From the parking area, proceed ahead on Spring Farm Road. As the road reaches the top of a rise, a broad panorama appears to the left. In about 0.2 mile, the road bends sharply to the right, with a farmhouse at the bend, and a red barn on the left. In the winter, the road is plowed up to this point. Proceed ahead on the road, now heading south. If you are skiing, you'll want to put on your...
From the parking area, proceed ahead on Spring Farm Road. As the road reaches the top of a rise, a broad panorama appears to the left. In about 0.2 mile, the road bends sharply to the right, with a farmhouse at the bend, and a red barn on the left. In the winter, the road is plowed up to this point. Proceed ahead on the road, now heading south. If you are skiing, you'll want to put on your skis here.
The section of the road leading up from Spring Farm is not groomed for cross-country skiing, so you'll have to make your own tracks or follow those made by others. But once you reach the first intersection, all of the trails you'll be skiing on are groomed.
At the first intersection you'll encounter, Cedar Drive comes in from the left and soon leaves to the right. (This intersection, as well as most others along the route, is marked by wooden signs.) Continue ahead on Spring Farm Road, taking the left fork.
In another third of a mile, Bonticou Road comes in from the left and leaves to the right. Again, take the left fork, continuing on Spring Farm Road. You'll now enter the property of the Mohonk Mountain House (your pass from Mohonk Preserve also entitles you to traverse the grounds of the Mountain House). After passing a trail that leads left to Guyot Hill, Spring Farm Road begins to run along the Mohonk Golf Course.
Soon, you'll notice a long garage below to your right. Just ahead, where the access road from this maintenance area joins Spring Farm Road, the road will be plowed, and you may wish to take off your skis. Continue ahead on the road, which bears right and crosses Mountain Rest Road on a bridge. At the next junction, turn right onto the access road leading to the Mohonk Mountain House and pass the gatehouse, then turn right into the day-use parking area.
The groomed trail resumes behind a restroom building on the left side of the parking area. You're now following the Huguenot Trail, a relatively new route, with somewhat steeper grades than the older carriage roads. Soon, the Whitney Road joins from the left. After a descent, you'll bear left onto the North Lookout Road, which makes a hairpin bend to the right and soon begins to run along cliffs to the left. About a mile from the parking area, you'll reach the North Lookout -- an expansive north-facing viewpoint, marked by a picturesque gazebo. Just ahead, Hemlock Lane, which will be your return route, joins from the left.
Continue ahead on North Lookout Road for about another half a mile. Just before reaching a section of the road that is plowed in the winter, you'll see a sign on the left directing walkers to Sky Top. Turn left here and proceed rather steeply uphill. (You may wish to remove your skis here; otherwise, you'll have to take them off at the top of the hill.) Just beyond a private residence at the top of the hill, bear right on a paved road which passes below the Barn Museum (a large yellow building). Soon, the imposing Mohonk Mountain House may be seen on the left. Built from 1879 to 1912, this landmark structure is still owned and operated by the same family that first opened a resort on the property in 1869. (Day visitors are not permitted to enter the Mountain House.)
Just beyond the Mountain House, the road bends sharply to the left. Two ski trails begin here. Take the right fork, Copes Lookout Road, which reaches a junction in about 0.4 mile. Here, you should bear right, immediately reaching Laurel Ledge Road. Turn left and pass Copes Lookout, a south-facing overlook marked by a gazebo. The imposing ridge directly ahead is known as The Trapps. Just beyond, turn left onto Humpty Dumpty Road. This road -- which passes some more viewpoints -- has several sharp turns that require you to exercise caution when cross-country skiing.
At the next intersection, bear left onto Short Woodland Drive, then turn left at the following intersection with Old Minnewaska Road. Continue ahead as Old Minnewaska Road becomes Lake Shore Drive. Soon, Mohonk Lake and the Mountain House come into view on the left. After passing some cliffs to the right, Lake Shore Drive ends behind the Mountain House. Continue ahead on Huguenot Drive, which offers more views to the north. About a third of a mile beyond a junction with Sky Top Road, which leaves to the right, Huguenot Drive makes a sharp bend to the right.
A short distance beyond this bend, bear very sharply left onto Hemlock Lane, which descends to cross the paved Garden Road (you'll have to remove your skis to cross this road). On the other side, Hemlock Lane continues to descend to its end at North Lookout Road. Turn sharply right here, pass the North Lookout, and retrace your steps, following North Lookout Road, Whitney Road and Huguenot Trail back to the entrance to the Mohonk Mountain House. Cross the bridge over Mountain Rest Road and follow Spring Farm Road back to the start of the hike. Spring Farm Road - which proceeds steadily downhill - is an enjoyable conclusion to your hike, but use care if you are skiing!Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 02/27/2003
This hike, suitable for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, leads to several beautiful viewpoints and passes the landmark Mohonk Mountain House.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.