It takes more than one preserve to protect a mountain ridge that stretches 50 miles from southeastern New York to the New Jersey state line. To meet this challenge, the Preserve plays an active role in coalitions and partnerships committed to protecting beautiful and unique places, wildlife, clean air and water, and outdoor recreation.
Over a half-million visitors come to the ridge every year to hike, bike, climb, and enjoy the quiet beauty of this rugged landscape. We work closely with our neighbors on the ridge, Minnewaska State Park and the Mohonk Mountain House to ensure that we are acting in coordination to protect the fragile ecosystem we share while offering the best possible experience to our visitors. We also work with partner organizations such as Open Space Institute, Wallkill Valley Land Trust and others to advance common land protection goals.
The Preserve is situated in five towns in Ulster County – Gardiner, New Paltz, Marbletown, Rochester and Rosendale. We stay in close communication with these municipalities and share information in support of open space protection.
The Preserve also assisted in the creation of the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway, which connects 11 local municipalities and major tourism destinations around the Ridge with an 82-mile loop of roads. The byway helps direct tourists to visit area businesses and other destinations, showcasing all that natural areas have to offer and supporting local economies.
Banner photo by Carol Rietsma