Lake Minnewaska Loop Trail

This super-scenic loop hike is so easy and so enjoyable.

Hike Length: 2.0 miles (3.22 km)

Total Ascent: 350ft (107m)

Intensity: Easy Hike

Route Type: Loop

Includes: Blazed Trail, Herd Path

Similar Entries In: Nature Trails, Shawangunks, The Easy Hikes, The Most Popular Hikes, , , , , .

scenic view

Lake Minnewaska

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 This is a super-scenic and super-easy loop suitable for just about everyone.

World-famous Lake Minnewaska is one of the most popular destinations in the Hudson Valley. It is beloved by locals and tourists alike, especially in the fall.

The loop hike around Lake Minnewaska in the Shawangunk Mountains is a delightful adventure that perfectly caters to casual hikers seeking a picturesque outing. This scenic loop provides an accessible and leisurely trek, ideal for families, nature enthusiasts, or those simply looking to enjoy the great outdoors without the demands of strenuous terrain.

Throughout the hike, you’ll encounter captivating viewpoints that reveal the Shawangunk Ridge’s distinctive rocky cliffs and the expanse of the lake below. These spots are ideal for pausing, capturing photos, and appreciating the natural wonders that abound.

The Lake Minnewaska loop hike provides a refreshing escape into nature, where you can unwind, reconnect with the environment, and savor the simplicity of a scenic stroll in one of the Hudson Valley’s most charming destinations.

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Lake Minnewaska Trailhead & Parking

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, which features scenic overlooks of the nearby Catskill Mountains, is a fantastic location for picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and swimming.

Entrance to Minnewaska State Park costs $10 per car. You can pay by cash or card from your car at an automated till on the way in.

After the barrier, continue uphill until you reach the large parking areas next to the Visitor Center.

Lake Minnewaska Loop Trail

From the Visitor Center, head east to connect with the Lake Minnewaska Trail. You’ll pass some information boards which will help you get oriented.

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Pass under this wonderful footbridge, spectacular in the fall during leaf-peeping season…

wooden footbridge lake minnewaska
Minnewaska in the fall

Make your way to the cliffs alongside Lake Minnewaska…

cliffs above lake minnewaska
Lake Minnewaska

There are several ledges to explore, each with amazing views…

visitors center at lake Minnewaska
Lake Minnewaska

hikers on cliff above Lake Minnewaska
Lake Minnewaska cliffs

Continue on the Lake Minnewaska trail. Just above a sharp right turn, look for a short herd path to a lookout with this view…

scenic view
Scenic Lookout View

From here, head downhill to the lowest point of the hike, where you’ll come to the water’s edge.

Here, a junction gives you an option to head up to Millbrook Mountain and Gertrude’s Nose.

To stay on the Minnewaska Loop Trail, simply continue around the water’s edge and head uphill. The remainder of the hike is easy and tree-lined. There are several scenic views along the way.

On your way out of the park, don’t miss Awosting Falls which is very near the park entrance. This is a shorter but equally spectacular nature walk down to one of the Hudson Valley’s most beautiful waterfalls.

Similar Hikes

If you enjoy this hike, you’ll also enjoy this section of Easy Nature Trails.

This is a very Family-Friendly Hike.

If you’d like something a little more challenging, try an Easy Mountain Hike.

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Very large lot for one of the most popular destinations in the Hudson Valley. Fee.

Google Maps Location: 41.729437, -74.236776

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

I had cell service for much of this hike. My network is Verizon. YMMV.