The mission of Mohonk Preserve is to protect the Shawangunk Mountains region and inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore their natural world. Please follow our visitor guidelines to maximize enjoyment of your visit while minimizing impacts to our natural resources.
Click to expand each topic below to learn more about our visitor guidelines.
Prepare & Plan Ahead
Consider the length of your hike and the time you have before the Preserve closes at sunset. Paper maps are available at all trailheads and printable suggested hike maps are available via this link.
Check the weather and dress accordingly:
Click here to see current weather conditions from our NYS Mesonet station at Spring Farm.
Plan a safe visit:
- Select a hike at the ability level of your group’s least experienced member.
- No alcohol, drugs or smoking. Smoking of any kind is prohibited on Preserve property.
- No unauthorized hunting or firearms. Click here to learn more about our Deer Management Program.
- No camping or campfires are permitted at the Preserve. Camping is available at the Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground.
- No motorized vehicles allowed, with the exception of E1 bikes.
- No glass, radios, dumping or litter.
- Wear a helmet when needed.
- Clothing is required.
Help Keep Wildlife Wild
Leave what you find:
As part of our conservation mission, Mohonk Preserve is committed to responsibly stewarding the 1,400 species of plants and animals on our over 8,000 acres. Accordingly, we prohibit any collection activities and/or foraging on the property.
Bears and other wildlife:
- “A fed bear is a dead bear!” Do not feed bears or other wildlife. It is important to treat bears and other wildlife with respect and caution.
- Do not try to interact with an animal by offering food or approaching it. Allow the animal to go about its regular routine undisturbed.
- Stay with your gear. Do not leave packs, food or beverages unattended.
- Make your presence known. Talk, sing, clap hands, or call out to alert bears to your presence.
- If you have seen a bear around Mohonk Preserve, please click here to submit a bear sighting report to help our Conservation Science and Stewardship departments better understand bear activity on the Preserve.
Leave No Trace:
Mohonk Preserve is a proud partner of Leave No Trace. Learn more here.
Parking is available at all trailheads
- Parking lots fill early on peak weekends: On summer and fall weekends, arrive early and consider carpooling. During the busy fall season, visitors may wish to consider alternate travel routes. For a list of options, click here.
- Mohonk Mountain House Parking: Preserve members will not be able to park at the Mohonk Mountain House Gatehouse on busy weekends. Consider using the Preserve’s Spring Farm Trailhead instead.
- Parking on the road: Parking on the road is not recommended. New York State Department of Transportation has posted ½-hour parking limits at the “Scenic Overlook” and “Hairpin Turn” located one mile north of the intersection of Routes 299 and 44/55 in the Town of Gardiner. Consider using long-term parking lots at the Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center and at the West Trapps parking lot, located ½ mile and 1½ mile respectively from the intersection of Routes 299 and 44/55.
- 511 NY Rideshare: To help with parking, traffic in New Paltz, and to lighten your carbon footprint, consider using 511NYRideshare.
Bringing Your Pet
Pets are welcome to accompany you but must be on a leash and under your control at all times.
Please remove pet waste from the trail and carriage roads, which helps ensure a more pleasant experience for visitors and keep streams and other water systems clean. Pets are not allowed on the grounds of the neighboring Mohonk Mountain House, on Preserve carriage roads during cross-country ski season, or in any Preserve ponds or streams.
Why leashes are important:
- Leashes protect pets from becoming lost and from wilderness hazards such as porcupines, bears, poisonous snakes, or sick, injured, or rabid animals.
- Unleashed pets may intimidate other visitors and their pets, depriving them of the peace nature provides.
- Off-leash pets can harass, injure, and sometimes kill wildlife.
- A leashed-pet’s keen senses can enhance your awareness of nearby wildlife or visitors.
- Tying a pet up at the bottom of a cliff while rock climbing does not constitute “under your control.” Please consider leaving your pet at home while you climb or boulder.
- Failure to leash your pet may result in a citation, impoundment, or revocation of Preserve use privileges.
Film and Photography
Film Location Information
With over 8,000 acres of mountain cliffs, forests, fields and streams, along with sweeping iconic vistas, Mohonk Preserve has served as a location for numerous feature films, television programs, videos and commercials. Experienced staff are available for scouting and logistical support. For information about location opportunities, fees and requirements, contact Associate Director of Visitor Experience Jon Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wedding and Other Group or Commercial Photography or Videography
Wedding and other group or commercial photography is permitted in designated areas only and requires advance notification and permission. For information about location options, fees and requirements, contact Associate Director of Visitor Experience Jon Ross at email@example.com.
Mohonk Preserve Policy on the Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems/Drones
Mohonk Preserve prohibits the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) otherwise known as unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, quadcopters, radio-controlled model airplanes and/ or any other equipment of this type, on or above its property unless such use is approved through our permit application process. This policy supports our commitment to the protection of all wildlife (specifically in this context, birds of all species), and the safety and well-being of our visitors, as well as the quality of their personal experiences in nature. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, any and all use of drones for purposes such as aerial photography, videography and entertainment/recreational use.
Mohonk Preserve will accept applications for the operation of unmanned aerial systems for purposes such as conservation management, scientific research, mapping, authorized photo/film shoots, or other Preserve-related projects only. Applicants must carry general liability insurance coverage as specified on the application form. All applicants must operate their equipment in compliance with all federal, state and local statutes, regulations and ordinances governing the use of UAS and will provide documentation of such compliance to Mohonk Preserve upon request.
All drones weighing more than 0.55 pound but less than 55 pounds are required to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. Click here to read the FAQs on the FAA registration website.
Permit Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If approved, Mohonk Preserve will issue a limited permit for the use of unmanned aerial systems for the specific project and time period for which the application was submitted.
Click here for the Mohonk Preserve permit application (including a listing of Standard and Special Conditions for UAS Operations). The completed form shall be returned to: Jon Ross, Associate Director of Visitor Experience, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Banner photo by Jeff Severson