Hiking at Mohonk Preserve

By
Real Estate Agent with Westwood Metes & Bounds Realty

There are 2200 scenic, secluded and unspoiled acres of land at the Mohonk Preserve. There are 85 miles of hiking trails. That's roughly the distance from the George Washington Bridge to New Paltz. At 2.5 miles per hour and a six hour hiking day, it would take about a week to hike all of it.

I sometimes take my dog to Duck Pond, located on the east side of the Mohonk Preserve. A short drive from Stone Ridge and a nice 30 minute walk from the car to the pond. My dog loves to swim there and I love to sit and take in the scenery: the stillness of the crystal clear lake nestled into the hills and behind it, far up, the Mohonk Bell tower. The other day, a friend of mine and I decided to explore the area a little more. The outcome was a great 2 1/2 hour hike. After parking the car, we walked through the woods to Duck Pond, at one time crossing the Aqueduct.

We are so used to the Aqueduct around here that we rarely think about it anymore. But the fact is, there is a massive underground fresh water pipe, about 30 feet in diameter, coming from the Ashokan Reservoir and leading straight down to New York City. Gravity fed!! For anybody who is interested, there is a documentary called 'Deep Water', available at some of the local stores around here, showing the construction of the Reservoir and the Aqueduct. It was an amazing undertaking including the relocation of 14 small towns and built by thousands of workers from around the globe for over a decade in the early 1900s. I always see the aqueduct as the life blood line, connecting people from New York City to their second homes up here in Ulster County.

There are two ways to go around Duck Pond. We went to the right, leaving the almost completely frozen Pond to our left. After a few minutes, a small trail ("Duck Pond Trail") splits off to the left. This path leads along the creek and up the hill (pretty steep at times) to 'Oakwood Drive', a wide, well maintained hiking trail. Taking a left turn and hiking for about half an hour, we eventually arrived at a large meadow from which you can see all the way down to Bear Mountain and across into the Berkshires. A beautiful sight. From there, it was another 45 minutes slightly down hill and back to Duck Pond.

In those hours, away from it all, when all I think about is the beauty of this amazing region, the magnificent vistas and all the wonderful outdoor activities, I can't but feel lucky to be here all the time and to have found a place where I can work hard but also be able to create a much needed balance for all the business. I hope you have the opportunity to come and visit and explore some time. I guarantee you'll love it!!

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