Miles: 11.8 miles
Time: 6 hours 40 minutes
Elevation gain: 2,321 feet
Year to date miles: 378.3
Parking: See directions. $10 parking fee (well worth it!). Gates locked at 7pm (at least when we were there).
Rest rooms: In parking area.
Sam's Point, Indian Rock, High Point and Verkeerder Kill Falls Loop
We extended the described hike by doing the Ice Caves loop (very fun!)
Map: Shawangunk Trails
Nothing beats the Gunks for a fall foliage hike. The Gunks are always beautiful, but especially stunning this time of year. The beginning of this hike is on a gravel road with powerlines. It does get MUCH better though. There is a short side trail on the right (across from the towers) to a lake. There is no swimming allowed at the lake, but we did stop to give the dogs a drink. That reminds me - this hike has a lot of sun exposure. We had a warm 85 degree day, and most of this hike had no shade. It would be better to go on a cooler day. We loved the trail to Indian Rock. Not just for the views, but the trail itself is just beautiful with pitch pines and red blueberry bushes. The trail to High Point is stunning as well, with stunning views everywhere. You will want to leave plenty of time to do this hike, so that you can take many breaks to take it all in. We met a group of around a dozen college students at High Point. They all surrounded Trek & Moxie and gave them lots of love. We continued on to Verkeerder Kill Falls, which had very little water. But, it was the first time we finally got shade. We stopped and let the dogs chill out in the shallow water for a while to cool off. We continued until we hit the park road once more, and did the Ice Caves loop. It was a very cool (literally) place. It felt like someone had turned on the air conditioner. There are ladders that you need to go up, so if you bring a dog, ideally have them in a harness, and make sure you are able to lift them. Trek actually managed to climb one of the ladders independently! Harnesses are a good idea anyways for this hike, as there is some rock scrambling - nothing big or hard, but you may want to help your dogs in order to prevent them from any slips (which cause torn pads). Past the ice caves, we visited the view at Sam's Point. I didn't find this view as stunning as those on the rest of the hike. This spot is also pretty crowded, as people who aren't hiking stop here for the view. Anyways, superb hike - a must do hike in the fall.
|Remains of one of the berry picker homes|
|Sliding down the trail to Indian Rock.|
Their packs take a lot of abuse.
|Relaxing above the falls|
|Descending down into the ice caves.|
It is DARK down there.
|Umm yep - there are some ladders.|
Trek managed one of these by himself.
|Checking out the view at Sam's Point|