Hiker’s Holiday: September
September 15 - 17, 2023
Our Hiker’s Holiday program features a variety of hikes for all levels.
For 90 years hiking enthusiasts have gathered to hike the remarkable trails throughout a spectacular 40,000-acre wilderness region that includes both Mohonk Mountain House and Mohonk Preserve lands. Travelers from around the globe seek out the world-class hiking here, traversing mature forests, sweeping cliffs, and mountain streams.
Whether you seek the challenge of steep trails and paths or prefer a relaxing stroll along carriage roads, you will find like-minded hiking companions. Each day’s outing is complemented by afternoon tea and cookies, sumptuous meals, and captivating evening entertainment. Our award-winning Spa and indoor heated pool provide a relaxing and rejuvenating experience after a day of hiking the mountain.
Hike all day or choose just a few as we explore changes to the natural landscape in the stunning Shawangunk Mountains made by nature itself. Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve come together to share their history and introduce all guests to the natural wonders and simple beauty of hiking on this property.
A small pack, rain gear, binoculars, hiking shoes, extra socks, and a water bottle.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
PAST SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
Hiker’s Holiday Meet and Greet
Join us in the Lake Lounge to answer any questions you may have about the program. Sign-up for the all-day hike on Sunday and choose your box lunch. At 4pm, enjoy afternoon tea and cookies and meet the program leaders.
First Hike (Leisurely)
Join us for a casual 1 hour hike with some of the weekend’s hike leaders.
Campfire, S’mores, & Music
Join local musician Jude Roberts for an evening of family fun and songs by the campfire while roasting a delicious marshmallow treat!
Autumn Night Hike (Leisurely)
Enjoy the beautiful evening mountain air on this casual hike to Cope’s Lookout. We’ll depart the Mountain House in full darkness, watching and listening for sights and sounds of the night: stars, planets, satellites, owls, coyotes, whippoorwills, and more – if the weather allows! No flashlights, phones, or electronics please. (1 hour)
Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez Quartet
This Brooklyn-based rising singer/songwriter’s soulful sound infuses Jazz and R&B with emotional depth and a fresh edge. Raina invites us into her sonic world with harmonic nuance and lyrical ferocity alongside her pool of talented artists.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
Early Morning Walk
Join Paul Huth, Director of Research Emeritus, on a leisurely walk along two historic paths built in the autumn of 1874, Lake Shore Path and Undercliff Path, and discuss some of the 150-year long history of this National Historic Landmark property. (1 hour)
Half Day Hike and Tour of the Testimonial Gateway (return by 1:00 p.m.)
The trails and carriage roads surrounding the Mountain House will be the focus of this moderate hike, while hiking through forested areas that the pioneers once traveled. From Lake Mohonk, we will make our way towards Duck Pond where you will catch a glimpse of the Smiley Tower and maybe sneak a glimpse of some of the wildlife that inhabits this amazing area. Our hike will lead us to the Testimonial Gatehouse where visitors from distant places used to start their journey to the Mountain House. A tour of the iconic testimonial gateway will be given and transportation back to the Mountain House will be provided.
Brisk Morning Hike
A member of the Recreation staff will lead a hike along Huguenot Drive, Bridge Road, Forest Drive, and Lake Shore Road. This hike is moderate to fast pace over carriage roads with gradual descents and ascents. Approximately 3 miles. Age 7 and up. Proper footwear is required, sneakers or boots, no flip-flops or sandals. (1 hour)
Moderate Two Hour Hike
This moderate hike will take you around the base of Skytop Tower and back over to Mountain House, where you will be able to take in views of Sky Top Tower. As we head back to the Mountain House, we will be traveling around Mohonk Lake, where the beauty and grandeur of the lake is breathe taking. This hike will lead us through the Mountain House and Mohonk Preserves majestic property via carriage roads and on some of the best hiking trails, this area has to offer. (2 hours)
Leisurely Afternoon Hike
Join a member of our Recreation staff for this leisurely afternoon hike along Eagle Cliff Road. Approximately 2 miles. Age 7 and up. Proper footwear is required, sneakers or boots, no flip-flops or sandals. (1 hour)
Hikers Holiday Expo
Explore, taste, and experience the unique flavors of the Hudson Valley during this special event with displays from breweries, cider houses, distilleries, farms, and many other local vendors. Your taste buds will be tantalized by some of New York’s finest including Yard Owl Brewery, Tuthilltown Distillery, Treeline Cheeses, and more! No Fee. *Must be 21 years old and have a valid ID to taste
Summerhouse Tour: Behind the scenes with Mohonk’s Rustic Carpenters
Summerhouses have been an integral feature of Mohonk’s breathtaking grounds since the beginning. During this walk you will see the latest projects undertaken by this very talented crew. Prepare to be amazed! (1 hour)
Dylan Doyle Band
Southern born, Northern raised, Dylan Doyle has been steeped in everything from Bob Dylan, Wes Montgomery and Bill Withers to John Prine, Jimi Hendrix and The Band. From this comes a unique musical interpretation that lies somewhere within the delta of Roots, Rock, Blues, and Jazz, giving him a style that defies classification
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
Full Day Dynamic Hike featuring Rock Scrambles
Our journey will begin with a sweeping view of the Catskill Mountain range and then we will be making our way through one of the two rock scrambles of the day. We will then make our way towards the majestic Bonticou Cliff as we will be rock scrambling to get to the top where we will be rewarded with one of the most amazing views this area has to offer. As we make our way back towards the Mountain House, we will be hiking through Guyot Hill and towards the Mountain House Gatehouse. From here, we will be hiking on some of the most amazing trails and carriage roads this region has to offer.
*Note: Pre-registration with overnight reservation is required. Space is limited.
Full Day Dynamic Hike featuring Rock Scrambles
Sign-up is required with an overnight reservation and is available through reservations before Thursday, September 22nd. Guests will need to supply a day pack (Suggestions to bring: A small pack, rain gear, binoculars, hiking shoes, extra socks, and a water bottle) and a buffet table will be provided for you to make your own boxed lunch in the Laurel Lounge (adjacent to the Lake Lounge) from 8:30 a.m.—9:00 a.m. Signup upon arrival for the full day hike with Theme Programs at the following Hiker’s Holiday events:
Brisk Morning Hike
Brisk morning hike to Sky Top via Huguenot Drive and Sky Top Road — this hike is moderate to fast pace is up hill on carriage roads and returns on a path. Approximately 3 miles. Age 7 and up. Proper footwear is required, sneakers or boots, no flip-flops or sandals. (1 hour)
Leisurely Afternoon Hike
Take a hike along Home Farm Loop with Mohonk’s Recreation staff. Approximately 1 ¾ miles. Age 7 and up. Proper footwear is required, sneakers or boots, no flip-flops or sandals. (1 hour)
Campfires, S’mores, & Music
Join local musicians “Beyond the Ridge” for an evening of family fun and songs by the campfire while roasting a delicious marshmallow treat!
Let’s Visit An Art Museum: Mary Magdalene Basilica
Join Wired Gallery Art Director Sevan Melikyan as he leads a visit to the Mary Magdalene Basilica near Aix-en-Provence. Displays therein include what is believed to be the remains of the saint Mary Magdalene as well as the legend and the muse who has inspired countless artists through the ages, including Rembrandt, El Greco, Caravaggio, Titian, and many more.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
Fox Walk: The Way our Ancestors
Learn how moving efficiently through the natural world helps to pattern our brains for expanded awareness and our bodies for balance, agility, and strength. Shifting from an urban or suburban gait to our ancestral gait makes us instantly quieter in the woods and enables a more intimate perspective into the natural world. By learning to expand all of our senses to their fullest potential, we are able to see more wildlife and discern more subtle patterns. 1 mile, easy pace, all are welcome. (1 hour)
The Iconic Trails: Lookouts & Views
Our final long hike will be one to remember. We will travel around on the beautiful trails of the Mountain House taking in the majestic views of the surrounding valleys, mountains, lake, and of the mighty Mountain House itself. We will start on Eagle Cliff Road, where we will be able to take in breathtaking views of Sky Top, Lake Mohonk, and the Mountain House from different viewpoints along the way. We then will travel to Copes Lookout where we will soak up the views of the Catskill Mountains from one of the best view spots on the ridge. Our journey will end at the Mountain House where this will conclude our Hikers’ Holiday program until the next time we meet.
PAST PROGRAM LEADERS
Roger grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where he eventually made his way to the Hudson Valley in 1995 where he has lived ever since. He found his passion in rock climbing, which afforded him the opportunity to receive a degree from the State University of New York at Cortland in Outdoor Recreation. Roger is New York State Certified in Rock and Ice Climbing, Hiking, and Camping Guide as well as a Ranger-Program Specialist with the Mohonk Preserve. When he is not working, you can catch him (usually with his wife and son) out rock climbing or doing the many other activities he enjoys. The Shawangunk Ridge has given him the opportunity to explore and nurture his love for the outdoors and he will forever have a place in his heart for the ridge.
In 1963 the Smiley Family helped create what is now known as the Mohonk Preserve, the largest non-profit private nature preserve in New York State. The mission of the Mohonk Preserve is to provide ongoing land protection and stewardship of the outlying lands to “preserve the beauty of the landscape and the integrity of the flora and fauna—with appropriate human use and enjoyment” as well as provide a continuation of conservation science and environmental education.
In partnership with members, supporters, and volunteers, the Preserve protects and manages over 8,000 acres of mountain ridges, forests, fields, streams, ponds, and other unique and beautiful places and welcomes over 200,000 visitors annually.
At the Preserve, you can enjoy scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and peace and quiet, all just 90 miles from New York City. Carriage roads and trails are perfect for hiking, running, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Proudly the home of “Gunks” climbing and bouldering, one of the most visited climbing destinations in North America. Learn more, become a member, or make a donation at www.mohonkpreserve.org.
Paul Huth brings nearly 50 years of natural and cultural history research on the Shawangunk Ridge, mostly concentrated at Mohonk and the surrounding Mohonk Preserve. He worked for 15 years with the Preserve’s first Director of Research, Daniel Smiley and his brother Keith Smiley, two founders of the Mohonk Trust in 1963. Paul followed Dan as the Preserve’s second Director of Research and served for over 20 years. Paul authored and co-authored over 100 Research Reports and published papers on a diversity of subjects, including the century old Mohonk Lake Cooperative Weather Station, where Dan and Paul both served as long-term Cooperative Observers for the National Weather Service. Paul’s decades of service insured the future of Dan’s science legacy, now being digitized, for future generations.
Raina Sokois a singer/composer based in Brooklyn, NY. Rooted in Jazz and R&B, Raina builds a unique sonic world with harmonic nuance and lyrical poetry. Releasing her four debut singles in 2018, Raina has over 1 million streams on Spotify and a budding global audience. Touring locally, her trio has appeared on stage at venue such as Mohonk Mountain House, The Falcon, Unison Arts Center, and has a standing residency at NYC’s famous Rockwood Music Hall.
Dylan Doyle has been touring nationally since age 15, becoming a seasoned professional at a very young age. He has played with such notable musicians Rob Stoner (Bob Dylan, Don Mclean), John Platania (Van Morrison, Natalie Merchant), Ben Cauley (Otis Redding) and Bill Payne (Little Feat). Stoner called Dylan one of the most prodigious players he has known with abundant natural talent. John Platania has referred to Dylan as “The Future.” Ben Cauley, after playing with Dylan in Memphis said, “Dylan Doyle sounds like a young Jimi Hendrix.” In the words of Bill Payne upon sharing the stage, “Music is a conversation. Dylan spoke beautifully and was listening to the musicians around him. His play was imaginative and original. “Attesting to Dylan’s versatility, he has played the King Biscuit Blues Festival three consecutive years as well headlining the Grateful Garcia Gathering, the largest Grateful Dead festival in the Midwest.
Michael Ridolfo is the Naturalist at Mohonk Mountain House. After 20 years of rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain biking, skiing, winter mountaineering, nature photography, writing, and music, he began practicing the art of tracking, wilderness survival, and the native mentoring model. This journey has evolved into teaching children and adults how to deepen their relationship with the natural world. In 1999, he founded Wilderness Mind (now The Earthtime Project), a school dedicated to preserving the ancient arts of tracking and nature awareness.