Lake Minnewaska and surrounding areas as they are now.
Sharon Saracino


Postby Sharon Saracino » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:15 pm

For years we have enjoyed hiking in the Shawangunks. In June, we hiked the Smiley Road for the first time. It is an old carriage road that was built between Ellenville and Lake Awosting so the Smiley's could pick up hotel guests at the train station in Ellenville and transport them to Minnewaska. It has deteriorated badly but it is a great hike, if you don't mind the rough terrain.

If anyone knows of any good hikes or interesting places to see that have been eliminated from the map, I would love to hear about them.

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Postby Admin » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:16 pm

Sharon was kind enough to send me some info on the Smiley Road. Unfortunately, I never got the time to do the hike when I was in NY. Next time...

But being a train buff, and learning so much about Minnewaska, I'm amazed how many different train stations there were in the area. Going through the promotional brochures, they mention no fewer than 4 different stations over the 100 year period. I don't know what the order was, but there was New Paltz, Kerhonkson, Ellenville, and Poughkeepsie (which is still there and running of course).

Anyone have any other info on the railroads of the area?

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Postby Ken » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:20 pm

Thanks Sharon!

One of the things that I personally want to contribute to the site is a section on hikes at Minnewaska accompanied by GPS locations of some of the truely special places. Look for this section this coming summer.

The hike you took was certainly one of the most advanced ones: long and difficult. When you crossed Fly Brook, the stream as you neared the end of Awosting, did you stop to see Stonykill Falls. It would have taken an hour or so extra to hike down to the top of the fall, but it is certainly one of the Shawangunk's special places.

Other additions that come to mind immediately are: The Crevices, Verkerderkill Falls, The Palmaghatt (searching for the lost cordoroy road), The Old Iron Mine, The Spruce Glen area, Gertrude's Nose and Margaret's Stone Parlor.

You may want to purchase one of the mounted maps in the Historical Society section of Items for Sale -- it comes with two additional folded maps and is a wonderful guide to the mountain.

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Postby Corinne » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:21 pm

I found this site:

Ulster & Delaware Railroad Historical Society.

My grandmother had given me a demitasse years ago that has a picture of a hotel named "Mountain House Catskill Mountain" with beautiful gold lead plant decor on it. I found the hotel, now demolished. But, they found a nearly perfectly preserved train station that they are turning into a museum. I'll be donating the teacup to them.

Enjoy that site!


the Smiley Road

Postby Igor » Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:07 pm

Sharon, Ken,

I would love to make this hike.
What is the best way to find the Smiley Road?
Is it the one that forks off the loop around lake Awosting
about 1/4 mile S-W from the beach (with the no bicycles sign)?


Sharon Saracino

Old Smiley Road

Postby Sharon Saracino » Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:35 pm

When we hiked the Smiley Road we parked a car at Minnewaska and drove to Ellenville in another and parked at the Berme Road Park. The Smiley Road is rather inconspicuous. Once you start up it you must take a left hand turn and continue climbing. We felt it would be easier to do the hard part first which is why we started at the bottom. Look in the Photo Gallery under Scenic Minnewaska on page 5 and you will see a couple pictures I sent in. There is a long section of the hill that is very rocky and there are also a number of large puddles that you will need to bush whack around (or bring a pair of boots!). Despite the rough going it is a really great hike and will bring you out by Lake Awosting on the opposite side from the beach. Don't forget to cross the Fly Brook and head up hill or you will end up at Stony Kill Falls and have to turn around and come back. You should take a map with you.

I bought a wonderful book called "Shawangunks Trail Companion", by Jeffrey Perls. It will give you all the details about the Smiley Road and just about any other hike you might want to take. Even though I have hiked extensively in the Shawangunks, I still enjoyed reading it and learned a few things I did not already know. I would recommend it.

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The Palmaghatt

Postby Paul » Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:33 pm


"...Other additions that come to mind immediately are: The Crevices, Verkerderkill Falls, The Palmaghatt (searching for the lost cordoroy road), The Old Iron Mine, The Spruce Glen area, Gertrude's Nose and Margaret's Stone Parlor."

Thanks for mentioning these -- several of them are my favorites as well. Could Ken, or anyone else, elaborate on hiking in the Pamaghatt areea? What are the possibilities for getting into the ravine?
I have seen on a hiker's guide from the 1930's that there was once a trail that followed the Kill with and entrance by the Hamilton Point Carriage Road. But I have never found anything that looked like it and I once met someone who bushwacked the whole way and didn't see the trail. I also looked a bit by the power lines at the Gertrude's Nose (No's) trail but only found what looked like an access path for the power line workers.

And could you tell us more about the lost corduroy road?

Many thanks in advance

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Postby petercbenson » Sun Apr 09, 2006 5:25 pm

I did the Castle Point to Hamilton Point Carriageway loops today. After Echo Rock, with the Palmaghatt Kill below (mostly just a dry gravelly bed here) I began to look for signs of old trails leading down the bank into the kill. Close to the end, to the right of the path, I came across an odd rock tunnel. Although filled with leaves and debris, it looks like it could have been the start of a path down the bank. After this, also on the right, I passed a cave, very close to the path. I didn't go inside very far, but it looked like an interesting explore. Next time. Anybody else seen these odd features?


Re: hiking

Postby Beowulf » Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:39 pm

I made this climb many times in the Fifties, beginning in Ellenville behind the Town Barn, then going up the road past the lead mine to the open dump, then climbing the side of the mountain on a very rocky trail parallel to Route 209 toward Napanoch. When the trail levels off, going off the path and up will bring a person to canyons filled with thick moss, several hundred feet across, and 80 to 100 feet deep. There was a bear painted on a huge rock where the trail heads toward Fly Creek, with the words "Then and Now." Coming across Lake Awosting was always thrilling. In all my years of hiking, I only encountered a lost boy scout troop and a small settlement of tin and cardboard where folks from the Bowery would pick blueberries to survive life in the city through the winter.

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