by Russ Patton, Jr.
The steep cliffs of the Shawangunks rising up over the mid-Hudson Valley make up the most stunning mountain ridge in Southern New York. These sharp conglomerate cliffs attract rock climbers from all over the world, and the deep blue lakes nestled within are so dramatic. "The Gunks," as they are known locally, are also laced with hiking trails and old carriage roads which make them very accessible. The Mohonk Preserve protects The Gunks, and these trails and roads are open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. This is a spectacular setting for getting out and enjoying winter's bracing beauty. Read more...