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Before You Arrive

Land Use Rules

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.
  • 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.
  • Lots full? Don’t expect to park for long on the road: 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.
  • Solution: Use 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.
  • To help with parking, traffic in New Paltz, and to lighten your carbon footprint, consider using 511NYRideshare.

Plan Ahead for a Safe and Pleasant Visit

  • Suggested hikes with printable maps are available via this link.
  • Consider the length of your hike and the time you have before the Preserve closes at sunset.
  • Check the weather from our NYS Mesonet station at Spring Farm and dress accordingly.
  • Select a hike at the ability level of your group’s least experienced member.
  • Do your part: Day passes or annual membership are required to access the trails and carriage roads.
  • Keep this a safe and quiet haven: No glass, radios, or fires.
  • Help prevent plant damage and erosion: Stay on marked trails.
  • 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. Click here for more information.
  • Mohonk Preserve prohibits smoking of any kind anywhere on Preserve property. Click here to view our No Smoking Policy.
  • Help Keep Bears Wild! We have recently seen an increase in bear sightings around the Preserve, it is important to remember to please treat bears and other wildlife with respect and caution, and help keep wildlife wild. Bears that lose their natural fear of humans may have to be destroyed.
    • “A fed bear is a dead bear!” Do NOT feed bears. A wild bear prefers natural food and steers clear of people. However, bears are attracted to a number of potential food sources and will quickly develop a habit of seeking them out.
    • Make your presence known. Talk, sing, clap hands, or call out to alert bears to your presence.
    • 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.
    • If you have seen a bear around Mohonk Preserve, please click here to submit a sighting report to help our Conservation Science and Stewardship departments better understand bear activity on the Preserve.

Bringing Your Pet?

  • Pets are welcome to accompany you, but in keeping with our policies and New York State law, they must be on a leash and under your control at all times.
  • Leashes protect pets from becoming lost and from wilderness hazards such as porcupines, bears, poisonous snakes, or sick, injured, or rabid animals.
  • Off-leash pets often harass, injure, and sometimes kill wildlife. 
  • Unleashed pets may also intimidate other visitors and their pets, depriving them of the peace nature provides.
  • 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.
  • A leashed-pet's keen senses can enhance your awareness of nearby wildlife or visitors.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Failure to leash your pet may result in a citation, impoundment, or revocation of Preserve use privileges. 


Banner photo by June Archer