|Irene Murayama Sterns
Location: San Diego
|05-31-13 cpe-50-113-103-129.san.res.rr.com 126.96.36.199|
My old friend Nan Bell worked here before. Her deion is delightful!
|Stanley Christiana Jr.
|11-03-12 cpe-24-168-32-198.hvc.res.rr.com 188.8.131.52|
Its so nice to see such nice things said about our area. We have a beautiful place here in the Hudson Valley. Minnewaska, Peeksmoose Mountains, Big Indian, Lake Mohonk etc. etc. I am so happy to live here.
Location: Quincy, Massachusetts
|08-30-12 pool-71-248-162-173.bstnma.fios.verizon.net 184.108.40.206|
I was a new paltz student from 1968-1972 and worked at Wildemere or Cliff house one summer as a chambermaid for all of 2 weeks. I was intimidated by the kitchen crowd and not too good at making beds so I quit. Loved swimming and canoeing-I remember we weren't supposed to mingle with the guests when lounging on the rocks near the lake. Carlos Fernandez, I remember you! Low falls, the Academy theatre. You visited me in Paris in '72 when I was at the Sorbonne.Those were the daze..
Location: Dunedin, Florida
|07-26-12 static-24-96-113-86.knology.net 220.127.116.11|
I grew up in New Paltz and my family spent many years skiing at Ski Minne as my father was an ski instructor there. I often hiked into Awosting and spent many summers swimming across Lake Minnewaska before it was owned by the state. Lots of wonderful memories of friends, the beautful surroundings and most of all beautiful buildings around the lake. I remember the fires and feeling a great sense of loss. I never knew how much my father loved Minnewaska until upon his death bed he requested his ashes be spread on one of the slopes of Ski Minni. I now live in Florida and met a women here who is originally from north Jersy. When she found out where I grew up, she told me of all the wonderful memories of family vacations to Minnewaska and hikes into their favorite part of the park..Lake Awosting. She added that her family spread her fathers ashes there as he upon his death bed requested. I'm sure many others have felt this wonderfuly strong connection to this magnificent place and also wish Minnewaska to be their final resting place.
Location: Austin, Texas
|06-20-12 cpe-173-174-78-161.austin.res.rr.com 18.104.22.168|
We swam in the the waterfalls, and slid down the rock slides in the forest near Lake Minnewaska. We didn't have $ for the hotel, but what fun we had! I think of the area often and how lucky we were to have experienced Eden.
|Nan Lasher Ball
Location: Atlanta, GA
|04-15-12 c-24-98-96-227.hsd1.ga.comcast.net 22.214.171.124|
I often think of Lake Minnewaska; it filled the senses with the incredible magic of nature and the hospitality of the Wildmere and Cliff House. I still hear the laughter and the joy as guests enjoyed their stay. When a guest walked, rode horseback or took a horse drawn carriage ride on over 50 miles of trails ; it was not without a parade of natures delight in foliage and archeological wonder. If a person decided to wander to the perimeters of the 10.500 acres of the estate they felt dwarfed by the majesty of their surroundings. If a guest plunged into the crystal clear waters, they saw and felt as clearly as if they were born again and a part of something that was so much greater then themselves. I dream of Lake Minnewaska in such a sweet way. I remember Nature, her guests and the care of the Inn Keepers, Mr and Mrs. Phillips and their Family. I remember the employees who served Lake Minnewaska and the guests. Those who were fortunate enough to have known the comfort of these times will know the fortunes of our memories.
|11-24-11 68-191-50-93.dhcp.nwtn.ct.charter.com 126.96.36.199|
After a Mohonk visit and some local research. I now have discovered the story of the Minnewaska Mountain Houses.
This is a great resource and I have spent many many hours reading. Thankyou to all the contributers to the site.
I recentley returned to Minnewaska and spent the day walking and remembering the images and stories I'd seen on this site of a bygone era in this wonderful and majestic setting.
|Carol Closi Zangla
Location: Earlton, NY 12058
|11-20-11 pool-108-44-24-206.albyny.east.verizon.net 188.8.131.52|
I worked at the stables with Nan Ball back in the 70's. Best job ever! I really miss the place and everyone I worked with - especially some of the horses. Would love to know what happened to everyone since.
|10-26-11 adsl-99-30-233-33.dsl.wlfrct.sbcglobal.net 184.108.40.206|
After a visit to Mohonk, i knew this area was special and there was something more about the area that intrigued me. I then discovered the story of the Mountain Houses at Minnewaska, and have been thoroughly hooked on research. And what a great site you have put together here Sam and members, to fullfill my research needs. I feel like part of the story now and wish i worked there during the 60's and 70s. I must have viewed all the photos ! thanks
Location: WEEHAWKEEN N.J.
|01-30-11 pool-72-88-237-3.nwrknj.east.verizon.net 220.127.116.11|
I WENT TO WORK AT THE WILDMERE ON AUG 4 1978. I WAS GOING TO WORK THERE FOR 2 DAYS, I STAYED OVER A YEAR AND A HALF FIRST AS A WAITER THEN A BELLHOP THEN AS A WAITER AGAIN. I FELL IN LOVE WITH NEW PALTZ AND THE WEEKEND LASTED OVER 12 YEARS. I FINISHED COLLEGE IN 1984. STAY UPSTATE TO DO SOCIOL TYPE WORK THERE TILL 1990. I VISIT OFTEN LAKE MINIWASKA IS IN MY SOUL...JEFF FELLER
Location: weehawken nj
|01-19-11 pool-72-88-237-3.nwrknj.east.verizon.net 18.104.22.168|
lake minni haha changed my life.Thank you sam.
|Hal J Kearney
Location: Soddy Daisy, Tn
|12-14-10 c-68-59-228-170.hsd1.tn.comcast.net 22.214.171.124|
I grew up in the valley. I remember the fires when I was a kid. As I got older I worked at Mohonk and road mountain bikes back and forth to Minnewaska. the TRAPPS were so beautiful. Looking through the site I found it cool that the email contact for this is in Atlanta. Small world. I miss the mountain!
Location: Brooklyn NY
|08-18-10 cpe-24-90-159-249.nyc.res.rr.com 126.96.36.199|
So worth the Trip
I put photos in my blog
|Barry F. McCann
|07-27-10 c-76-120-110-196.hsd1.co.comcast.net 188.8.131.52|
In the summer-fall of 1962 I worked as a bun-boy in the dining room at Wildmere.
Great tips at that time.
Summer of 1963 I was sports director at Cliff House.
I remember Ken Philips having a race car at the time.
Went back to see the disaster fires a few years later.
I guess I should say the remains of where I stayed.
Many great memories from my younger days.
|Irene Licis Donner
Location: Lake Worth, FL
|06-15-10 nat.lumpsum.com 184.108.40.206|
I met my husband, Carl, at Lake Minnewaska in the summer of '69. We will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this month. We were among many college students working there for the summer, from all areas of the United States and from overseas as well. I was a waitress at Wildemere, and he was a dining room captain. We were cut off from the outside world, working three meals a day, with one day off, and partying every chance we had. It was a magical summer, with memories I hold dear to my heart. It is sad to go there and see the empty land where the hotels once stood. I would love to hear from anyone that was there that summer.
Location: Miami Fl
|05-29-10 mobile-166-137-008-247.mycingular.net 220.127.116.11|
I lived in Kerhonkson until 1960. My parents owned the Hillside Hotel. I just checking to see if anyone remembers it. Thanks
Location: Nyack, NY
|05-27-10 cpe-69-206-170-210.hvc.res.rr.com 18.104.22.168|
Silly Donald. Anyway ~ I'm off to Minnewaska today! Just for the heck of it. Show my boyfriend how pretty it is. :)
Location: new jersey
|04-28-10 pa-plz-zop02.wachovia.com 22.214.171.124|
Lake Minnewaska what a beautiful piece of heaven . such wonderful memories
Location: Charlo, MT
|03-30-10 216-47-48-51.static.blackfoot.net 126.96.36.199|
I see a name on the list Renee I was wondering if that is Renee Burden?????
Location: Clifton Springs, NY
|02-28-10 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206|
Saw the Owaski Falls in Minnewaska State Park as aclosing to the Sunday Morning Show on CBS. After a little searching (not knowing the spelling)we found some info and will probably visit the area this year.
Location: Plano, Tx
|02-04-10 pool-173-74-117-41.dllstx.fios.verizon.net 220.127.116.11|
I have met Alban E Woolley (because I knew his son - also an Alban -but not really knew Dan, the brother) as they lived on Baton Rouge about sixteen years ago. The father passed away some years later, I heard.
|Dian Dwyer McDermott
Location: Rock Hill, SC
|01-27-10 18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124|
Minnewaska! What a feeling I get when I hear it's name and see the pictures! I was there during the summer of 1977, working as the Director of Children's Activities, or any other impromtu job that need filling. I have such wonderful memories of the Lake,canoeing, the hotels, hiking the mountains, Awosting, and the people, with Ken Jr, and Suzie Philips, Alan Todt, Tim from personnel and many others. I went back for Christmas break that year, staying in Cliff House again, skiing at Ski Minne, sledding down the main drive and more beauty! Remember the Breakfast Rides with guests? Unbelievable! I hope to get back one day to see it all again. I'd love to hear from anyone there at the time, especially Suzie! What a special period of my life!
|01-26-10 83-244-141-126.cust-83.exponential-e.net 126.96.36.199|
My wife and I decided to take a short break and came across Lake Minnewaska on the web.......it turned out to be the worst mistake we had EVER made. We arrived late as there was an accident on the road and had to set up in the dark - I was so tired by the end of this my wife and I were in bed by 9.00 and asleep almost immediately. The next thing I knew I was woken by this strange noise coming from outside and noticed a figure moving towards me in the caravan..... suddenly I was frozen solid. I then noticed it was NOT a person but a strange creature with grey wet shimmering skin, the exact same shape as a dog (but more hairy in parts)and hooves instead of feet, eyes like a humans and a belt on with a glowing orbed device hanging from it. I was completely frozen and found myself being lifted out of my bed and the next thing I knew I was aboard what can only be descibed as an alien craft. Once upon the craft the 'being'and some similar looking creatures conducted experiments on me but nothing painful. A screw driver like device (but with a metal coil attached to the end) was inserted into my ear and then BANG! I woke up back in my caravan next to wife again. I packed up straight away and left the campsite and will NEVER visit Lake Minnewaska EVER again. My watch had neither gained any time nor lost any time and the compass in my pocket had broken and N, E, S, W had been replaced by strange signs only akin to alien language.
David & Sandy Regan
|Rebel Andre Chiaradia
Location: Phoenix, AZ
|11-09-09 ip98-165-23-189.ph.ph.cox.net 188.8.131.52|
I worked at the Wildmere House as a waiter, a bus boy and on the grounds in 1977 and 1978 and as a lifeguard in 1979. I have the porcelain cover from the front door lock of the Cliff House that I took the summer before it burned down. It was a wonderful place to be and especially wonderful place to work in the summers as a college student.
Location: Morristown, NJ
|06-08-09 lyn48-217.optonline.net 184.108.40.206|
I worked at Lake Minnewaska in the summer of '69. I had a wonderful room overlooking the lake at Cliff House. My job was mowing the lawn on the golf course and driving a truck. While the work was long I couldn't think of a better place to spend the summer. I had my first romantic experience that summer! My family hikes the park often.
Location: Gardiner New York
|05-04-09 cpe-69-206-147-68.hvc.res.rr.com 220.127.116.11|
My grandfather Daniel Nelson Sr. worked Minnewaska circa late 60's, early 70's.
I spoke with my mother and she thinks that he was either the front office manager or reservations manager. I'm not sure if it was for the Cliff House or Wildmere or both.
I do remember when I was about four years old going to my grandfathers office with my mother for some reason.
I grew up on property at Mohonk so I do remember the fire of '78 and I was in the army when the fire of '86 dashed all dreams of resurrecting a magnificent resort.
Location: rosendale, port orange fl
|02-19-09 adsl-065-005-169-100.sip.dab.bellsouth.net 18.104.22.168|
What great memories. Busboy in late sixties. one nite, climbed up on the roof of the cliff house and cut the rope of the dinner bell to a strand. the next i couldnt wait to watch the guy pull the rope for dinner call. cant remember if he or anyone saw me laughing my head off from such a successful stunt.---- another time me and a waitress successfully swam from one end to the other in a dense fog. Just before reaching the dock my leg cramped severely and needed the help of my swim mate to makeit out. the hotels and their positioning on the clear lake were truly exceptional. so tragic theyre gone and never preserved. my memory takes me back so many times.
Location: Orange County NY
|01-26-09 user-160u0jj.cable.mindspring.com 22.214.171.124|
Looking forward to making this Park a place my Grandchildren can go to share in the beauty of the Gunks - Your continued efforts to make this possible is not going unrecognized I wanted you to know - Myself, my family and friends appreciate all your continued efforts to make this possiblefor all generations to come
Location: Denver, Colorado
|03-26-07 accelerate.att.net 126.96.36.199|
I think I posted to this guestbook 3 or 4 years ago but after a big computer crash I lost the url and totally forgot about this site! Lake Minnewaska holds a special place in my heart. Spent several summer seasons hiking, backpacking, swimming and just generally "hanging out" at Minnewaska. That was over 20 years ago. I visited the park several years ago while attending a high school reunion in NJ. It was so wonderful to visit again. The season was October and the fall colors and beautiful, clear days were exquisite. Watching the hawks flying around in silence around the cliffs and ravines while walking the carriage roads is an experience that can't be duplicated anywhere else. I can't wait to return...but it's going to be a few years.
Location: Allamuchy, NJ
|02-26-07 pool-70-111-134-107.nwrk.east.verizon.net 188.8.131.52|
I have been asking for years--whatever happened to the Lake Minnewaska hotel. All I ever got were blank stares as though this must be a figment of my imagination. Lake Mohonk is a significant memory for me while growing up and as an adult as well. We spent many happy times there. I still have fond thoughts of the area. My Dad, a hiker and nature lover, talked about Minnewaska. He referred to it as Mohonk's twin hotel. I'm sure as a young child our family did some hiking in the area. Finally, after seeing some signs for Lake Minnewaska State Park along the NY Thruway recently, all this came back to me and I finally thought to go to my computer where I found your site. I am thrilled with it and wll be sure to pass it along to my children who also have nice memories of Mohonk. Your timeline was especially interesting as well as all the old photos. I'll be sure to send out some of your "post cards. I am sorry to note that the hotel is no more, but the memories are still there. Thank you.
Location: Southern Pines, NC
|01-30-07 nc-71-55-95-1.dhcp.embarqhsd.net 184.108.40.206|
I was informed of this site by my brother and was amazed to scroll down and see an entry by my nephew here! Actually, my father and five of us boys all worked at Ski Minne at one time or another. At least seven of our friends worked there as well. I swear, we kept that place running!
But the first time I saw Minnewaska was in 1961. We had just moved to the area from northern Dutchess County (just up the river) and a friend's mom took us swimming a Sliding Rock, just west of Ski Minne. There were no other human signs there, unlike the late sixties when all the vegetation had been tramped down by the hordes of students from SUNY New Paltz. My next visit was in 1963, when two fellow scouts and I hiked from Highland out to Minnewaska and then through the trails surrounding the hotels. We earned our 5, 10, 20, and 30 mile hike patches all in one day! I especially remember the Lemon Squeeze, where one of our leaders with a wide berth had to be pushed through to get to the other side.
Most of all, I remember renting canoes for the hotel, out on Lake Awosting. I was under Ken Magyar's direction, who was truly a gracious man. Best of all was riding out there in the early fall when the weather was still warm but the leaves were changing. My girlfriend would join me. Often no one would come out to the lake all day long. We'd stash the cash box, lock up the canoes, take one and just paddle around the lake, checking out all the wonderful little coves where no one could find us!
I haven't been back there in 37 years, but I still vividly recall how beautiful it is. It's a place I'll take my children to soon.
Location: West Milford, NJ
|12-31-06 cache-rtc-ae02.proxy.aol.com 220.127.116.11|
I lived very close to Lake Minnewaska and started going there to the camp up behind when I was 5. It was called Camp Laurel and the camp later moved to Maine. We continued to go there with friends and family and it was, and still is beautiful. My grandmother was a nature photographer, (local) and used to lecture there once in a while. We also enjoyed Ski Minne and skiied there for years.
|Pine Hill Lawns
Location: Ulster County NY
|12-27-06 rrcs-24-136-119-46.nyc.biz.rr.com 18.104.22.168|
I love Ulster County NY. It has so much to offer. Minnewaska is just the tip of the iceberg.
Location: Bronx, NY
|12-07-06 ool-44c79a05.dyn.optonline.net 22.214.171.124|
My Dad used to drive for Trailways and took groups to the lake but in the late 1960's and early 1970's he would take the family to Lake Minnewaska.
In hindsight that was the era when things were winding down for the resort.
Sometimes we had the place to ourselves.
Both Hotels were still in existence and we were day visitors. My dad would give the guard at the booth a couple of dollars and some times a bottle of liquor tell him he was a bus briver etc... We would be there all day -not leave until the sun was just about gone.
There were 4 kids 2 boys 2 girls ages 6 to about 10 when we stated going. We were all good swimmers(had to be) and we would walk over rent canoes at Cliff House. We'd have a cooler full of sandwiches and soda and we had the run of the place. There was no one to tell us where we could picnic or not to dive off the rocks. We had bus inner tubes to float around on and I can't even begin to tell you the good times we had there.
I have dozens of photos. I went back once with my husband about 18 years ago. I can't go back . It's too sad. There's too many restrictions on where and what you can do. I was my the most beautiful place and I have so many great memories. I can only thank the Lord that we were allowed to be there when we were.
|Linda Canfield Jackson
Location: Shippensburg. Pa
|11-08-06 cache-mtc-ab02.proxy.aol.com 126.96.36.199|
Just refound my book "Lake Minnewaska" In The Heart of the Shawangunks by William Doughty published in 1946 and am taking a walk down memery lane. My mother, Alyse Canfield, was a nurse there in the '40s and our family spent vacations at the lake in the '40s,'50s and early 60's. I went to Camp Laurel in the mid '50s and loved it. I consider Lake Minnewaska to be responsible for my love and respect of nature. I am crying even now for the loose of those beautifil mountain houses.
|Robert (Bob) Cocciardi
Location: Clearwater, Florida
|10-10-06 29-96.200-68.tampabay.res.rr.com 188.8.131.52|
Grandson of former Cliff House Chef: Sam Siliani 1963,64,65
Memory of friends like Sue Weisner, Ken Phillips Jr., Suzie Phillips
Forever imprinted in my mind the beauty and splendor of God's masterpiece for New York, Lake Minnewaska and Lake Awosting.
Location: Sayreville, NJ
|08-27-06 ool-18e42363.dyn.optonline.net 184.108.40.206|
A distant memory rekindled! While spending the summers at a bungalow colony with my aunt and uncle they would take me (and their three boys), to Lake Minnewaska. I am so happy to have found this site. I remember swimming in the clear blue waters, sunning on the cliffs, and making my first high jump (I could swear it was 30 feet!) at 10 years old. I have to find a way back someday.
Location: Forest Hills NYC New York
|06-17-06 user-0cdfnrp.cable.mindspring.com 220.127.116.11|
I remember my first visit to the lake and hotel in 1975.We we're camping on the ski area grounds and we were allowed to go to the lake on a day pass from one of the rangers. It was the most gorgeous water I had ever seen.Wildmere and the Cliff house were bustling with people for all over the world. I was hooked and went back there every year.I have hiked all the trails,floated in a tube from one end of the lake to the other and even scuba dived to a about 90'down under the dock. Now I take my kids there so they can experience the beauty of the Lake that took hold of me 31 yaers ago.
Location: Bloomingburg NY
|05-29-06 74-32-3-161.dsl1.mdl.ny.frontiernet.net 18.104.22.168|
I took a trip to Minnewaska yesterday with my daughter. I haven't been their for about 20 years. The place has changed a bit, but still beautiful. My daughter was amazed by it. We are planning a few trips back this summer.
Location: Medina, Washington
|05-01-06 cache-ntc-ad02.proxy.aol.com 22.214.171.124|
I worked at the Cliff House the Summer of 1952 as an assistant vegetable cook in the kitchen...I actually did not cook. Upon arriving I discovered that two of the waitresses/room cleaners were college classmates of mine in an Ohio college. My best buddy and his cousin also spent the summer there. We got minimum wage, worked 80 hours or more a week, slept in the basement, and got all the food, baked goods, and deserts we could possibly eat. Once in awhile we could mingle with the guests on special occasions, but otherwise were a separate class of people! Hopefully other former temporary summer workers can relate to this!
Location: Raleigh, NC
|03-24-06 cache-rtc-ae02.proxy.aol.com 126.96.36.199|
I worked at the front desk at the Wildmere the summer of 1968. Have a lot of good memories of that experience (some of them sound like they come right out of some deranged work of fiction).
Our favorite saying that summer was "Lake Minnewaska: for newly-weds and nearly-deads!" But I miss the place and am sorry the hotels are no longer there. Wish they had been preserved like Mohonk Mountain House has been 5 miles further north.
Location: New York, NY
|03-21-06 C7144428.state.nj.us 188.8.131.52|
:-) My favorite place in the world.
Location: Akron, Ohio
|03-06-06 adsl-70-228-99-9.dsl.akrnoh.ameritech.net 184.108.40.206|
In 1982-84 I had many great times up at Minnewaska when I attended the Culinary Institute. We would go there and swim, but the hotel was long closed by then but we could still walk through the old hotel and just imagine what it was like when it was booming.
|Karen L. Bishop, RN
Location: Lantana, FL
|10-21-05 69-163-188-151.atlsfl.adelphia.net 220.127.116.11|
I have so many good memories of Minnewaska; working there from 1972 to 1974 were truly the best years; the maitre d Mallory was my 2nd boss, so easy going and fun! Mr. Phillips was always so pleasant-I could sense he cared about his young employees-although only 17, I was hired by Nigel from England to waitress. My waiter friend Patrick was from Biafra studying at the college to be a doctor-I was studying to be an RN. Those work years provided a wonderful foundation in a stunning setting. I would not trade my time spent there for anything in the world.
|07-25-05 207-237-44-243.c3-0.nyw-ubr3.nyr-nyw.ny.cable.rcn.com 207.23|
Very nice site, but who here can tell me what hotels or inns there are to stay at close to lake, which my wife and I would like to visit for first time. Know the New Paltz area a bit, but have never seen the lake. Want to go in mid-August. Please respond. Thanks!
Location: Piercy, Ca.
Really enjoyed tripping through all the info and pictures on "The Lake". I spent a few summers there(Ciffhouse) in 1951-52 with my parents. I remember the moss covered granite boulders, the smell of the pines(?), and the cold,deep waters of the lake. There was a drowning there, as I recall, in '51. Apparently, there were quite a few mostly among the older patrons who dived in and didn't come back up. Heart failure. To a kid, the water was just fine. Oddly, the one picture of the corner sink in the burned out ruins of Wildmere brought back a lot of memories as I recalled that those sinks were the only amenities in the individual rooms. All the shower and bathroom facillities were locted 'down the hall'. Primitive by today's standards, but the stuff of legends. Thanks for maintaining this great website. I know I'll come back to it again.
This is my first time on this web site-We are really excited to visit the area. Our daughter is starting her Junior year atSUNY New Paltz as a transfer student-we can't wait to explore the area :-)
My Aunt and Uncle worked and lived at Minnewaska from the from the 1950s through the 1990. I visited Minnewaska many times from childhood till the very end as I helped my aunt pack and move home to Iowa.Many great memories of the Lake, the Crevices, and the family who lived and worked there.
Great site - the 'People photos' show my relatives at a time long past. Thanks.
I've been going swimming to minnewaska for almost four years. Those waters are the clearest and most amazing i've ever seen.
|Jenny Kay Shusta
Location: York, Maine
I came to The Lake when I was very little and I have fond memories. My parents are Helen and Richard Kay and they performed many many times on the cello and singing and sometimes my sister,myself and my brother got involved. I remember the Lake, the game room and snack bar and I remember the dining room.We had lots of fun and always looked forward to going.
Hi, I visited minnewaska back in the 70's visiting some hippie friends "camping out" by what they called siding rock, as a local then,Bloomingburg,I knew,and hiked the mountains pretty well,from Otisville to minnewaska,My grandparents owned a farm near Otisville,and we would hike the mountains from there thru Ice caves up to minnewaska,it was beatiful the I hope it still is,it's been 30yrs. since I've been back to the area,plan to visit soon.
Location: Long Island, New York
Hello Sam,what a wonderful site you have put together here. In the early seventies I would spend most weekends in New Paltz. As you may remember it was a wild party town back then. I stayed at Wildmere many many times up until the end. It's great to be able to look back thru this site. Thanks for the memories, Joe...
Location: Beacon, NY
LUV this place. The Hudson Valley at its best.
|Lori Marcus (Derych)
Location: Cutchogue, New York
Went to NP '76-'80 and have such happy memories of the beauty of Minnewaska, Lake Awosting and the surrounding area. Hope to make it up there again some time soon.
A lifetime ago I spent the weekend at Wildmere. I was in awe of the beauty of this hotel, the coziness of the Wine Cellar and the spectacular view from the porch at Wildmere of Cliff House. (The story was Cliff House was closed because the roads were not safe to travel.) It was mid winter, very cold & snowy and left a memory. I found this website today (home with a cold)and felt very sad that these 2 beautiful structures ended in such tragedy. I always wondered if someday I would have the opportunity to stay in that magnificent structure called Wildmere again. I guess now, I never will.
Location: Hudson Valley
Love this place ....past and present
Got many useful information from your nice website, Thank You!
Location: kerhonkson ny
great site i learned alot about my decendents ken was my great uncle. the hotels were gone before i was born.
I grew up in Poughkeepsie and often went hiking to 2 of the waterfalls on Minnewaska. That was back when you could park just a bit north of the hairpin turn, climb over the guardrail and hike in. Great memories, so I took my family back there a couple of years ago. Still very pretty. Thanks for keeping it private.
Location: long island
:-) will be visiting the park for the first time this upcoming weekend..can't wait.we'll be hiking and hoping to see some pretty views.
Grew up in Poughkeepsie. Went to camp Laurel at Awosting and then became a "hippy" and lived in an around the lakes and streams between Minnewaska and Mohonk from 1969 to 1973! Hiked daily back and forth, helped maintain "smitty's" property down stream...Anyone else remember this piece of the history of the woods?
THE NAME OF THE COMPOUND NEAR LAKE MINNEWASKA WAS CALLED JENNY LANE NAMED AFTER MY GRANDMOTHER JENNY BAUMAN. IT NOW IS A GREAT PLACE TO HIKE TRU.
|AUDREY (ZEOLI) HAYMAN
Location: KIAMESHA LAKE, NY & fLORIDA
MY LINK WITH MINNEWASKA GOES BACK TO THE 1940-50'S BECAUSE MY GRANDPAREENTS HAD A FAMILY COMPOUND LESS THAN I MILE OF THE ENTRANCE TO THE LAKE ON 44/55 ON THE WAY TO KERHONKSON. MY COUSIN GLORIA & I HIKED MANY TIMES TRU THE AREA AROUND THE LAKE STOPPING AT THE GAZEBOS TO HAVE OUR LUNCH. SUCH FOND MEMORIES OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NY STATE. OUR COMPOUND WENT AT THE SAME TIME AS MINNEWASKA BECAUSE OF OUR BEING SURROUNDED BY STATE PROPERTY.
Location: New Paltz NY
Townie of new paltz and always heard storys of the Hotels on minnewaska but never knew they were as nice as the pictures showed, Family memebers on ym moms side actually went to the camps up there, Still cant believe something so amazing use to be on teh land after seeing it the way i have since i started going up there in the late 80's as a kid
Location: Wappingers Falls, NY
Very nice for hiking and mountain bikes. Have done both, but I like biking the most, since I can see more in lest time.
|Alice Greenwald Ward
Location: Washington, DC
Spent years as a child going up to Lake Minnewaska with my family. Worked at Wildmere in the Dining Room the summer of 1971. Glad to find this web site, thanks to longtime friend, Peggy Norden Walker, whose wedding took place at Cliff House in 1973.
Location: Apple Valley CA
I grew up in Middletown. Used to hike, and backpack the ridge almost every weekend. I have pictures of myself and some friends climbing the falls that were completly frozen back in 1977 or 1978. Many, many good memories
Location: Philadelphia, PA
One of the more beautiful state parks we visited. Great hike with a pretty view of the lake. Will visit again this summer.
Location: Duanesburg, NY
Fond Memories. Stayed at Wildmere week before Cliff House burned, circa mid/late 70's.
Location: Atlanta, GA
I worked at the main house in the summer of 1970 as a desk clerk. My uncle was Alban Woolley, who taught photography at SUNY - New Paltz, and gave presentations to the guests on occasion. I hope to make it back one day. Glad I found your Web site.
Great place for an afternoon hike.
Location: Lake Katrine, New York
Hi Paulie-Kuttie, Marushka, Georgie W., Mark Twain and the rest of you mountain mounting, cave clogging, Tartarean Spud-Peelers...GREETINGS FROM THAT OLD 'LAKE AWOSSING' GANG OF MINE!!!!..."Your future's so bright, we gotta wear shades!!!!" SMILEY B. & THE WATCHBIRDS & CO...
I have two post cards 6"x9" (COLOR PHOTOS)showing sailing at Lake Minnewaska and the other On Lake Minnewaska showing one of the mountain houses. Are these cards of any value?
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Minnewaska is a beautiful place.I've been going there for years to hike and to paddle around the lake.
Location: Central Florida
My father used to take us up there back in the 1950s. I have nothing but fond memories from my childhood in the Catskills. We lived on Minnewaska Trail back then. I miss my mountains!!!
:-)Fond memories from 40 years ago
Lord love Mohonk, etc.
I've been going swimming to minnewaska for almost two years. Those waters are the clearest and most amazing i've ever seen.
Votre site est vraiment trés sympa
Location: East Greenbush, NY
I plan on checking out the Minnewaska park tommorow, it seems pretty cool. Im excited!
Location: New York
gOING ON A WATERFALL HIKE THIS WEEKEND
ANY IDEAS PLEASE e-MAIL.
Location: Clintondale NY
Domestic and Wildlife Rescue Done
Location: Lake Katrine, New York
Thank You for the excellent photographs
and the fascinating site content...I was a visitor with the Girl Scouts and later CampFire Girls back in the 60's &
70's to wonderful Lake Awossining...
"High up, high on the mountain we founded our chalet...its sloping roof is
wide, it shelters us without a care...
and each Girl Scout and Guide will find
a welcome there..." Peace & Gott Blessi Thig! Bethie & Friends...
|Cat Eye Outfitter
Location: Selkirk Manitoba Canada
I really enjoyed my visit. A great site. I'll be back sometime soon. (-:
|Patricia Anne Smiley Stell
Location: Bend, Oregon
I found your website in search of my family tree. I am a decendant of Alfred Smiley. My greatgrandfather is Fredrick Smiley, Grandfather Howard Smiley and my father is James D. Smiley. I don't know as much as I would like to know about our family. Dad (James D. Smiley) was raised in Redlands, CA and left California in the early 50's. I recently visited Redlands and found a book about the Smiley's. Any information you would like to share would be greatly appreciated. - Patty :confused:
Location: Brick, NJ
In the summer of 1962 I spent 4 or 5 days at Wildmere. I was 15 years old and was there with a group of boys my age on a chaperoned trip...we all belonged to a boys club in Kearny, NJ, and took these club sponsored trips as time and money would allow. It was a trip I'll never forget....Minnewaska was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! We all (10-15 of us)had a great time. One of the things that I remember most vividly is how clear the lake was!!....you could stand on the dock and look 30, 40 , 50 feet down along the submerged bolders!! It amazed all of us. Another vivid memory was jumping off a large rock outcropping, that was 20-25 feet off the water, into the lake....I think it was located to the left of the dock area at Wildmere. In 1997 I attended a military reunion that was held in Ellenville and had a chance to stop at Lake Minnewaska....what a sad surprise to find out how is is today. I was able to locate that rock "outcropping", but nothing looked quite the same.....even the water was not as clear as I remember. It was only when I stumbled upon this site did I realize and learn the real story as to what had happened.
A sincere Thank You to the person that maintains this site for some great memories! I will be back.
What a pleasure to have found this site. I especially enjoyed Nan's slide show. I had a very enjoyable year working at the barn and driving the team, filled with pleasant memories that were just rekindled. I still like to visit the park every few years.
Thank you for keeping the memories alive.
It's so lovely to see this site. I've now lived in London for the last 24 years but I worked there in the summer of '72. I look at pics of the mountains when I get homesick and visit when I come back. I was brought up in the Shawangunk Valley and the outline of the range is imprinted on me! Thanks
Location: Ulster County, NY
Forgot to mention - my Dad had the contract to build Ski-Minne. My Dad, husband and brother, all worked on the lodge. Another fond memory!
Location: Ulster County, NY
NICE website! I've a great many fond memories of Minnewaska, having grown up within driving distance.
But my fondest memory is our wedding reception, which was held there 45 years ago. The mountain laurel was fully in bloom - in fact our tables and the dining hall were decorated with it. It was a perfect June day!
Thanks for the great memories.
Location: East Quogue, NY
Memories!!! Sam is that you (originally from Baldwin)? I worked & lived at Wildmere 78-79 as a maid & in the kitchen pantry. Rode the carriage horses bareback around the lake with Jeanne T. Can't believe after 25 yrs I've found this site. Love & miss you all. Happy New Year!
Location: Santa Fe, NM USA
Great Memories, Great Photos...Great Website! Like many others, I have fond memories of Lake Minnewaska. My sister was a close friend of the Phillips (Jr.) family, and I always enjoyed my visits there. A few memories: Ken Junior's Ferrari, a homespun redwood hot tub, great food and kindly company.
I'm just sleepless tonight at work... thanks, again, for the (sort of) place here where I have come and read... Here is a short HAIKU for you. Hope you don't mind.
The first soft snow!
Enough to bend the leaves
Of the jonquil low.
|The Greenback Hunter
Location: Traverse Bay Manitoba Canada
I Had A Great Little Surf!
Here's Wishing You All A Merry Christmas And A Safe And Happy Holiday!
I found your guest book because I was searching for a lost friend. Much thanks for letting people post here.
lake minnewaska is the single coolest place in the world. 2 bad new york state owns it now...... this year i jumped the biggest cliff at the lake and almost got arrested for underage drinking....although the risk is great i will go back every summer and get real drunk and jump the cliffs..... #@*%! the park rangers.......gunit
Location: Port Ewen, NY
Beautiful day (10/18/03) for the Annual Ridge Hike from Sam's Point to Minnewaska to Mohonk. Went by the lake & many visitors hiking, biking and picnicing. Great Place!! :-)
Location: New Milford, CT
Great Day Mountain Biking as usual on Columbus Day 2003.
Location: Minnetonka, MN
I was interested in Lake Minnewaska, NY because our lake home (since 1917) is on Lake Minnewaska, MN which is in west central Minnesota in Pope County. Our Lake Minnewaska is about 10 miles long and 2 miles across, about 7,500 acres, with Glenwood, MN on one end and Starbuck, MN on the other.
Location: Long Island, NY
Growing up in nearby Newburgh, I was a frequent visitor to Minnewaska in the early 80's. That's when it was still privately owned and we were fortunate enough to enjoy the area without the state restrictions. Nothing beat hiking through the woods to your favorite rock on the side of the lake, jumping into the brisk clear water, swimming at the bottom of high falls, wading down low falls or just taking a break on top of a cliff and soaking up the beauty. Thanks for the memories!
Location: Huntington, NY
WOW! I remember staying at the Wildmere
as a kid, early 70's. It was winter, and the heater didn't work so (Ken) Phillips
showed me and my father how to increase the heat with his Swiss Army knife.
I will never forget how much I loved the Wildmere, the food, and especially the grounds!
Have been X-country skiing as I got older, now I enjoy hiking and BIKING through this beautiful gem!
God Bless you, Mr. Phillips!!!
Hey! I came to Minnewaska last year with my school and it was really beautiful. I had a great time and so did all of my classmates. Can't wait till I get to come here again!
Location: Highland, NY
Hey all, it's me again. This is the second time i've been on this site, but it's still really fun to look through. :p
Location: North Babylon, LI. NY
A beautiful place.
delighted to find this website
Location: New York
I have been go to the lake since 1969. Swimming, jumping from the cliffs, scuba diving, hiking and camping out at the falls. Minnewaska is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. I have seen it transition from an active hotel to a state park. Your site just helps keep the memories alive. Thank you
Thank you for this website. I worked at the Wildmere for the summers of '74 and '75 as the breakfast and vegetable cook.I remember this as one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Like Key West its a place where sunset and sunrise was virtually a spiritual experience.
Location: 7340 sw 9 street plantation,f
:-) it looks beautiful and i can,t wait to visit this week!!!
Location: Newburgh, NY
Spent my Honeymoon at Lake Minnewaska in 1943. For an artist it is inspiring.:-)
Location: New York, Brooklyn
Location: New York City
I had wonderful childhood memories at Lake Minnewaska and now I plan to return! :-)
looking for trail maps for hiking
Location: Spring Hill Florida
I was born and raised in Highland NY just 10 miles from Minnewaska in 1977. My father and my uncle worked at both hotels as teenagers and as a result Lake Minnewaska has been a huge part of my life. The first time I brought my wife up to NY to meet my family we visited the lake. I wanted to show her why I loved the mountains so much and how beautiful of an area the Hudson Valley is. She fell in love the same way I did years ago. Just recently I found your web-site and showed her pictures of the Clff House and Wildmere. I was too young to remember either of them and like her was seeing them for the first time. We both fell in love with the lake all over again and are looking foward to visiting this summer and standing in the place of those magnificent hotels. Thank you so much for the justice you've done to the history of such a beautiful place.
Location: Long Island N.Y.
The first time i went camping was at the old Ski Minni site in New Paltz N.Y. in 1985, we had a great time, the people were great and i never forgot that trip. I'm so glad my friend brought a camera, we took so many great photos. We went back a few times but in 1987 we were sad to see the Ski Minni campsite closed. If anyone has any picture of that Ski Minni area past or present please send me them, i put 10 photos from our 1985 86 87 & 94 trips in the photo gallery.
Thank you Thomas
I loved going to Minnewaska as a kid and young teen with my family. I remember going hiking, swimming, and even horseback riding along the clear blue lake. To me, it was a magical place. I guess it still is, although I haven't been there in many years. The pictures in the gallery are priceless -- some of them almost brought tears of nostalgia to my eyes!
Location: freeport NY
AS A CHILD MY FAMILY VISTITED L. MINNEWASKA EVERY FALL FOR MANY YEARS.
I CANNOT THINK OF A MORE TRANQUILL PLACE TO BE. WE WERE AT THE HOTEL THE WEEEK IT CLOSED. IT WAS A TEARFUL MOMENT. ALTHOUGHT ME AND MY WIFE AND CHILDERN STILL VISIT THE GROUNDS, TO THIS DAY I MISS THE FAMILY VACATIONS AND THE MAGNIFICENT HOTELS...
I am so homesick for Minnewaska. My parents met the Smileys in Florida and my dad then worked at Minnewaska, first as a lifeguard and later as a maintenance man, most summers between 1947 and 1953. We lived in "Cliff Inn"(2 miles down from the main gate going towrds New Paltz) at first and then in a house near "Laurel Inn" just west of the main entrance. The most happy times of my life! Haven't been back since 1993 and Oh, how I miss it! I attended New Paltz schools in Sept/Oct of those years.
Location: Wawarsing, N.Y.
I was a "bellman" in 1978-79.
Just wanted to let you know about the 4th annual Shawangunk Mt. Wild Blueberry & Huckleberry Harvest Festival,
Sat. August 23rd, 2003, 9AM-4PM in Liberty Square, Ellenville,N.Y. Blueberry pancake breakfast 6AM-9AM at Norbury Hall.
love the site. i haven't been to the lake yet, but i'm dying to visit.
email me if you all have suggestions as to which sites i should explore first!
|paul d. hasbrouck
Location: accord, n.y.
working at minnewaska from 1969-1974 as a waiter in wildmeme dining room. i have many fond menories of the hotel also have taken many pictures year round of the grounds, served the smileys in the summers i could go on and on
Location: Cotati, CA
I have fond memories of Lake Minnewaska and the Cliff House from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Even have photos stored away somwhere including one of me on one of the balconies over looking the lake. I found this great site because I am bringing my California born husband to the New Paltz area this summer and plan to bring him up to Lake Minnie as well as show him the Gunks. (He's a former climber.) Too bad the Cliff House isn't around for us to stay at anymore.
Location: golden isles of Georgia
I worked for two summers at the Cliff House in 1959 and 1960 and enjoyed every minute. Hope to visit soon.
Location: Central FL (yuk)
I was born in Ellenville, NY and lived on the Minnewaska trail until we moved to NJ (sigh) in 1958 when I was 8 yrs old. I have always, to this day, feel the Catskills are my "home". I've visited there a few times since 1958 & would love nothing more than to move back.
Location: NYC, New York
I have been hiking in Minnewaska since I was 8 years old (now I'm 20) and I still can't get enough even though my feet know all the trails by heart! This is the first time I've ever seen the website and I just needed to sign the guestbook and say thanks to anyone and everyone who makes the park such a wonderful success. Thank you! I know I'll be hiking there for the rest of my hike-able life :-)
Location: Atlanta, GA
Happy New Year !
Location: Chester NY
I am new to this site, however I am very interested in learning and participating in cross country skiing, any suggestions on how to get started?
Location: Oakland, CA
Welcome to our new guestbook!
We were starting to get a lot of junk entries, and the old guestbook was a hassle deleting them.
Hope you like it. Even though I was able to salvage all the old messages, you're welcome to make a new entry if you like.
Location: Oakland, CA
Welcome to our new guestbook :D
| Sarah Harrison
The photos and screen savers are a breath of fresh air.
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
I am especially grateful to the Phillips family for all of my memories they gave me in all of the years I lived and worked at Lake Minnewaska. I miss Kevin , Ken and Lucille Phillips , and think of them often! I wish everyone a thoughtful Thanksgiving filled with appreciation for all of our blessings! Nan
Location: Saugerties, ny
I have been hiking the Minnewaska area forever. It was such a treat to actually see a picture of the Mountain House. Haven't seen a picture if the house in a long time. Great site...makes me want to go hiking today!
Location: Pleasant Valley, NY
Great work Sam! I continue to visit the Lake, been going there since 1968. Although not as spectacular as when the hotels were there, the lake still has the natural beauty that melts away all the stress of life in the 21st century. One of my favorite places on earth.
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Nice Site, I love coming up from Brooklyn and riding here, it is one of the most magnificent places to ride..... great for the soul.
| Peggy Manglirawan
Location: Bellmore, NY
Just found this website tonight but I've been hiking at Minnie for 3-4 yrs. several times each month and I never tire of the beauty of it and the sense of a beautiful and elegant history. I'm always refreshed emotionally, though tired physically, after an excursion there, just me and my dog, especially this past troubled year. I have read of a boy's camp on Awosting Lake in the 60's and would like to hear from those who went there. My hubby and I came upon one of the hotels, already boarded up, back in '81 or '82 and we were by the majesty of it so it's nice to read others' comments about happy days there. The area is truly a jewel.
| John Gerbino
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
My mother was born in nearby Marlboro, and I remember visiting that area as a child 50 years ago. I am pleased to see that its natural beauty has, and will be retained
Location: Highland, NY
I have been to Lake Minnewaska a few times. I think that it is beautiful! We are coming there for a feild trip for the seventh grade of HMS and I am very excited! This website is very cool to. It is interesting and definetly makes you want to be there!
Location: highland, N.Y
This is the most beutiful place my eyes have ever placed on an object. It has spectacullar views only the naked eye can see. I feel as if I can fly away in those lushes rainfalls. This is my gettaway place. Sometimes it makes me wonder if i could ever once be a mountain filled with mighty lushes trees of green. Goodbye for now and may the earth be with you
Location: Highland, NY United States
Hi to everyone that looks at this.
Location: Highland, NY
I have been 2 Lake Minnewaska a few times with my family. It is so beautiful, you can see the bottom of the blue lake. Everything seems so unreal because is so beautiful and such a peaceful place 2 be.
Location: highland, ny
i never been there but i can't wait to take pictures of the lake!:)
Location: Highland, NY
Hello, I've never been to Minnewaska, but my sister has several times. I like the website very much. Our school was supposed to go on a field trip there, but it got rained out I wish I would have a chance to see the beutiful mountains and lushes treees but I'll just have to wait and see.:)
Location: Highland, N.Y.
This is the most beautiful sight i have ever seen.I cant believe this is real.The people who go there they are lucky. I am thankful that i will be able to go there.This sight shows me that nature is good for the soul.Thank you for sharing this with me and many others.Thank you.
This website is really cool but they could have better movies and stuff the one with the food was corney and they could use better music but besides all those things it was neat
Location: new paltz, NY
HI !!! i have a request for the site !!! please put a map of the park on the site please!! otherwise it is great
Location: HIGHLAND, ny
so nayway i was resal dissapointed when our trip was cancled because i rode my bike here in the rain and i was freezing i almost got hit by 2 different cars and then i felt sick i was looking foward to eating my LUNCH somewhere different then our caffitaria! I hope this trip is reschedualed because i want NO SCHOOL!!!!
Location: Highland, Ny
The trip was rained out but we'll see you people on Tuesday.
Location: Highland, NY
Hey !! iM sooo excited becaue Im going to Lake Minnewaska Tuesday the 15th!! Cant wait!! byebyezz1!!
Location: Thursday, October 10, 2002 at 14:59:30 (EDT)
I just love this site. It's so cool.
| Suzanne Belof
Location: Nutley, NJ
Lake Minnewaska is truly God's country. It brings back so many memories of the long weekends I used to spend there with my family during our weekend trips with the Second Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey. I have many pictures, a horseshoe and a hotel room key that I found along a trail as a child (the keys in those days fit in each hotel room door). I remember the canoe boats, and the horse barn where I couldn't wait to ride along the trails with the horses. I also remember the basement of the hotel that had a beautiful stone bar and dance floor and a red carpet on a stairwell with a huge mirror that led to the game room downstairs. This of course was in the 70's.... I sure wish the hotels were still there.... it would be so nice to wake up to such beauty in the morning once again.
| Suzanne Belof
Location: Nutley, NJ
P.S. Today is my second wedding anniversary, and we are taking our "very first" family trip to Lake Minnewaska today with our new baby daughter Sarah who was born just over a month ago. The whole day will be so special and I couldn't think of a better place to spend it.
| Joe Favino
Location: Reno, NV
Growing up un Newburgh, The Gunks - primarily 'Waska - were my teenage "escape" place. I spent a lot of time there in the early eightys, and that's where I learned to climb, an activity that's taken me all over the world since then. (It's still the best rock ANYWHERE.) All of the Shawankungs, but especially Minnewaska, are about as magnificent as anything on the East Coast can be. This site is excellent and evocative. Thanks!
| Shirley E. Towner
Location: Homer, NY
I recently became interested in this area of NY. I found some negatives from pictures that my father took 75 years ago. He was employed in the area before he met my mother. I have been printing the pictures from the negatives on my computer. I have many very nice photos of Mohonk Lodge and grounds. It is amazing how unchanged the area has remained. My sister and I are starting to save some money to come for a vacation and see this area that our father obviously loved.
Location: Gulfport, MS
I grew up in Walker Valley/Pine Bush and remember many times going to the lake swimming. hiked up the steep road and trails. I have a vauge memory of an auction ???? It is so very beautiful there. Took my husband hiking there in his first trip to NY and showed him the moutnains, not something they have here in MS. Found thi swebsite while doing geneology research....wonderful!!!
| Gail Colombo
Location: Kenilworth, NJ
Here is a story for everyone who believes that Lake Minnewaska is a Magical Place! I wrote in the guestbook on April 20th, about being there 21 yrs ago. At that time, myself and 2 other girlfriends went to spend the day there. One girlfriend and myself to
| glenn brink
Location: calverton, ny
very nice site!!
It is one of those places that can take you in a nostalgic cul-de-sac of emotions full of awe, beauty, and wonder. I have been to the lake many times, and each time I am still amazed by it's magnificant atmosphere. The photos on this sight hardly give it justice...you should see some of the pictures I've got from my years of visiting Minnewaska. I have many fond memories of peace, solitude, companionship, romance, etc. here....love it!
| Irene Murayama Sterns
Location: San Diego, CA
Love the photos taken by my old classmate, Nan Ball.
| Jo Pate
Location: Smyrna, GA
My friend Nan has told me so much about this area. Her descriptions are painted so vividly I feel like I have been there and maybe sometime I will go, but meantime the photo album she created on the website is wonderful !
Location: Colts Neck, NJ
Today(July 9) I visited Lake Minnewaska for the fourth time. I can never get enough of this place. I want to just stay there for the rest of my life- forget about responsibility. Does anyone else feel this way? I'm hooked for life and can't wait to experience autumn and winter there!!
| Julianne Lennon
Location: Wallkill, NY
Hello It's 7:30 a.m. and just loading the car for a day trip to Minnewaska.I spent many beautiful days as a teen swimming,hiking,and exploring The breathtaking surroundings.I now as an adult live in a home my husband and I purchased 4 years ago just for the view of the Gunks.Crazy for some to think but for us it was a view we could not resist.We call this our little piece of "Heaven" I love the ever changing views no matter what season.... Julianne
| Andy Dedrick
Location: Gardiner, NY
I would like to thank the Minnewaska Swimmers Org. (www.minnewaskaswimmers.org) for opening the lake for more access to swimmers. I used to swim the lake in the 70's without the swim police. Hopefully, if enough swimmers cooperate we can open both Minnewaska and Awosting to full access swimming. Minnewaska and Mohonk are treasures. Having flown myself halfway across the US in a small plane, I can say, this is one of the country's most beautiful places. Enjoy it!
| Eileen Johnson
Location: Demarest, NJ
Minnewaska was and hopefully will remain a jewel for each season. In the summer, the lake was always so inviting. The Fall foliage was overwhelmingly beautiful. During the 70's we skiied cross county...the Awosting Loop had the most amazing ice falls...I don't think I've ever seen such beauty. Minnewaska was even awesome when it was -14C...It's great to know you are keeping the memories alive...Thanks
| Carl Todt
Location: Andover, NJ
Just got back from Awosting Lake. The Mountain Laurel is at its peak along the upper Awosting road, the streams, Rainbow Falls, and Awosting Falls are flowing significantly, the humidity is low and the crowds haven't come yet. At Awosting Lake, the Mtn. Laurel will peak in another week, while the swimming there is unequaled! So take a day from work or whatever and rejuvenate yourself!
| Janet Stone
Location: Atlanta, GA
My grandfater began visiting the Lake in the 30s, my father followed and then brought our family there in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. We stayed at the Wildmere each summer. My grandfather knew the Smileys and the Phillips as well. As children he introduced us to them. I often went hiking with him and watched as he played golf. I continued visiting the lake quite often in the late 70s, saw the rubble of the Cliff House and watched the auction of the Wildmere furniture and contents. I spent many of great times at the Wine Cellar. I have many great memories and photos.
Location: Massena, NY
I primarily LifeGuarded & conducted other related duties. Fantastic memories evolving from my affiliation with the Lake Minnewaska co-employees and visitors. Worked with Eric(the other LifeGuard) the majority of the time. Frequent visitors seemed to get our names confused - had to remind them that Eric was the blonde LifeGuard and I was the red-head(no particular reason why I just remembered that!). I hadn't explored the Minnewaska area in awhile, until I was in the area a couple of months ago and re-visited it. Ahh, the enjoyable memories! Any friends, acquaintances and Lake Minnewaska visitors and co-workers can contact me via my email address: Jeff1847@northnet.org. Would be great to hear from you! Take Care, Jeffrey
| Gerry Hathcock Robinson
Location: Tulsa, OK
I worked at Cliffhouse in 1963,64 &65. I am from Oklahoma and we do not have a place like it here. It was a great place for a college student to work in the summer. We had a great time and I made lifelong friends.Gerry Hathcock Robinson
| george williams
Location: baton rouge, la
Particulrly in ancestors-- My ancestors are from Orange Co.
Location: BROOKLYN, NY
OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS VISITED MINNEWASKA FOR FOUR TO FIVE WEEKENDS DURING THE SUMMERS OF THE LATE '60, THE '70 AND UP UNTIL THE TIME IT CLOSED.THEY WERE WONDERFUL TIMES SPENT AT A BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND WE HAVE NEVER FOUND A PLACE LIKE IT.WE HAVE BEEN THER A FEW TIMES SINCE THE STATE HAS BEEN RUNNING IT--IT IS STILL BEAUTIFUL BUT NOT THE SAME---THE SWIMMING RESTRICTIONS ARE REALLY TERRIBLE. WE HAVE BROUGHT OUR GRANDCHILDREN THERE BUT THEY HAVE MISSED THE BEST TIMES.
| Sue Gilmore
We went hiking there last weekend and could not get over the amount of different snakes around the lake. Can a snake expert tell us what they are? We recognized the black snake, but the others have us stumped.
| Gail Colombo
Location: Roselle, NJ
I visited Lake minnewaska in 1982 with 2 girlfriends of mine who heard about it. We decided to spend the day. 20 years later I have never forgotten the eeriness and beauty of the empty hotel.We walked around the whole lake and even swam in the cold, but refreshing water.It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. And now that I have access to the net, I feel like I found a long lost friend!! Thank You:) Gail Colombo
| Matthew Winefsky
Location: bellmore, ny
I first visited the lake while running cross country in High School while on a trip. The beauty of the lake has been with me since. I had forgotten the name and had lost contact with the people over the years. I'm 25 and was there while I was 16 years old. Going through old papers I came across an itenerary for the trip with the name of the lake. I was so excited knowing I could see pictures of it's awesome beauty once again. Now since I know the name of this incredible place I can plan a trip to return sometime in the near future.
| Linda Franzella
Location: New Paltz, NY
I moved to New Paltz over 25 years ago because the Village was the place I wanted to raise my children. We spent many hours walking and hiking at Minnewaska. The colors of the trees during the change of seasons still takes my breath away. The view from the mountain is something to behold.
| Vinnie Santacroce
Location: Newburgh, NY
Beautiful website. The pictures in the albums are awesome and bring back memories of our visits there. We spent some time there back in the 50's, 60's and the 70's.
| Dan Tenerowicz
Location: Northern Cambria, Pa
I just found and bought a book called"Lake Minnewaska" In The heart of the Shawangunks,by William E. Doughty.It is signed by him and also says,The Cliff House,July 9,1946.I was just reading it and wanted to find more out about the place,I live in the Poconos in the summer,so want to visit it maybe this summer,The book is a first addition,anybody know anything about the book,I would love to hear about it Thanks,Dan Tenerowicz
| SHARON SUMMERS SIUBIS
Location: WAYNE, NJ
THE SUMMERS FAMILY STARTED COMING TO MINNEWASKA AROUND 1960 AND IT HAS NEVER LEFT OUR HEARTS. TIMES HAVE CHANGED THE LOOK OF MINNEWASKA BUT THE MEMORIES HAVE ALL THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE, ACTIVITIES, AND THE MOUNTAIN HOUSES STILL THERE.MAY, BILL, PATTY, AND SHARON SUMMERS
| Connie and Diane Plaissay
Location: Charlo, MT
Since 1939 (before I was born 1940) I have gone to the Lake I was so glad to find this site I hope many old timers come on board. I met my wife at Minnie in 1958. I t was the place to fall in love. I had been a guest from 1940 but I was working as sports director and Diane was a waitress at both the Cliff House and the Wildmere. We still love our Mountain.. To Ken and Suzie you are in my thoughts so very often.
| Albert C. LaVerne
Location: Scranton, Pa
I used to work at the resort way back when
Location: Fairfield, CT
Great Site. I visted the state park. Loved the area and saw taletell clues about the previous structures but had NO IDEA how magnificent. This was the first time I've ever seen the two hotels. Thanks for bringing to life a better vanished time. Jim
| Valerie Malott
Location: Amelia, OH
Thanks for this incredible website full of memories. I grew up about 2 miles from the foot of the mountain and have wonderful childhood memories of going to Ski Minne where my brother taught me how to ski. Reading the newspaper articles on the fire of Cliff House brought back memories that I had stuffed away for a long, long time. The pictures are wonderful and they make me want to go back to visit mom and expose my kids (and husband) to the mountain that I romped around on as a youngster. Thanks!
| Deborah Garcia
Location: Waldwick, NJ
Most all posts in this guestbook are treasured memories. Just add me to the list. I want to remember it as it was prior to becoming a state park. All during the 70's, swimming the entire lake, paddling a canoe, jumping off cliffs, even scuba diving! Now instead a 'postage stamp' sized swimming beach! My wish is for a private developer to 're-create' a new old mountain house (enviormental approved) with a Catskill/Minnewaska Cultural Center with photos, history,etc. I can dream can't I?!
| Ed Friedman - Danville, KY - email@example.com Ed Fr
Location: Danville, KY
I found your site through a friend and having grown up in Kerhonkson found this site so very interesting. Through the 1950's spent many weekends camping and hiking the mountains with our Boy Scout troop. We had many survival weekend winter camping trips back by Mud pond and Lake Awosting. In the 1960's I worked for an electrical contractor and wired the Ski Minnie lodge and resteraunt. My wife and I had permits to horseback ride the now State Park and have many great memories of the mountain from horseback including the hiking trail from Jenny Lane to Lake Awosting and the hiking trails on to Mud Pond as well as the miles of carriage trails. This area is certainly a jewel of New York State. This site sure brought back some great memories.
| Pauleitta Phillips
Location: St. Augustine, FL
Hi Sam, I just looked at some of the new material you added to the Minnewaska site following your September visit with Ken and me at Windsong. Great job! Regards to Nina. A thought: How about gathering information about the many people who were married at Lake Minnewaska? Ken Phillips, Jr. and I were married on a rockledge just below Cliff House in August 1980. We have some photos that Ken's mom and dad took of our wedding that we could share. Any more Minnewaska Wedding Couples out there? Best regards,Pauleitta Phillips
| Carl Todt, Jr.
Location: Andover, NJ
Memories are essential! But, let's stay in the present so the future generations can experience the past. My prime concern is the continual pollution of Lake Minnewaska due to the current location of the septic system! The once pure water is no longer, but this can be reversed by altering the flow of the septic system. This magnificent spring-fed jewel should not be neglected!!!
Location: RSM, CA
In the 1960's my Father worked for Home Magazine. Lake Minnewaska was a regular advertiser. We would visit Lake Minnewaska about 10 times per year for about 10 years. Some of my best childhood memories are from Lake Minnewaska.
| Albert DeLaRosa
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Accidentally came upon this site; grew up in Walden used to go to the lake late 50's, early sixties...my gosh...brought back many memories and tears as well.
| Jim, Beth, Leland & Grant Freer
Location: Gardiner, NY
Our family has had countless wonderful and happy times at Minnewaska over the years. Only wish it could still be the way it was. Thank You for a great site that is a wonderfultrip down memory lane:>
Location: Gardiner, NY
We stay at a place on Lyons Road. Love Minnewaska! An absolute treasure. Sorry to hear about the passing of Ken Phillips. What will the State do with the private residence at the top of the cliff, Windsong and the house at the beginning of Lyons Road?
| Regan Schaeffer
Location: Mt. Pleasant, MI
In 1985 my husband and I had been living in Fishkill for only about a year, when we took a nearby day hike with a friend. Jeff had our year-old daughter on his back, and we walked for several hours, eventually finding ourselves on larger, wider trails. We came around a bluff on our left, and were facing that deep blue pit lake, and the huge, white, abandoned Wildemere, floating on the cliff on the opposite side. The hair stood up on my arms. I have never forgotten the sight. The next week, we read the article in the paper about the fire, with that tragic picture of the standing chimneys and elevator shaft. I couldn't believe we'd been lucky enough to be there when we were. Thank you for a chance to look at it again.
| Robert K. Johnston
Location: Las Vegas, NM
In June 1945, my first wife and I spent a week or two of our wedding trip at Lake Minnewaska. I'm not sure which of the two hotels we stayed at. I remember a Mr. Tatnall, an expert on the geography and history of the region, who took groups on hikes and carriage rides, and also presented a memorable slide show one evening. All in all, Lake Minnewaska was a great experience, even if the water was too cold for any serious swimming.
Location: Brooklyn, ny
Well... the photos on this site can only outline the expierience of actually being there. I grew up along the Shawangunk range, Sam's Point was practically my back yard. From skipping school in high school, to my weekend retreats, The whole area DOES have a beautiful energy. I am interested in the specific local folklore. Any known "haunted" places especially. I do not wish to exploit the mountain, or trespass where I am not welcome. There is ONE last mountain house. It's not as large as the notorious others, but still stands today.
| Susan Titsworth Froome
I was enchanted to find your site and enjoy a trip down memory lane. I was a seasonal waitress eking out one more summer before entering the real world after college graduation, living and working in Wildmere the summer the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. It was one day where guests and employees all melted together while we squeezed in the one room with the communal TV to witness this historical event. We sunned,funned and above all, worked hard while enjoying the commarderie of the mostly college aged summer staff. I wish that summer had lasted longer!
Location: New Paltz, NY
I'm looking at this site and thinking...WHAT mountain houses? How come I only know about Mohonk? Gotta get up there...gotta go..thanks for creating this site!!!
| Charles Fatum
Location: Daly City, Ca
When I think of Minnewaska, I remember the happy times there and I get a sad feeling thinking of folks and things that are no more. My family and family friends made numerous trips from Kingston to stay at the Wildmere in the 1940s and 1950s when I was a kid. So much fun and laughter every minute. Relaxation, hiking, the dining room (where manners were a must) swimming in the freezing water, the canoe rides, and the carriage rides were perfect for young and old. My Mom has a few photos of those times and they remain special to us. Thankyou for creating this site. Charles Fatum
| Ruth Bailey
Location: Kerhonkson, NY
Such wonderful memories of visiting Minnewaska all my life. It will never be the same without Ken and Lucille there to greet everyone and to share their love of the mountain.
| Marti Goldstein
Location: Port Ewen, NY
What a wonderful site. Since moving here from Maryland almost three years ago, I have become interested in the history of my new adopted home. Minnewaska is one of my favorite places to visit...the peace and solitude it emits are a healing source for the soul. When family visit from out of town, Minnewaska is always on the list of places to go.
| Dave McCarthy
Location: Chicago, IL
Just discovered your delightful website. I've been a Mohonk Mountain House guest three times over the last 5 or 6 summers and my wife and I finally got around to hiking the Old Minnewaska Carriage Road to Lake Minnewaska (via Clove Road and the Sunset Path.) It was a revelation. I only wish that during some childhood visits to the Gunks in the late 60s/early 70s we had stayed or even seen the Minnewaska Mountain Houses. I'd love it if you could post some interior shots of the old places.
| daryl and glenn binnig
Location: syracuse, ny
we married one year after we worked the summer there. I was a waitress and Glenn worked maintenance. Does anyone remember Jim from the stables who married Jolene? We all used to have a grand time in the dormitories and the "DUNGEON" area near the winecellar. It is a wonder we were able to return home safely after Jumping off the cliffs into the water and swimming across the lake to a campfire. Sometimes there was even an uncharted ride on horseback by many of us over to awosting lake at night for a party or campout. One time my husband was driving down the hill in a large truck and the steering broke..remember the times at the small waterfall at the bottom of the hill. Ken was dating Sussan from Flordia.The scenery was breathtaking and the pay lousy!
| luz carras
Location: Bronx , NY
I was born in the city and now that iam in my prime would like to explore and learn about New York and state.
| Greg Smiley
Location: Etna, NY
Thank you for an enjoyable site. I grew up in nearby Wallkill, NY and have many happy memories of the mountain and visiting with my great grandparents at the lake. Greg Smiley
| Tom Basile
Location: Kerhonkson, NY
I worked at Minnewaska from 1972 into the mid 1980's. Still bike ride up there and try to stay in touch with the Phillips familly. Nothing but fond and unique memories.
| Charles Smith
Location: Montgomery, NY
Location: los angeles, ca
I used to visit Lake Minnewaska in the early 1980's and have so many great memories. I loved the place! I used to go up with friends to visit New Paltz and to go camping and hiking. I was always so fascinated by the beautiful old Wildmere hotel which by this time was all boarded up with "warning-keep out" signs on it (and let me tell you how very tempted I was to go inside and explore anyway! :-) Thanks to this site I now have answers to my many questions 17 years later. It has been a mystery to me that long and although I now live in CA (I lived in NY at the time) I've still wondered over the years about the hotel especially when I look back at the old photos I've taken. Thanks so much for the answers-what a feeling of relief to finally know!
Location: Denver, CO
I discovered Minnewaska in the 1980's before the last hotel burned (can't remember its name). I live in Colorado now and have not seen Minnewaska since the late 80's. I have several books - one about Minnewaska and one about Catskill Mountain Houses tha
| dale hood
Location: longmont , co
My wife and I were guests at the Cliff House shortly before it closed. The building was unbelievable. It is a shame to think of the loss of both buildings. My profession is now antique restoration. The loss of the antiques in the Cliff House is most sad. The lake, though, the beauty of the lake will always be there.
Location: Melbourne, Victoria Australia
I am related to the Minnewaska Smileys although from Australia, and was passed this addy. Thanks for preserving the memory of Minnewaska, and the wonderful times people have experienced visiting there. Minneswaska's founders were tireless workers who created a warm and caring atmosphere I am told. My relly Shepherd Parkman Smiley arrived in Australia in 1853, around the time when the brothers were stimulating their creativity. Cheers Keith Smiley Melbourne, Australia firstname.lastname@example.org Keith Smiley
| Pete Tillinghast
Location: Ridgefied, ct
This town that I have grown up in has fallen prey to overdevelopement and urbanization, it is such a relief to know that on any given "personal day" I can get away and go to a truly special place unlike any I have visited and return to the ratrace feeling a little less stressed, it is an almost spiritual feeling to visit the "Gunks".
| Elizabeth Wahle
Location: Somerville, MA
My grandparents vacationed at Minnewaska during the mid-to-late 1950's, and invited me along for a week each spring and fall. We stayed in the Wildmere House. I have wonderful memories of the Lake and surrounding forests.It was a special place for me as a child. I loved the horseback riding - and remember a day trip to Mohonk and back on the carriage trails that connected the two hotels. I always wanted to return, but never had the opportunity. I found your site while trying to learn more about the fate of those Victorian "Mountain Houses" and I'm glad to know that you are helping keep the memories fresh. Thank you.
| Priscilla Lynn Hinshaw
Location: colorado springs, co
Good Day to all.. I have wonderful memories of Lake Minnewaska with my grandfather and grandmother . Adolph and Mildred Lund, who lived on the lake and took us on the pontoon fishing and swimming. He also owned a bait shop. My mother Sally Ann Lund and her sister Flora Jane lund, were raised in Glenwood on Lakewood dr..A wonderful area and wonderful people.. We Visited there every summer as a child.I remember visiting there at a very young age ,i had a abcessed tooth and a Dentist of my grandfathers took care of me at "No Charge". Thanks for the memories and the chance to go back in time. Priscilla
| Nima Salmani-Fartash
Location: Hamburg, HH Germany
Hi, I´m from Germany. I looked as this site because I had to write a homework about New York State.
Location: Palmerton, PA
Magical place. Just a piece to share, the actor John Savage visited us, went on the 2-hour horseback ride to Awosting. Everybody gets the same look on their face though, just a thoughful peaceful thing. Anyone remember in the Wine Cellar the mirror in the shape of the lake, and the overhead beam opposite it with "Minnewaska Lake" written backwards so that it looked correct it the mirror? Must have been a long winter.
| Nina Deckert
Location: Berkeley, CA
Hi Sam, It really is a terrific website! I liked looking at the old photos and postcards. I never had the chance to visit Minnewaska but it was clearly a magical place for all who experienced it. Thanks for what you've done to preserve the memory.
| michael weiss
Location: erie, pa
in november of 1977, while living in new york city, i went for a weekend with a group of 40 people to lake minnewaska mountain house. we had the place to ourselves and spent the weekend hiking about. cliff house was closed and boarded up, (though a few of us did try to get inside!) i had never seen a lake as blue as some of the caribbean seas! i will never forget that weekend and some of the friends i made on that trip.
| KC Ken (KC) Solem
Typical summer guest from Mohonk with memories of Minnewaska. I'm searching for photos of the interior of the building...as well as a poster I once saw in a Mohonk office. Anyone know of a Minnewaska poster? Thanks!
my sister and i went to camp laurel and visited the hotel many times...it was a beautiful place
| David S. Haines
Location: Longwood, Fl
I became an assistant dish washer in June of 1963 at Cliffhouse. I brought my guitar and joined the teen age children of Ken Phillips as a "Folk Trio" of sorts and young Ken was the social catalyst for the two hotels. This was a highlight to a young 18 year old who had never left Florida, much less spent three hours at "Port Authority" New York City in front of a bus for New Paltz because of the fear of the city. By the way, I was a "Great Dishwasher."
| Gary Kitchen
Location: Rockaway, NJ
I have been hiking the Mohonk Preserve and just discovered Minnewaska over the past few months. I can just imagine how beautiful it must have been with the two hotels. Your site is looking gooooood.
Location: Airville, PA
Greetings. I too am a Minnewaska fan. Have fond memories of staying there in the mid-70s. Will be glad to share a few photos and memories with you. I can't believe that when visiting the area where the hotel once stood, it is now green grass with a state park atmosphere. Most of the people around are oblivious to what once was there. Thank you for this site and good luck with it's growth.
| Rhonda Pilch
Location: Saugerties, NY
In the early 70's I attended a picnic on the lawn of the Cliff House. It was a catered picnic and the food was brought up by wagon. It was a beautiful sunny summer day! I have sent 2 photo's I took that day of Wildmere. Looking forward to seeing this site develop! Thanks Sam! Rhonda Pilch, Saugerties, NY
| Barbie Granda
Location: Mountain View, CA
I grew up in near-by Wallkill, NY & when i think of home, I think on Lake Minnewaska, biking, hiking & best of all just sun-bathing on the cliff's over the lake...this is a great site!
| Theresa & Shannon
Location: Port Jervis, Ny
You have some pictures here that Iv'e never seen before! We especial enjoyed the old photos, I hope that as your site grows there will be more old photos. This is a wonderfully thought out site! Hope to see more new things soon! Ron,
| Jeffrey Schoonmaker
Location: Cupertino, CA
My ancestors lived in the Trapps and worked for the Smileys. Many are even buried somewhere in the area. Thus far I have found the grave site of only one, my great-great grandfather, Lucas Schoonmaker. He's buried near today's intersection of Lyons Road and Route 44/55.
| Alice Manfredini
Location: Buffalo Grove, IL
Sam, thank you so much for this wonderful site! I look forward to visiting often and finding more stories and photos from folks who were lucky enough to spend time in Minnewaska.
| Maria Pearson
Location: Alice, TX
My sister and I would go to Lake Minnewaska with member of our entire church, the Second Presbyterian Church of Newark, New Jersey. It was a place of retreat and spiritual renewal for us. Our Westminster Fellowship Youth Group would plan activities for the coming year there. That was in the early 1960's. We have wonderful memories of our visits there and long to return someday.
| David Patterson
Location: Largo, FL
Sam: I appreciate your efforts in developing this website. I spent about 7 years in New Paltz (1987-1994). I arrived just after the hotel burned and always wondered about the property prior to the final purchase by the State of New York. My grandmother was a Hasbrouck and her cousin John was one of the carpenters that built the wooden portion of Mohonk. I do wonder if he was involved with Lake Minnewaska. I grew up in Western New York so my knowledge of the area is limited to my experience there. It is a pleasure to return regularly to New Paltz to visit the surroundings. Thank you for this information.
| Bert & Vivian
Location: Boca Raton, FL
We visited Minnewaska briefly just before it's demise and were especially impressed with it's antique fixtures and turn -of-the-century decor. What great souvenirs if we had been able to buy some of them. Great Web page, Sam !