Late fall has arrived in the Hudson Valley! That means copper-toned crispness, long-shadowed afternoons, and EPIC rock scrambling.
What’s that? Late fall doesn’t make you think of rock scrambles? Well why not?! You may think the outdoor season is waning, but let me tell you, it’s waxing, baby! Before the snows commence (because you know they will) and winter activities abound, many titillating outdoor adventures still await you.
One of my absolute favorite places to explore is Mohonk Preserve nestled within the GORGEous (see what I did there?) Shawangunks, just 90 miles north of NYC. This 8,000 acre wonderland is brimming with “mountain ridges, forests, fields, streams, ponds, and other unique and beautiful places,” according to the Mohonk Preserve website.
One such “unique and beautiful” place is the towering rock scramble known as Bonticou Crag. This action-packed climb is a must for all you thrill-seeking hikers out there. The rock scramble is über satisfying and a welcome change from the insanity of Breakneck Ridge. Let’s be real, I think we’ve all had enough of that congested scramble 😉
Before you consider climbing Bonticou’s tantalizing talus fragments, be aware this is no easy hike (if the photos didn’t give that away). This is a trek best suited for experienced hikers with adequate agility levels. Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend bringing along small children or dogs for this scramble as it is rather treacherous. Additionally, be sure to follow this precautionary checklist before heading out…
Recommended for Bonticou Crag:
- Clothing/layers appropriate for the weather
- Hiking shoes with grip
- Map (found here)
So long as you’re confident in your footing, aren’t afraid of heights, and come prepared, you’ll do just fine! To demonstrate how confidently agile, unafraid, and prepared you must be, here are the views looking up…
…aaand looking down…
Yea. So be prepared for all that hair-raising goodness.
Still game? Then come on down (said Price is Right style, obviously) to the Spring Farm Trailhead [GPS 41.794616, -74.128513], pay the $12 per person entry fee, and begin your 3.5 mile loop! Be advised, parking is limited so make sure to show up early on weekends. For full details on getting to this hike and location specifics, visit the NYNJTC website.
Even in late fall, this trek is dazzling with its grandiose views of the Catskills and ovrall breathtakingness that is the Gunks year-round. How could you not be obsessed with this place?!
For the real-deal, virtually tackle Bonticou Crag in real time! (not really) below: