Minnewaska State Park

MINNEWASKA STATE PARK PRESERVE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Basic information on Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Directions, park hours, maps, activities, contact info and more.

This website is not affiliated in any way with Minnewaska State Park Preserve or the Palisades Park Commission. It is presented here as a feature of the Lake Minnewaska History Site. Information changes VERY frequently, so we strongly suggest you contact the park office. Especially if traveling a long distance to visit.

PLEASE NOTE: Minnewaska State Park Preserve is open on a limited basis until further notice with several trail closures in effect. The park sustained severe damage from Tropical Storm Irene and will only be open for hiking, picnicking and climbing at this time. Biking and equestrian use will not be permitted until further notice. The only access available will be for hikers and climbers. Hikers will be permitted to park in the upper parking lots and Awosting parking lot effective Saturday 9/17/2011. The Peter'skill area is open to climbers. Please adhere to all posted trail closings. For more information or updates, please call the Park Preserve Office at 845 255-0752 Thank you.

The official park website is located here:nysparks.state.ny.us.

How do I get to Lake Minnewaska?

Lake Minnewaska is located on route 44/55 in Ulster County, New York. Upon exiting the New York State Thruway in New Paltz (Exit 18) (north or south), make a LEFT on Route 299. Stay on 299 for approximately 6 miles. At Junction Route 44/55 make a Right. Park entrance is about 6 miles up winding mountain road on Left.

Driving directions to Minnewaska
Enter your starting point. CITY and STATE

How do I contact the Park?

P.O. Box 893
New Paltz, NY 12561
Phone: (845) 255-0752

What else should I know?

Hours: Adjusted seasonally and sometimes daily. Call first.

  • Open year round on a day use basis
  • Parking Fee: Adjusted seasonally and daily and posted at the front gate. Call for latest fee.
  • There are NO garbage cans at Minnewaska. Carry In, Carry Out.
  • Alcoholic beverages not permitted.
  • Swim only in designated area and only when lifeguard is on duty.
  • No camping.
  • Dogs allowed. Must be on a leash not more than 6 feet. Not allowed in buildings, camping, picnic or bathing areas or on walkways.
  • Handicap accessible.
  • The nature center is open Wednesdays and weekends from 12-5 with nature walks every weekend at 11AM. Meet at upper parking lot kiosk. (Subject to change. Call)
  • Most importantly, any of this information can change. Especially the hours of operation! For example, if you show up with your canoe, don't be surprised if you're told you can't use it even though "some" brochures say you can. Try to phone before going.

Other Questions?

Q: I want to get married at Lake Minnewaska. How do I arrange this?
A: The park will reserve space for special events such as weddings if it is set ahead of time. It’s on a first come, first serve basis so there’s no time limit to speak of. Contact the park at the phone number above.

Q:What are the rules about groups or photo shoots?
A: All groups that are greater than 25 or want to do photoshoots need to call the main park office to request a permit. 

Q:Our group will arrive in a bus. Are there any restrictions?
A: Buses need to get permits. Call ahead.

Q:Where can I apply for a job at Minnewaska?

A: Permanent positions and other jobs within the parks system are listed on the main parks website at nysparks.state.ny.us/agency/employ/

Q: I want to have a picnic at Minnewaska. Can I bring wine? How about a BBQ?
A: Picnicing is permitted in designated areas only. No alcoholic beverages are permitted anywhere within the park. No glass bottles are permitted. Raised portable grills are permitted. No ground fires of any kind.

Q: Is there any lodging or camping at the lake or in Minnewaska?
A: No. The closest lodging would be in the town of Kerhonkson which is approximately 6 miles away. See our list of accomodations near the park.

Q: Can I swim anywhere in the lake?
A: No. You can only swim in the designated swim areas at Lake Minnewaska and Lake Awosting. You can swim anywhere in the lake if you have a buddy and get certification through the MDSA (Minnewaska Distance Swimmers Association). See their website for more info.

What activities are allowed at the park?

Swimming

Simming is allowed ONLY in designated areas in Lake Minnewaska and Lake Awosting when life guards are on duty. Hours are adjusted daily and seasonally. Call first!

Biking

Click here for a biking trail map and guide. Bicyclists must wear helmits, remain on carriageways and yield to and warn pedestrians and horses. Bicycling is not permitted on hiking paths.

Hiking

Hiking is permitted on clearly marked trails and carriageways. See the maps section for hiking maps.

Boating

Non-motorized boating is permitted. Contact the park office for current regulations.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding and use of the horsedrawn carriageways are permitted on carriageways subject to the issuance of a permit. You supply the horse.

Climbing

Climbing is permitted in designated areas. Permits are required. See climbing pamphlet for more information.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing is permitted. There are currently no rentals available. Bring your own equipment. Our pamphlet guide from approximately 2003 shows skiing fees. It is unclear whether these fees are on top of the parking fees or whether they are still being collected.

Nature Programs

Depending upon the season (and State budget), there are often nature programs available. Check our up-to-date schedule here.

Hunting

Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park. See hunting pamphlet for more info.

Fishing

Allowed, but there are none. (lake is too acidic).

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is permitted by certified divers. Divers must report to the park preserve office prior to entering the lake.

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