Awosting Preserve and Tillson Lake

Lake Minnewaska and surrounding areas as they are now.

Awosting Preserve and Tillson Lake

Post by CVD13 »

I was recently biking on Aumick Rd. and also near Tillson Lake and saw 2 parking areas and signs stating these areas are part of Minnewaska Preserve. Are these free public areas? Has anyone been hiking there recently? Can you hike to Lake Awosting - how long is it? Anyone know how the fishing is at the Lake? thanks
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Re: Awosting Preserve and Tillson Lake

Post by Ridge70 »

Love the Awosting Reserve and am so glad they saved it. It’s great because you if you like to be away from everyone at the main park and just meander endlessly through the woods and really connect with nature then this is the place. I don't know anything about the fishing at Tillson Lake and one of these days I’m gonna try. The only other parking area I know of is right on Aumick Rd after you go over the stream around the bend on the upper part of that road. There’s another access point at the end of Campfire Rd that I tried a year or so ago but one of the homeowner’s was outside and told me I couldn’t park there. So, I had to go back to the main one - that's where there's the posts with the gate up. I hike there frequently. It's a long winding, mostly uphill (dirt carriage) road that eventually takes you up to Lake Awosting and/or Mud Pond. There are a few other roads up in that network. I believe the latest NYNJ Trail Conference maps have the roads outlined. Mine are from 2008 and they hadn't been documented yet.

So, yes, you can go directly to Lake Awosting. It actually hooks up to Spruce Glen that then directs you to the lake. When i want to go the lake, that's how I get there. BUTTTTT..... let me warn you, it is a strenuous, long, uphill trek up there. It's probably a good 2 miles before you get to the lake and you're climbing about 1500 feet on these roads. Just be prepared. I always start out gung-ho and excited and then about 1/4 of the way up I remember how strenuous it can be. To take my mind off of the strain, I try to hike above the Palmaghatt (stream) as far as I can and then take the road the rest of the way up. From the parking lot to the lake it takes me about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Mind you, this is mostly walking my bike up and I’m usually stopping and taking pics along the way. I try to bike up as much as I can but can only get about 1/2 mile or so before I have to just walk it up - and I'm in fairly ok shape.

At least at the end of the journey when you're exhausted and dripping with sweat, you arrive at the most beautiful lake in the Gunks (imo) and that's you're reward and it's all worth it at that point. You can spend the entire day at the lake and I even stay till sunset just before it gets dark. The nice thing, too, is that when you leave, you can make it back down to the parking lot in about 1/2 the time because you're pretty much coasting and breaking all the way back. I recall being back in about ½ hour.

As far as it being free...since the Awosting Reserve is part of the park, it’s technically subject to the same fees as the main park. This also holds true for the other entrances to the park that are unmanned to collect money – Jenny Lane, Stonykill Falls. However, at the miscellaneous access points, I don’t recall there being any signage about payment. They could put up a faith system box like they do at Mohonk Preserve and Sam’s Point. It’s just simply not cost effective for them to pay someone to collect money from the few visitors as compared to the amount of visitors to the main park areas. So, as far as I’m concerned, it’s "free" until further notice.

So, hope that answers your questions. Have fun if you go and let us know how you made out!
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Re: Awosting Preserve and Tillson Lake

Post by dharple »

Thanks for the info. I'm hoping to check the Awosting Reserve out soon. I was up at Minnewaska last year (after Irene) and the gravel that the park put down to repair the carriageways tore up my feet. So I've decided to avoid the popular carriageways for a while (at least until the soil to gravel ratio is a bit more favorable like it used to be).

As far as the fees go, my understanding is that when you pay at the booth off of 44/55, you are not paying to use the park, you are paying to park your car (and help fund the park). That's why it's a flat fee per car (and not per passenger). I don't believe that there is a fee for Day Use at Minnewaska.

Re: Awosting Preserve and Tillson Lake

Post by DBT904 »

How large is the parking area at Aumick Rd or Tillson?
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