end of the parking area, follow the yellow-blazed West Trapps Connector Trail which leads east, parallel to Route 44/55. In about 750 feet, a sign on the left marks the start of the red-blazed Shongum Path. Turn left and head downhill on the Shongum Path, the route of an old Lenape Indian trail. The trail crosses rock outcrops and descends through a dense hemlock forest. After passing a junction with the yellow-blazed Enderly’s Path, which begins on the left, the trail crosses a stream on a wooden bridge and then parallels it. It levels off in a deciduous forest and approaches the Coxing Kill. After briefly paralleling an old stone wall, the Shongum Path descends steps to end at the Old Minnewaska Trail, a gravel road.

Turn left onto Old Minnewaska Trail (also the route of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail) and cross the bridge over the Coxing Kill. To the right is Split Rock, where the stream passes through a fascinating crevice in the bedrock. Continue ahead along the gravel road, passing ruins of the Enderly home on the right and their barn on the left, and cross paved Clove Road to reach the Coxing parking area. Bear left at the parking area towards a kiosk, where three light-blue blazes mark the start of the High Peters Kill Trail. You’ll be following the High Peters Kill Trail for the next three miles (this trail is also the route of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail, with its logo markers appearing at junctions and other locations along the way).

Follow the High Peters Kill Trail as it crosses a wet area on a narrow boardwalk and continues through a hemlock forest. After crossing a stream on a wooden bridge, the trail begins a gentle climb, paralleling the stream for a short distance and then bearing right, away from the stream.

Soon, you’ll come to a junction with the yellow-blazed King’s Lane Trail, which continues straight ahead. You should turn left, following the blue-blazed trail, which levels off and follows an old stone wall through a former farm. After crossing another stream, the trail bears right and begins a steeper climb. Soon after recrossing the stream on rocks, the trail leaves the Mohonk Preserve and enters Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

The climbing now becomes very steep, with the trail routed over stone steps in places. For part of the way, the trail follows the Dugway, a 19th century woods road used to transport millstones quarried near here. After passing lichen-covered rock outcrops and an interesting “cave” formed by an overhanging rock, the grade moderates.

A short distance beyond the end of the steep climb, as the High Peters Kill Trail turns left, continue straight ahead on an unmarked trail. In about 150 feet, you’ll reach an expansive east-facing viewpoint over the Trapps ridge, with the Sky Top tower of the Mohonk Mountain House visible to the left. This is a good spot to take a break.

Return to the High Peters Kill Trail and turn right. The trail now folloThe Catskills from the rock slabs with pitch pines along the Peters Kill Trail as it descends from Dickie Barre to the Peters Kill. Photo by Daniel Chazin. IMG_5208.JPGws a relatively level path through blueberries and mountain laurel, with some pitch pines. Just below the crest of the rise, the white-blazed Bull Wheel Trail, which leads to the Peters Kill parking area on Route 44/55, begins on the left. The High Peters Kill Trail now climbs to a pass between the low cliffs of Dickie Barre and begins a gradual descent.

After descending a short distance, you’ll reach an open area with pitch pines growing on exposed rock ledges. Here, the High Peters Kill Trail turns sharply right and begins a steady descent. You should continue straight ahead along the rocks to a dramatic viewpoint from the edge of the cliffs, with the Catskills visible in the distance to the right.

When you’ve spent some time enjoying this beautiful spot, return to the blazed trail and turn left, beginning a rather steep descent over exposed rock ledges. At the base of the descent, you’ll reach the picturesque Peters Kill. A yellow-blazed trail leads left to the Peters Kill parking area, but you should bear right to continue along the blue-blazed High Peters Kill Trail, which crosses the stream and a tributary on wooden truss bridges and then begins a steady climb through rhododendrons, mountain laurel and hemlocks.

After bearing left and heading southwest, parallel to the Peters Kill, you’ll reach a rock outcrop that affords a panoramic view over the valley of the Peters Kill and Dickie Barre. The trail follows the ridge high above the Peters Kill, climbing gradually, with many views from rock outcrops overlooking the valley below. Although the stream itself may not be visible, the roar of the water can be clearly heard.

After a while, Route 44/55 comes into view, and the trail begins to parallel the road. The ruins of an old stone building (built in 1922 as a powerhouse for the hotels at Lake Minnewaska) may be seen below. As the Peters Kill curves to the left and passes under Route 44/55, the High Peters Kill Trail continues through dense mountain laurel thickets. In another three-quarters of a mile (about 1.5 miles from the crossing of the Peters Kill), the High Peters Kill Trail ends at Route 44/55.

Cross the road and follow a blue-blazed path to a large parking area. Here you bear left and head east along a dirt road parallel to the highway. When you reach the kiosk at the entrance to Minnewaska State Park Preserve, turn right, cross a bridge over the Peters Kill, then turn left onto the Awosting Falls Carriage Road. You’ll be following carriage roads for the next 3.5 miles – for nearly the entire return trip.

Awosting Falls. Photo by Keith Shane.The carriage road you are following was built in 1907 to link the Mohonk Mountain House with Minnewaska, and it is marked with red diamond blazes. The road descends on a broad curve to reach the base of the 65-foot-high Awosting Falls, which are particularly spectacular after heavy rains. Below the falls, the carriage road continues to parallel the scenic Peters Kill. 

In about half a mile, the carriage road approaches Route 44/55. Here you should bear right at a fork to continue on the carriage road. In another half mile, bear left at the next fork. Soon, the carriage road crosses paved Lyons Road and re-enters the Mohonk Preserve (the red blazes end here). The carriage road, now known as Trapps Road, continues around a hairpin curve and, in another two-thirds of a mile, crosses the Coxing Kill on a wooden bridge. Although the carriage road continues to parallel Route 44/55, for most of the way, it is located some distance from it (although sounds of traffic can sometimes be heard).  When you reach the Trapps Bridge over Route 44/55, cross the bridge, turn left, descend stone steps, and turn right on the yellow-blazed West Trapps Connector Trail that leads back to the parking area where the hike began.

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Another Peter's Kill Hike

Fantastic pictures from one of our regular contributors, Daniella Wagstaff. Use this link: http://gonehikin.blogspot.com/2014/09/minnewaska-state-park-ny-peters-ki...,

Stunning views

The gunks have stunning views, even in early spring when trees are yet to bud. Some time, I have to get there during leaf peeping season.    The parking areas fill quickly, so it is a good thing to be prepared for if you don't arrive early. We typed in the GPS coordinates, and our GPS took us past the West Trapps parking lot, then the next right and ended closer to the Cox parking lot. This was actually fine, because the West Trapps parking lot was full when we arrived. The Cox parking lot was much smaller, but had several free parking spots. The hike description also has the hike passing the Cox parking lot, so this worked out perfectly.   This hike does have some noise from the highway. The views make up for it though. The first half of the hike was moderate/strenuous with easy rock scrambling. The second half of the hike is on easy carriage roads. We did find the carriage roads by Awosting Falls still to be ice covered when we were there.   Some photos: http://agiletrekker.blogspot.com/2014/04/dickie-barre-peters-kill-and-aw...

GPS Coordinates

Both map marker and GPS coordinates have been corrected to the West Trapps Parking Lot.