We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
View of the lake last weekend, with Shadbush in full bloom.
My kids are 4th generation Mohonk-lovers. A perfect New York State getaway for outdoorsy people. A classic old-timey place and somewhat kid-friendly.
The place has changed a bit over its 146 years. For examples, the rustic old Quaker place has decided to serve alcohol at meals, there is no longer a daily morning prayer service (sad - it was a good way to begin a day), dancing is permitted, and they built a lovely indoor pool. Also, it has become more expensive but the meals are far better than decades past when "Quaker simple" ruled and the only dessert was rice pudding. Still, no TVs and the rooms are plain although there are 130 working fireplaces. Just call down and they will bring you wood.
Also, a 110 year-old golf course and tennis courts.
The Smiley family, who have owned and run it since the beginning, gave around 10,000 acres to the Mohonk Preserve Land Trust, but the resort still has around 4000 acres of woods, gardens, pasture, the lake, etc. Of their 85 miles of hiking (or running, cross-country-skiing, etc) trails, many of them are wide, well-maintained gravel trails built in the 1870s for horse and buggies and designed to show the mountain views. Plenty of them are rugged enough, too.
You might call it a resort, but it's really not luxurious and is all about outdoor activity in all seasons. For us, it's about the hiking. I like to do an upper-body workout in the gym early, then do hikes after breakfast and skip lunch. Just bring a banana and an orange in the day pack. On our next visit, I want to focus more on bouldering and climbing trails than on plain hiking. My relatives like to use it for runs.
I am planning a bouldering day trip there soon for our hiking pals. As a reader reminded us, if you buy one meal online in advance you can get a day pass for everything.
More of my free ad for Mohonk below the fold, with snaps -
Rowboating on the lake. It's a "sky lake," only fed by rain. Well-stocked with trout. Fly-fishing only. I have a pic of my grandpa fishing there.
View of the Mountain House from Sky Top Trail
View of weather from Sky Top
Looking down on one of the boulder trails
Bouldering - not my photo
Mohonk's Labyrinth is a famous 40-minute challenge to one's agility and tolerance for claustrophobia and acraphobia. My sis and brother in law love it. I did it when I was 13. The "Lemon Squeeze" is a tight spot. Can't do it with a back pack.
More bouldering pics
You can hike over to the famous Gunks and watch the rock climbers. Sandstone cliffs. Peregrine Falcons and Turkey Vultures nest on those cliffs.