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Busted by the Snowshoe Police!

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  • Busted by the Snowshoe Police!

    Yesterday, we went to the Mohonk Mountain House, to visit the Skytop tower that was formerly used for fire spotting. At the gate, we were met by a pleasant young woman who informed us that the hiking season was 'over' and that we either had to snowshoe or ski the trails, and micro spikes were not permitted! (Mohonk caters to the rich and possibly famous, and I suspect that XC skiing is a popular activity there). After commenting that there was not enough snow in the Gunks for snowshoes to be useful, we left and went to the Mohonk Preserve's main Office (a separate entity), where we purchased a yearly pass for their trail system. The gentleman at the desk did not warn us of any restrictions. Well, great was our surprise when signs at the Preserve trailhead informed us that only 1 trail was open for 'multiple use' activities, and all the rest of the trails were open for skiing and snowshoeing! Busted again!

    So, we did a short hike on the 'Under Cliff trail' which at least does have nice views of the cliffs, the Rondout and Hudson Valleys, and a few places beyond. We never even got out the spikes, the trail was so easy. We also never saw any snowshoers ( ) but we did see several skiers.

    So, there are places where you must wear snowshoes (these are privately owned facilities), and violators will be tossed off the cliff!
    Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

    Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO Views And Brews!

    Trail maintainer for the Dry Brook Ridge trail from Mill Brook Road to just past the Lean-to

  • #2
    Great! Now you're busted and broke!
    I might be kidding...


    • #3
      If the trails are designated as ski trails, I can see why they don't want you walking on them. Even when you are not postholing, footprints make a really lousy surface to ski on.


      • #4
        We stayed there on New Year's eve and snowshoed to the Skytop tower from the lake on New Year's day. Plenty of snowshoers and skiers out on that blue-bird day.


        • #5
          Yes, in a good snow season, walking on the majority of the carriage road system is not allowed. This has been the policy for many years. No surprises there. The ski groomers only need four to six inches of snow to groom. With the daily machine grooming going on at all three venues ( the hotel, preserve and state park lands), they're investing big in XC skiing. XC ski racing is now back in action as well upon a combination of Mohonk Hotel and Mohonk Preserve lands. MInnewaska also hosted a race a few weeks ago around Lake Minnewaska.

          This season has seen a large increase in XC skiers due in part to the great conditions, and excellent grooming.

          Undercliff Carriage Way has always been open as a multi use route. Climbers, boulderers, walkers, runners etc. take advantage of it throughout the winter, facing south as it is, the snow cover melts off quickly.

          Additionally, fat tire bicyclists are allowed on some carriage ways depending upon the land owner.

          For those inclined to bare boot... there are many miles of single track foot trails throughout the range where one may pass without skis or snowshoes.

          Enjoy what's left of winter.