Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 30, 2010

Eileen Larrabee
Dan Keefe

Minnewaska State Park Preserve Master Plan Adopted

Plan balances wishes of diverse recreational user groups

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission have adopted a master plan for Minnewaska State Park Preserve that includes strong natural resource protection measures and more avenues for recreation, including expansion of hiking, biking, equestrian and climbing opportunities.

"People visit parks for many different reasons, and providing opportunities for all requires a delicate balance, especially at a popular and ecologically sensitive park like Minnewaska," State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash said. "The updated Master Plan will provide new opportunities for diverse recreational users while maintaining the high level of stewardship necessary for the magnificent Shawangunk Mountain park preserve."

The master plan outlines OPRHP's vision for potential capital improvements, operational enhancements and natural and cultural resource stewardship within Minnewaska State Park for the next ten to fifteen years. Factors such as the availability of funding, the need to invest in rehabilitation of existing park infrastructure, and other pressing needs in the entire state parks system will influence the sequence and timing of the improvements. The plan is available at

"I am grateful to members of the community who took the time to attend the public meetings or offer comments on the plan," said Jim Hall, executive director of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. "Their participation in the process made this master plan better, more complete and more reflective of the community that supports Minnewaska State Park."

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Developing a climbing management plan to indicate additional areas suitable for rock climbing;
  • Creating a looped single track mountain bike trail system and enhancing the existing woods roads for hiking and horseback riding;
  • Implementing ridgewide efforts focused on fire management, deer impacts on biodiversity and invasive species control; and
  • Reusing the former Phillips House as the preserve office and visitor center and improving parking lot designs.

State Parks has reinstated the master planning process throughout the park system, and Minnewaska State Park is among the first to complete a new master plan. Park master plans define a long-term, sustainable vision for parks by helping to identify best uses for a specific site, make the most of limited resources, and protect the environment.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit