Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

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Fri 23 Jul
Birding at the Gardiner Library
Friday, July 23, 2021 08:00 AM - 09:30 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-1255

Are you interested in birds or birdwatching? Join Nick Martin, Park Educator, for bird walks starting at the Gardiner Library every Friday in July. During this program, we will take an approximately one mile walk on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and wander through Majestic Park, which can be muddy and wet. Participants are encouraged to wear waterproof boots or shoes, and bring binoculars and a birding field guide, or a smart device with a field guide installed. Interested participants are welcome to attend one or all Friday programs. Programs will be held in most weather conditions, but storms or heavy rain will trigger a program cancellation. The total number of participants for this program is limited to 15 individuals. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Meet at the Gardiner Library parking area. For more information, please contact the Gardiner Library directly at 845-255-1255.
Sat 24 Jul
Hike to Echo Rock at Minnewaska
Saturday, July 24, 2021 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Join Nick Martin, Park Educator, for an approximately four-mile hike to Echo Rock. Echo Rock is a scenic vista perched on a cliff above the Palmaghatt Ravine. On a clear day, this unique spot offers beautiful views of the surrounding Park Preserve and the Wallkill Valley. Our trip to Echo Rock will take participants on a few historic carriage roads, including Lake Minnewaska, Millbrook Mountain and Hamilton Point Carriage Roads. Our return trip will be slightly different, as we will take Hamilton Point, Castle Point and Lake Minnewaska Carriage Roads to return to our starting point. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants must wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Lake Minnewaska Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Tue 27 Jul
Early Morning Birders at Minnewaska
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 07:00 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 888-2333

2021 marks the return of this ever-popular program, led by Scott Baldinger, well-known Hudson Valley birder. Designed for both birding enthusiasts and those just looking to learn the basics, this series will offer various outings led by Scott or other experienced birding volunteers. Participants should bring binoculars and water and wear hiking shoes. Outing destinations will be determined the day of the program. Poor weather conditions will trigger a program cancellation. Participants MUST arrive 15 minutes PRIOR to the start of the program. The Park Preserve gates will be locked at 7:00 am. Late arrivals will NOT be allowed in the Park Preserve. The total number of participants for this program is limited to 25 individuals. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Meet at the Main Entrance. For questions, please call Scott Baldinger at 845-888-2333. This program is set up on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tue 27 Jul
Tuesday Trek: Multiple Scenic Views Hike and Blueberry Picking at Minnewaska
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Join Laura Conner, Environmental Educator, for an approximately five-mile hike to Echo Rock and Kempton Ledge, returning through the Meadows, where we'll pick blueberries as we walk. The cliff-edge, scenic views from both Echo Rock and Kempton Ledge are spectacular, featuring the surrounding Park Preserve and sometimes even High Point State Park in New Jersey. To reach our destinations, we'll walk along Lake Minnewaska, Castle Point, Millbrook Mountain and Hamilton Point Carriage Roads. These carriage roads offer a flat, even surface that is perfect for walkers who may find rocky and root-covered footpaths challenging. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Lake Minnewaska Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Wed 28 Jul
Junior Naturalists: Free-Form Sculpture Building by the Stream
Wednesday, July 28, 2021 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Join Minnewaska educators for a relaxing morning of hiking and free-form art making from nature. To start our adventure, we'll hike down the Red Loop Footpath to reach the edge of the Peter's Kill stream. Once there, educators will share examples of nature-themed sculptures and poetry to help inspire participants. Then, participants will use natural materials such as rocks, mud, and fallen leaves and branches to create their own ephemeral works of art. Feel free to bring a journal to try your hand at your own poems. The sculptures will be left where they're built, since collecting any natural items from the Park Preserve is prohibited. This program is designed for children between the ages of seven to twelve years old, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Younger and older siblings are always welcome, but young naturalists may require some assistance. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Peter's Kill Climbing Area. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Fri 30 Jul
Birding at the Gardiner Library
Friday, July 30, 2021 08:00 AM - 09:30 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-1255

Are you interested in birds or birdwatching? Join Nick Martin, Park Educator, for bird walks starting at the Gardiner Library every Friday in July. During this program, we will take an approximately one mile walk on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and wander through Majestic Park, which can be muddy and wet. Participants are encouraged to wear waterproof boots or shoes, and bring binoculars and a birding field guide, or a smart device with a field guide installed. Interested participants are welcome to attend one or all Friday programs. Programs will be held in most weather conditions, but storms or heavy rain will trigger a program cancellation. The total number of participants for this program is limited to 15 individuals. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Meet at the Gardiner Library parking area. For more information, please contact the Gardiner Library directly at 845-255-1255.
Sat 31 Jul
Awosting Falls and High Peter’s Kill Loop Hike at Minnewaska
Saturday, July 31, 2021 09:30 AM - 02:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Join us for this approximately five-mile hike, primarily on the Awosting Falls Carriage Road and High Peter's Kill Footpath. Beginning at the Lower Parking Area, we will wander down the Awosting Falls Connection and Awosting Falls Carriage Road to reach Awosting Falls, a 65-foot tall waterfall. If there has been a recent rainfall, we may experience a beautiful cascade of water falling over the edge of the cliffs. From here, we will continue walking down this carriage road until we reach the Peter's Kill Area, where we can take a brief break. From here, we will take assorted footpaths to reach the High Peter's Kill Footpath, which we will follow back to our starting point. The footpath sections of this hike include sections of trail with continuous uphill and downhills and uneven surfaces, which some may find challenging. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Lower Parking Area. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Sun 01 Aug
Out and Back to Gertrude’s Nose at Minnewaska
Sunday, August 1, 2021 09:30 AM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Join Laura Conner, Environmental Educator, for an adventurous almost eight-mile hike to Gertrude's Nose and back along the same route. The Gertrude's Nose Footpath, which traverses an escarpment edge, offers one of the most expansive views in Minnewaska. From our start at Lake Minnewaska, we will follow Millbrook Mountain Carriage Road to Gertrude's Nose Footpath, which offers broad views of the Wallkill Valley, Taconic Mountains and beyond. This modestly challenging hike includes a steep rock scramble, a few hills and some tricky footing. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Lake Minnewaska Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Tue 03 Aug
Junior Naturalists: Hiking Essentials and Skills
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Are you and your family new to hiking? Would you like to go on hikes in the woods and feel safe, prepared and relaxed? Join Minnewaska educators to learn about the essentials to having an enjoyable and safe hike. Participants will learn how to read a topographic trail map and use a compass to find your way on the trail and in the woods. Educators will show you what to pack for a day on the trail and you'll learn hiking safety tips, such as what to do if you encounter wild animals. After the demonstration, we'll take an approximately two-mile loop hike along the Beacon Hill Carriage Road and Footpath. This program is designed for children between the ages of seven to twelve years old, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Younger and older siblings are always welcome, but very young naturalists may require some assistance. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Lake Minnewaska Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Wed 04 Aug
Junior Naturalists: Insects Aflutter: Butterflies and Moths of Minnewaska
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Join other families to learn about some of our most beautiful and well-known insects, butterflies and moths. But, do we really know them well? Minnewaska's educators will teach you all about these fluttering insects, including the often overlooked differences between them and the important role that both play in pollination. And, you'll learn how to identify common species found in New York. Then, we'll take a two-mile hike around Lake Minnewaska to look for insects and their homes. This program is designed for children between the ages of seven to twelve years old, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Younger and older siblings are always welcome, but very young naturalists may require some assistance. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Lake Minnewaska Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Tue 17 Aug
Junior Naturalists: Let’s Learn About Flowers, Late Summer Hike
Tuesday, August 17, 2021 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Join other families on an approximately two-and-a-half mile long hike through the Meadow Paths, looking for flowering plants along the way. We will learn to identify the parts of flowers and why their shape, aroma, and blooming time vary so wildly. This program is designed for children between the ages of seven to twelve years old, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Younger and older siblings are always welcome, but young naturalists may require some assistance. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Lake Minnewaska Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Wed 18 Aug
Junior Naturalists: Art in the Park: Painters of the Hudson River School
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Learn about famous local artists of the 19th century who painted the natural beauty of New York State, including the Hudson Valley. We'll take a hike to a scenic vista of the Park Preserve for inspiration, then do some painting of our own. This program is designed for children between the ages of seven to twelve years old, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Younger and older siblings are always welcome, but young naturalists may require some assistance. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Lake Minnewaska Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Thu 02 Sep
Minnewaska Homeschoolers: Climate Change for Teens: Continuing the History of Environmental Activism in the Hudson Valley
Thursday, September 2, 2021 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Some of the very first successful grassroots environmental and conservation movements took place right here in the Hudson Valley. Join other Homeschoolers to learn about groundbreaking battles fought, and won, by local citizens, such as the saving of Hi Tor and Storm King Mountains and the founding of the Sloop Clearwater by folk singer and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Pete Seeger. We'll discuss the impacts of community-based nonprofit organizations, dedicated to pressing issues such as climate change education and resiliency in the Hudson Valley. We will then take a two-mile long hike along the east side of Lake Minnewaska to the Beacon Hill Footpath and conclude on the Beacon Hill Carriage Road. Here we will see the Park's phenology trail and learn how citizen science projects like this trail are helping researchers track the effects of climate change on plant life cycles. This program is recommended for children over the age of ten, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Well-behaved younger siblings are always welcome to join the program. The total number of participants for this program is limited to twelve individuals. Meet at the Minnewaska Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Thu 07 Oct
Minnewaska Homeschoolers: Autumn Leaves Identification and Craft
Thursday, October 7, 2021 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Join other homeschoolers on a two-mile hike around Lake Minnewaska to collect colorful, fallen leaves, learning about the trees they've come from along the way. Back at the Nature Center, we'll demonstrate two simple methods to preserve leaves that can be done at home: pressing and using polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue. We'll try our hand at these methods with the leaves we collected earlier. These colorful, preserved leaves are perfect for use in scrapbooks and as fall decorations! This program is recommended for children over the age of seven, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Well-behaved younger siblings are always welcome to join the program. The total number of participants for this program is limited to twelve individuals. Meet at the Minnewaska Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required
Thu 04 Nov
Minnewaska Homeschoolers: The Story of the Wild Turkey
Thursday, November 4, 2021 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
(845) 255-0752

Join other homeschoolers to learn about the importance of the American wild turkey throughout human history. From its significance to native people, to its role as the symbol of Thanksgiving, to the success of conservation efforts over the past decades. We will make pinecone turkeys to take home! The program will end with a short hike to look for signs of turkeys and other birds. This program is recommended for children over the age of nine, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Well-behaved younger siblings are always welcome to join the program. The total number of participants for this program is limited to fifteen individuals. Meet at the Minnewaska Visitors Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Minnewaska at 845-255-0752.
Registration: Required