Not far from our house are several magnificent “sky lakes” — an intriguing name for bodies of water perched high among the complicated conglomerate geology of the Shawangunk Ridge. This weekend, taking advantage of the spectacular warm late November weather, we visited Lake Minnewaska State Preserve, home to several such sky lakes, as well as waterfalls and numerous hiking trails.
The park was crowded with lots of families and tourists, but we were able to quickly escape the herds by veering off the wide, gravel carriage paths and onto true hiking trails. We hiked to Milbrook Mountain, first passing by Lake Minnewaska, then veering down through a rhododendron/mountain laurel grove. It was about 6 miles total. While not nearly as remote as hiking sites in the lower ‘Gunks, nor as nature-filled (we mostly saw squirrels), it was still, of course, gorgeous. New York the state has really grown on me as a place of underestimated beauty.