If you are looking for a nice day trip for sightseeing, hiking and exploring new things in the Catskills, NY area, then Minnewaska State Park is definitely the one. Minnewaska state park is one of the most unique and beautiful state parks in New York and is located in Ulster County of New York state. It is approximately a 1 and ½ hour drive from New York City and just off of Route 44-55.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve has two sections, the main area and Sam’s Point area. It takes 30 mins to drive from one section to the other. The main area features the stunning Awosting Falls and pristine Minnewaska Lake. The Sam’s Point area, which is the most southern point of the park, is located on the highest part of the Shawangunk Mountains. Unlike the main area, a reservation is required to visit Sam’s Point.
Awosting Falls is the most popular sightseeing destination on the main section of the Minnewaska State Park. The Awosting falls look gorgeous in every season and is most busiest from spring to fall. The spring offers an immense flow of water whereas the fall offers a colorful backdrop. Awosting Falls is 60 feet tall and tumbles off an impressive rock wall into a large pool at its base. Awosting falls is one of the must visit waterfalls in the Catskill Mountains region.
These photos are from a day trip to Minnewaska State Park on June 11th, 2022.
Quick Facts and Tips
- The park is open year round from 9 am to 8 pm, hours will change seasonally. The fee for parking is $10 per car
- Be sure to check the the park website (https://parks.ny.gov/parks/minnewaska/details.aspx) for the current trail conditions and road closures
- The closest parking lot for Awosting Falls is at the Lower Parking Area (Google map). The falls can also be accessed from the Upper parking lot near Lake Minnewaska.
- Start early for more elbow room and best lighting. Since the Lower parking lot is the access point to many hiking trails, it will get filled up quickly during summer days.
- Hike to the stunning 60-foot Awosting Falls is an easy 1.1 miles out-and-back hike from the Lower parking lot. The trail is a gravel path and starts adjacent to a small bathroom building near the Lower parking lot.
- The trail meets the park road at around a quarter mile, so take caution to cross the road and bridge. The trail continues on the far side of the bridge which winds its way down for about a quarter-mile before reaching the base of Awosting Falls.
- It is worth spending a few minutes to enjoy the several small cascades waterfalls and streams along the trail.
- Swimming is not permitted.
- Bring water and snacks.
- It is worth hiking the Lake Minnewaska Loop trail either before or after visiting Awosting Falls.
- Be aware of snakes and watch your steps along the trails.