Friends of the Shawangunks, along with our land trust, The Shawangunk Conservancy, is dedicated to protecting the Shawangunk Mountains of New York from adverse environmental impacts. Please Join Us
Campground Ground Breaking Announced
The American Alpine Club and Mohonk Preserve have announced that construction is underway at the Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground. Since 2006, the American Alpine Club, Mohonk Preserve, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission have been working in partnership toward the creation of a campground in the Shawangunks.
The 50-acre campground will include approximately 50 campsites within walking distance to the Trapps and Near Trapps where the great majority of rock climbing in the Gunks takes place. Located along Route 299, the campground is also just a short walk from the Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center.
The American Alpine Club, in cooperation with Mohonk Preserve, will manage the campground. Campground amenities will include an outdoor central gathering and cooking area, bathhouse facilities, and indoor space for visitors to gather during rainy weather. The anticipated date of completion is spring 2014.
(Item posted October 1, 2013)
Minnewaska Update – Last Bridge Destroyed by Hurricane Irene to be Replaced
Work will soon commence to replace the Mossy Glen Bridge that succumbed to Hurricane Irene. The replacement will be similar in style to the Blueberry Run Bridge installed earlier this year, except that the main log will be a 30 foot onsite Hemlock that came down in the storm and cedar poles will be used for the railing. The bridge will be built about 90 feet upstream of the old bridge where there is better stone for the bridge abutments. The trail will be relocated to meet the new bridge.
(Item posted September 17, 2013)
Minnewaska Carriage Road Restoration Project
Minnewaska State Park Preserve has announced that a complete restoration of Hamilton Carriage Road began on July 30, 2013. The project is expected to take 300 days to be completed during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Hamilton Carriage Road will be closed to all users for the duration of this project. Additionally, numerous pieces of heavy equipment will be utilizing the Lake Minnewaska area and the beginning of Millbrook Carriage Road from the main parking areas to the trail head of Hamilton Carriage Road. Park users should be aware of construction vehicles in these areas and please yield to construction vehicles in an effort to speed project completion. Multiple signs will be placed in appropriate locations to notify patrons regarding the project, trail closures and trail detours.
The historic carriage road network was designed and built by the Smiley family more than a hundred years ago and needs restoration to be in sustainable condition. The carriage roads are magnificently laid out to follow the graceful contours of the land, highlight the most beautiful natural features and take full advantage of the most impressive views. The carriage roads offer visitors easy access to the majestic scenery surrounding the lakes, steep ravines, and scenic lookouts. The intention of the carriage roads was and still is to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional, while providing a safe and comfortable journey to previously inaccessible and rugged terrain. The resulting network of carriage roads continues to provide people with the same participatory experience in nature envisioned by the Smiley brothers more than a century ago. Preservation and restoration of this historical system of carriage roads is much easier if the process begins before nature has erased all identifiable attributes.
(Item posted September 17, 2013)
Rosendale Trestle Now Open
The former railroad trestle spanning the Rondout Creek in Rosendale was opened to foot and bicycle traffic on June 29. A three-year, $1.5 million project was completed to restore the trestle as a linchpin for the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.
The trestle, which is 940 feet long and stands 150 feet above the Rondout, carried rail traffic for about 100 hundred years until the 1970s. The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail first opened with a 12.2-mile stretch from Gardiner to New Paltz in 1993. The rail trail kept moving north, and now an 11.5-mile stretch, with the trestle, has been added that will extend the rail trail to Kingston – 24 miles of continuous non-motorized travel from the county seat to Gardiner.
(Item posted September 12, 2013)
D&H Canal/O&W Rail Trail to Be Extended Through Nevele Property
A five mile segment of the former rail corridor from Ellenville to Spring Glen through the Nevele Resort property is to become part of the D&H Canal/O&W Rail Trail. An agreement in principle to accomplish this welcome addition has been reached with the new owners of the Nevele Resort.
Scott Carlsen, Town of Wawarsing Supervisor, said the trail extension will provide “an incredible benefit to local residents and economic development efforts in our town.” And Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said the deal “is a wonderful commitment by Nevele Investors to the people of Wawarsing and the people of Ulster County.” Hein added that “It’s a very exciting opportunity to extend the rail trail.”
(Item posted May 11, 2013)
Sam’s Point Preserve Update
The following is from the agenda of the June 2012 meeting of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.
“The Nature Conservancy has indicated they will cease operation of the Sam’s Point Preserve Visitor Center in the next two years. The Open Space Institute has proposed conveying the remainder of this parcel and several others adjacent to the Commission. These parcels from OSI include Sam’s Point, South Gully, Mt. Don Bosco, Davis, and Ukrainian National Assoc. Parks/PIPC anticipates closing on the first four projects during FY 2012-13. Parks/PIPC will close on UNA when state funds are available, hopefully in 2013-14. All purchases will be at fair market value as determined through the state’s standard appraisal processes.
“Discussions with OPRHP, OSI and TNC have resulted in a proposal for the Commission and State to acquire these parcels and take over operation of the Sam’s Point Visitor Center. In order of offset the additional operational cost to operate these properties, a portion of the acquisition costs of these and some additional future properties would be donated back to the Commission/State as an endowment/dedicated fund in the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT). The donations to the fund will total approximately $2.3 million over the next few years. Operation of the Sam’s Point Visitor Center by the Commission would not occur until mid-2015.”