Hike to a beautiful waterfall
The power of water has created a stunning setting in Minnewaska State Park. This moderate hike covers nine miles of wooded trails, stunning views and to top if off, a beautiful waterfall.
Our journey begins at a famous glacial lake, Lake Minnewaska, sculpted out of cliff and fallen rock. The rugged conglomerate and shale rocks form dramatic ridges and peaks. Our hike will be mostly rough trails, with one mile of gentler carriage roads.
Along the way, we will see sharply tilted masses of rock, crevices and pinnacles that characterize the Shawangunk Mountains. This uplifted bedrock also shows us evidence of the last ice age, with glacial grooves and striations as the ice scoured across the land 10,000 years ago.
The ridgeline will afford jaw-dropping views of the Hudson Valley and some of the most famous climbing areas in the Gunks. Following a bridal path on the way back, our hike takes us to Awosting Falls, the perfect ending to a great day.
Did you know?
Kids who spend time in the outdoors increase their critical thinking skills and perform better in standardized tests. Every time you take a trip, Discover Outdoors makes a donation so that an inner-city student can experience the outdoors for the first time. Learn how you can make a positive impact through the Discover Outdoors Foundation.
This event or trip is Intensity Level 4.
ADVENTURES AT ALL SKILL LEVELS
We offer adventures for everyone, no matter what your skill level. This guide will help you decide which trip is right for you.
How long (in hours) you may be active every day during the trip.
You should feel confident that you would be able to complete these distances every day of your trip.
What types of terrain you may encounter and should be prepared for on your trip.
The largest elevation change you may encounter on your trip.
The highest elevation you may reach on your trip.
LAID-BACK, UNHURRIED, RESTFUL
Welcome to the outdoors! These trips are designed to introduce you to new challenges and new adventurers. Take in the scenery, tackle moderate elevation, experience some local flavor, and enjoy your day out of the office.
You can expect to be active for one to two hours. To prepare, walk around your neighborhood for at least one hour to make sure you’re comfortable being outdoors and active.
For our Level 1 trips, you’ll be walking or hiking less than three miles. This is the equivalent of up to twelve laps around a quarter-mile track.
You’ll be walking on flat terrain. This means there will be limited rocks and a few tree roots.
There will be little or no elevation change on this trip. To simulate the change in elevation, try walking up and down three flights of stairs.
From sea level to 3,000 feet.
Level 2 trips complement introductory activities you would encounter on Level 1 trips and will whet the appetite of anybody looking to explore outdoor sports. Your group may stop occasionally to learn about the natural surroundings and their local lore.
You can expect to be active for two to three hours. Take a long walk around your local park for at least two hours to prepare.
Level 2 trips range from two to four miles. This is approximately eight to sixteen laps around a quarter-mile track.
You’ll be walking on mostly flat terrain and may encounter some rocks and tree roots.
There will be minimal elevation change on this trip. We will gain no more than 500 vertical feet.
From sea level to 3,000 feet.
EASY ACTIVE — PERFECT FOR ACTIVE FIRST-TIMERS
Level 3 trips will give you a broad sense of what hiking is all about. Test yourself on intermediate terrain, including light rock scrambles and ascending multiple peaks. The trips will invigorate you and inspire you to continue strengthening your hiking skills.
Three to five hours is standard. Prepare for the trip by jogging three miles or exercising two or three days a week.
Plan on getting starter miles under your belt. You’ll be hiking three to six miles on this trip, the average distance run in an hour-long basketball game.
You’ll be hiking on rolling terrain with bare rock surfaces, steeps, roots and small boulders.
There could be up to 1,000 feet per day.
Up to 4,500 feet.
IDEAL FOR ACTIVE BEGINNERS AND FORMER PARTICIPANTS
Level 4 trips balance physical and aesthetic components of the day. Get your heart pumping on intermediate terrain with some rock scrambles and multiple peaks, then enjoy a well-earned break with a stunning view. These trips are effective preparation for even more challenging weekend-long trips.
Trail time ranges from for four to six hours. You should be in good physical shape and exercise at least three times a week to get the most out of the day.
You’ll be traveling five to eight miles on this trip, the average distance run in an hour-long soccer game.
You’ll be hiking on steadily rising terrain with loose rock surfaces, switchbacks, roots and small boulders.
Up to 1,500 feet per day.
Up to 6,000 feet.
MODERATE — FOR SKILLED BEGINNERS AND INTERMEDIATE PARTICIPANTS
Level 5 trips place greater emphasis challenging you physically. Whether you’re still new to the scene or have some experience, you’ll appreciate a more deliberate pace with a capable group.
We’ll be out on the trails for five to seven hours. Prepare for this trip by doing cardio and strength exercise at least three days a week.
Be ready to cover six to nine miles today before heading home.
We’ll be hiking on moderate mountainous terrain, which may require navigating various rock faces and trail conditions including steep inclines and uneven ground.
Up to 1,800 feet per day.
Up to 8,000 feet.
MODERATE — FOR INTERMEDIATE PARTICIPANTS AND ABOVE
Level 6 trips will push you with a faster pace and longer distances. This hard work allows you to see more terrain and higher vistas. You should expect to be tired and fulfilled on the van ride home.
We’ll be active for five to eight hours. Prepare for this trip by maintaining your daily fitness regime that includes both cardio and strength.
Be ready to cover some serious distance. We may hike up to eleven miles today, nearly a half-marathon.
We’ll be hiking on varying mountainous terrain, which will involve navigating various rock faces, loose stones, and steep, uneven trails.
Up to 2,000 feet per day.
Up to 10,000 feet.
VIGOROUS — FOR INTERMEDIATE PARTICIPANTS WITH BASIC SKILLS
On Level 7 trips you’ll encounter some of the steepest elevations and technical terrain available within a day’s drive. These trips are for athletic types and those who wish to push their physical abilities.
You can expect to be active for six to eight hours. You can best prepare for a Level 7 trip by maintaining your intense fitness regimen, trying to get your mile time below eight minutes, and hiking consistently on the weekends.
Level 7 hikes can be anywhere from ten to thirteen miles.
We will be on mountainous, exposed terrain and steep, uneven trails. Most hikes will require not only hiking boots but also additional gear like hiking poles and headlamps.
Up to 2,500 feet per day.
Up to 12,000 feet.
VIGOROUS — RECOMMENDED FOR FIT TRAVELERS WITH EXPERIENCE
On Level 8 trips you’ll be challenged by some of the steepest elevations and technical terrain available on the east coast. These trips are for endurance athletes and those who wish to truly test themselves. These are our hardest day trips and our weekend trips that prepare you for international adventure.
We will be active for six to nine hours. You can best prepare for a Level 8 trip by maintaining your intense fitness regimen, trying to get your mile time below seven minutes, and hiking consistently on the weekends.
Level 8 hikes range from twelve to fourteen miles.
We will hike and scramble up numerous peaks with exposed, uneven surfaces, large boulders, and steep ascents/descents. Hiking boots, poles and headlamps are recommended.
There could be elevation change of up to 3,000 feet per day and possible altitude.
Up to 14,000 feet.
STRENUOUS — ADVANCED OR VERY FIT TRAVELERS
If you yearn to touch the sky and think the rewards outweigh the risks and extreme conditions, a Level 9 trip is what you’re looking for. Over the course of multiple days you will be called upon to prove you belong among the best. Only inner fortitude and perseverance will get you and your team to the top and back safely.
You should be ready for at least eight to ten hours a day of pain, challenge, and constant small victories. Prepare for this by racing in triathlons, training for a marathon and keeping up your hiking skills.
You should expect to be hiking twelve to fifteen miles per day.
On Level 9 trips you will be trekking in remote mountains with exposed terrain and loose features.
There could be elevation change of 4,000 feet per day with some altitude travel likely.
Up to 17,000 feet.
STRENUOUS — EXPERIENCED TRAVELERS WITH EXPERT SKILLS
With the proper technique, experience, and a generous dose of luck, you and a team of the hardiest adventurers around will tackle extreme terrain, unrelenting elements, and improbable odds as you strive to conquer the ultimate outdoor challenge of our Level 10 trips.
You should be ready for a minimum of ten hours per day of excruciating hiking, scrambling, and climbing.
You should expect to be hiking for at least twelve miles per day. Prepare with an intense cardio and weight-lifting circuit training regimen to increase cardio output and endurance.
On Level 10 trips you will be trekking in the most highly exposed, remote terrain imaginable.
There could be elevation change of 5,000 feet per day and prolonged travel at altitude.
Up to 19,000 feet.
Climb for a cause.
Make your effort more rewarding by raising funds for the Discover Outdoors Foundation or your favorite charity. When you give your adventure a purpose beyond personal goals, your experience becomes more fulfilling, helping you reach the summit.
HOW IT WORKS
When you register with the “Fundraise for a cause” option, we will ask you by email what charity you would like to support. If you choose the Discover Outdoors Foundation, your fundraising commitment is $7,500. In exchange for your effort and commitment, the cost of the trip is covered at no cost, minus your airfare and personal expenses. You will receive a fundraising commitment letter, giving you the support and tools for reaching your goal. Please email [email protected] or call 212-579-4568 with any questions about the program.
DISCOVER OUTDOORS FOUNDATION
The Discover Outdoors Foundation began in 2012 with a singular focus: increasing graduation rates in our urban schools through education experienced in the outdoors. Inspired by the positive impact our for-profit business, Discover Outdoors, was making through our youth leadership program, we soon felt compelled to serve our entire community, not just those who could afford it. Since then, the path of students has taken a different course; one that leads to a diploma and a brighter future. To learn how you can make a difference, visit the Discover Outdoors Foundation website.
- DEPARTURE TIME AND LOCATION
- Eastern Mountain Sports Upper West Side (Broadway/76th St.) Subways 1, 2, 3 to 72nd Street.
- DEPARTURE TIME
- 8:30 AM (Check in at 8:15 AM)
- RETURN TIME
- Approximately 6:30 PM
- Lunch and three liters water; backpack and snacks. Tip for your guide if you have a great day.
- Hiking boots, weather-appropriate clothing. The ridge is high and exposed; bring an extra layer.
- INTENSITY LEVEL
- This hike is Intensity Level 4 out of 10. Read a full description by clicking the "Intensity Levels" tab above.
- TRAIL STATISTICS
- Total Miles: 9
- Accumulative Elevation Gain: 600 feet
- Technical Factors: Clear path, no use of hands required.