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Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:48 pm
The issue is simple: The State knows their sewage system created this leech problem and they are trying to avoid taking responsibility. If their explanations (reduction of acid rain, bird poop, humans swimming) were truthful, nearby Lake Awosting would also be effected and pollution would have occurred earlier under private ownership. The truth is that the lake was safely managed by private owners for more than a century and ruined forever in decades by an inattentive, uncaring New York State bureaucracy including Park Management (designed sewer) and both DEC and Health Department (responsible for review and oversight).
At this point, the various state agencies are simply waiting for the story to go away.
Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:54 pm
The state take over was lame to begin with.Ioppossed the condos ,not a hotel.A hotel with day pass acess would of been great.Politicans are worthless scum.Where is Maurice Hinchey when we need him.?If anybody knows him lets ask him to help us.Sam i remember you.What shall we do?-jeff fellerj
Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:08 am
Nice to know that people still care about Minnewaska. I worked there from 1966-1976 as the butcher and sometimes in the winter months as coffee maker along with salad maker and breakfast pancake maker. I know what the waters were like especially when I was swimming with a female friend and I pulled off her bottom swim suit. I told her not to worry as no one would know. Well just about then a bunch of guest on the cliffs started to applaud. She was not happy. I moved out of the area to upstate NY but still stopped by one day and it was too sad to go back again just knowing what was there and how the people walking around missed all of that. Any letter writing or contacts that I can do that would be helpful is ok with me.
Cortland N.Y. 13158
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:36 pm
Used to go to Lake Minnewaska a lot as a kid with my family during the 60's. Never stayed overnight but we always purchased a day pass with dinner which gave us access to the hotels' public areas as well as swimming privileges. Always remember how crystal clear and cold the lake was and even remember being shown the intake pipe going into the lake for the hotel water supply. Was there maybe 10 times as a kid. Fast forward to sometime early to mid 80's, went back with family to see the lake again only to find that the Cliff House was gone. Went back again mid 90's only to find hoards of litterbugs swarming all over.
If the state is to blame for what's happening to the water quality then it's a damn shame. Instead of 'improving' the trails to accommodate the lowest common denominator of visitor maybe the money would be better spent on the pollution issue. The unimproved natural style of trails were part of the charm in the first place and we never had any problem hiking around the lake.
Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:20 pm
I'm so sad to see what's happened to Minnewaska over time. I used to love this lake - spent many happy hours swimming here when it was privately owned - it was the most beautiful swimming experience ever. After it was taken over, I joined Minnewaska Distance Swimmers for several years.
But... I started to notice that the lake was changing! My swim buddy and I were constantly perplexed about why the lake was clouding up and not as beautiful as it used to be when, actually, there are way fewer people swimming in it than before. Eventually we stopped swimming there.
This is the first I've heard about the sewage issue! Is anybody doing anything about this?? Does Minnewaska Distance Swimmers know about this?
If people knew the cause, I can't believe there wouldn't be a huge public outcry, lawsuits, etc. Has anybody tried to organize anything??
Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:54 am
I am a frequent visitor to Minnewaska State Park and have just learned about the history of the hotel, as well as how the lake has changed. I am 36 years old, and grew up about 30 minutes from Minnewaska so somehow I never learned about these particular facts. Anyway, I think young people in their twenties would really get behind this cause. But, many of them perhaps have not heard of this story. Can you share this on social media? That would get the word out. Thanks
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:02 am
In 1976 My parents stayed at the hotel for their honeymoon while I was in my mothers belly. My parents were crushed when they heard the news that the hotel went down in flames. We lived in LI and went hiking there on Saturdays to get away from the sound polution and find peace with ourselves and nature. I do remember the lake being of a terquoise color. It really looked like something out of a fairy tale story. It is unfortunate that my own children are unable to capture the true beauty that this gem once was. I think that this would would be a great segment to cast on The Sunday Morning Show which my family and many others view every week.
Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:23 am
Renee Schaefer Villani wrote:In 1976 My parents stayed at the hotel for their honeymoon while I was in my mothers belly. My parents were crushed when they heard the news that the hotel went down in flames. We lived in LI and went hiking there on Saturdays to get away from the sound polution and find peace with ourselves and nature. I do remember the lake being of a terquoise color. It really looked like something out of a fairy tale story. It is unfortunate that my own children are unable to capture the true beauty that this gem once was. I think that this would would be a great segment to cast on The Sunday Morning Show which my family and many others view every week.
This is really a heart touching story of your parents....
Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:31 am
I first went to Minnewaska for lunch -during the summer of 1959 - my Grandparents were staying there for a week and my parents took me there for the day -- we lived in New Jersey at the time.
When I was a teenager in the 1970's we used to sneak on the property and go camping not far from Awosting Falls.
After I got married I came up to Minnewaska to go Cross Country Skiing and eventually moved to New Paltz. We also would go up in the summer with a large inner tube and float around the lake and people would dive from the cliffs - it was awesome
I went to Minnewaska every chance I could with my children.
Minnewaska is the place that stands out that hold so many memories for me. Such a beautiful place it is still is.
I went there this summer and did notice the lake did look different and had no idea why until I read this article. I am so sickened to hear of this. How the state of NY could allow this to happen it a true crime.
Posted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:34 am
I am truly dismayed by this news. Like most of you, I really enjoyed the area back in the early 80's. It was truly amazing. I especially remember the old power house and the pen stock that supplied it, an often under used part of the park that was breathtaking. I am not surprised to learn that the NYS Parks department has ruined it. Look at almost any NYS Park and you'll find they are poorly run and in most cases mere shells of their former glory. The one that comes to mind for me is Harriman State Park. The local officials all claim it's about the money but I think that the entire department is suffering from the " I'm just doing my time till retirement" syndrome aka "tell someone who cares" But what can we do about these things?
Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:17 pm
I went swimming in the lake in late August. I only started going to Minnewaska in the early 2000s, so I never saw the lake in when it was as clear as Awosting. Needless to say, people were staying away, although you can avoid the leeches if you swim in the deep water off the dock. I only wish I had time to walk to Awosting to enjoy its crystal waters.
The neglect of the park overall has been appalling. I was glad to see that some of the carriage roads are finally being restored after years of negligent stewardship.
I really wonder if a Marriott or Canyon Ranch would really have been such an ecological disaster. A corporation with tens of millions of dollars invested in the property would have been all over a degradation of water quality of this severity.
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:23 pm
We should make a petition to the state to do something about this issue! let's move.
Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:20 am
I grew up coming up to Lake Minnewaska as a teenager and I never ceased to be amazed by the beauty, the crystal clear turquoise water, and the breathtaking view after you park the car and walk to where you can first see the lake panorama. I used to go there with friends and family and we would scale down the rocks in front of the house on the cliff until we were out of sight of the park staff. (roped off swimming areas were never our thing.) We'd swim in the crystal clear waters and nobody was the wiser.
I hadn't been there in probably ten years or more and wanted to go back and show my wife and kids last year. I kept telling them about the color of the water. When we arrived my jaw dropped from the scene in front of me. The water seemed black. I walked around a bit thinking it was somehow the location of the sun in my eyes. My wife and kids could see that I was stunned and probably didn't believe me as I told them over and over about how I remembered it. I felt like crying. My kids would never see Minnewaska the way I remember it. Whatever the cause, it is terrible what happened to this lake.
Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:27 pm
wow. It's amazing to see how many people this place touched. My family used to go there in the early to mid 70s when I was a kid. I vaguely remember cliff house, and remember returning one summer to learn that it had burned. We would stay at Windermere and I remember being privileged to experience the very end of a dying era. The place was very much on its last breath. But there was a kind of noble dignity to it. And the lake! The beautiful limestone lake. I felt sad to learn that windmere had met the same fate as its sister. But at least there was that amazing clear water. We used to stand up high in the rocks and you could see the bottom of the lake. How tragic that the state has allowed it to be ruined.
Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:40 pm
Wow, this is so horrible! I'm from NYC and one of my happiest childhood memories is of the SINGLE summer weekend I spent in Lake Minnewaska area around 1980. We had day passes to the park, and in my entire life, I have never seen such a GORGEOUS lake! I've traveled, too! It was utterly unreal and fantastically beautiful. I've never seen or experienced a more magical body of water. The brilliant, crystal-clear, azure water is forever stuck in my memory and I'm so saddened by learning what has happened due to sheer NYS malfeasance!
Reading over the posts, I share the sadness that today's children (or any of us, for that matter) are now unable to experience that magical lake. My deepest sympathies to everyone in the area...I share your outrage. I so wish there was something we could do. Thanks for listening and for making this board available.