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Outdoor Family Experiences

NEW in 2021:

Outdoor Family Experiences!

Mohonk Preserve is excited to offer this new program to bring your family to the great outdoors together! Each Outdoor Family Experience offers a 4-hour, back-to-nature themed program, expertly guided by a professional Environmental Educator. Offered on weekdays and weekends, choose from four different experiences to best meet your family’s interests!

Programs run from 10:00 am–2:00 pm. We ask that you arrive by 9:30 a.m. to park, use  restrooms and meet up with your Guide. Covid-safety protocols are in place and masks are for those who are not fully vaccinated. Mask breaks will be offered at lunch and when social distancing is possible. Your Guide is responsible for providing coordination in advance, instruction, program materials and set up. Parents and guardians are responsible for supervising their children during the program. We ask that everyone, including adults, actively participate and enjoy the day’s activities together!

Program fees cover up to 6 people (see below). You may add 1-2 more participants up to the 8-person limit for an additional charge; 2 adults are strongly recommended for groups of 7-8).      

What to Bring:  

  • Masks are required for those who are not fully vaccinated (bring extras in case wet or lost)
  • Bag lunch and beverages for each participant
  • At least 1 quart of water per person (glass is prohibited)
  • Small backpack or day pack  
  • Raincoat/poncho 
  • Sunscreen and hat (optional)
  • Bandana or neck gator to keep you cool (optional)
  • Change of clothes (optional)
  • Water shoes/towel (optional for Stream and Forest program only) 

What to Wear: 
Check the forecast and dress for the weather. It’s often cooler and windier on the Ridge! Layering clothing is a great way to adapt to changing conditions. Add a layer when cold and shed a layer when warm! Dress in comfortable, breathable clothing that can get dirty. Light colored clothes make it easier to spot ticks.

  • First base layer:  a shirt and pants/shorts
  • Second mid layer: a warm insulator like a sweatshirt, sweater or fleece 
  • Third weather-resistant layer: a water- and wind-resistant jacket 
  • Socks and closed-toe shoes: sneakers with good tread or lightweight hiking shoes

What Mohonk Preserve provides: 

  • Professional Guide 
  • Contact from your Guide in advance to answer your questions
  • All program materials and activities
  • Hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes 
  • Restroom access at key locations 
  • Reserved parking for up to 2 vehicles

Program Fees:  

  • Weekday Outdoor Family Experience: $450
  • Weekend Outdoor Family Experience: $500
  • Add 1-2 additional participants (maximum of 8 total):  $95 per person 
    We recommend at least 2 adults participate for groups larger than 6 for a better quality experience.

Your booking today helps support programs for underserved families in our local communities with free programs for eligible New York State SNAP/EBT card recipients. Thank You!

 

Program Descriptions: 
 

  • Family Orienteering for Beginners
    Family Orienteering for Beginners

    Looking for a fun-filled activity to get the family outdoors? Learn how to use a compass as you follow hidden trails along our orienteering course! You’ll be guided by a professional Environmental Educator who will teach you how to measure your family’s individual paces and lead you through a compass wayfinding game before taking a break to enjoy the lunch you’ve brought with you. Then you’ll venture out together to use your new your skills to find your first flag and others that follow! If you complete the course with time to spare, you may even get the chance to stump your Guide with a new trail your family creates!

    This program requires basic math skills and is appropriate for families with children ages 8 and up.

    Photo by Celeste Brunell

  • Pond Exploration and Scavenger Hunt
    Pond Exploration and Scavenger Hunt

    What could be more fun than a hike to explore pond life at the water’s edge! Your family will discover the fascinating diversity of life above and beneath the pond’s surface. Guided by a professional Environmental Educator, you’ll use nets to find small creatures that live in the water, figure out how they breathe, what they eat, and maybe who eats them! What will you find? Newts? Tadpoles? Dragonflies? Giant water bugs? Relax while enjoying the lunch you’ve brought, then hike in search of other critters on a 3-mile (or less depending on your needs) habitat scavenger hunt! Come out for the day and share the fun with the whole family!

    This program is appropriate for families with children ages 5 and up.

    Photo by Cathy Shiga-Gattullo

  • A Day in the Life: Lenape Lifeways
    A Day in the Life: Lenape Lifeways

    Experience a day with the family on the ancestral lands of the Lenni Lenape People! You’ll enjoy a hike through fields and woodlands as you journey to our recreated Lenape encampment. Let your imagination soar as our professional Environmental Educator guides you to the longhouse where you’ll discover how these indigenous people and their rich culture thrived in a place that sustained and provided for all their needs. You’ll have time to enjoy the lunch you’ve packed before testing your skills with our hands-on activities practiced by Lenape children and adults during the Contact Period. We’ll share what we’re continuing to learn from their descendants, known today as the Delaware Tribe of Indians, and where they are now!

    This program is appropriate for families with children ages 6 and up.

    Photo by David Ramage

  • Stream and Forest Family Discovery
    Stream and Forest Family Discovery

    Bring the family to Mohonk Preserve for a day of fun and discovery! Come hike with us and explore two unique habitats in one activity-filled day. Guided by a professional Environmental Educator, this adventure draws you into nature where you’ll uncover animals that call the Preserve home. You’ll relax and enjoy the stream-side lunch you’ve brought along and dip nets in the cool mountain stream in search of animals living down under. Experience the opportunity to investigate, isolate, identify and gently return these amazing creatures to their watery homes before you leave. You’ll need to wear shoes for the program, but we invite you to pack water shoes and wade in the stream if it’s a warm day (lifeguards not provided).

    This program is appropriate for families with children ages 5 and up.

    Photo by Karen Maloy Brady

Register for an Outdoor Family Experience by logging in to our new online portal!


Cancellation Policy:
Outdoor Family Experiences are fully refundable if cancelled within 24 hours of the time of booking. After 24 hours, refunds will be given only if Mohonk Preserve cancels the program.  

Inclement Weather Policy:
Outdoor Family Programs will be held rain or shine. In the event of potentially dangerous weather forecast to occur during program time, Mohonk Preserve (MP) reserves the right to cancel the program for safety. Should this occur, you will receive notification by 7:00 pm on the evening before your program. If dangerous weather moves in during a program, MP reserves the right to end the program early.  

Driving Directions for Selected Programs:
Please Note:  Mohonk Preserve stewards over 8,000 acres of land with a variety of trailhead locations. Below are driving directions to where you’ll meet your Guide to start the program you have selected. 

Family Orienteering for Beginners & A Day in the Life: Lenape Lifeways
Meet at the Spring Farm Trailhead at 50 Upper Knolls Road, High Falls, NY. From the NY State Thruway take exit 18-New Paltz. At the light turn left (West) onto Route 299 through New Paltz. Just after the steel bridge, turn right onto Springtown Road, then veer left onto Mountain Rest Road. Drive past the entrance to the Mohonk Mountain House and go under the one-lane bridge. Continue 1 mile and turn right on Upper 27 Knolls Road. Within ¼ mile, you’ll reach the entry booth and be escorted in by your Guide.  

Stream and Forest Family Discovery
Meet at the West Trapps Trailhead at 3142 Route 44, Gardiner, NY. From the NY State Thruway take exit 18-New Paltz. At the light turn left (West) onto Route 299. Drive 7 miles (West) to its end at a “T.” Turn right on Route 44-55 and go past the Visitor Center (don’t turn in). Continue uphill and look for the West Trapps Entry sign on your right. Drive to the booth to meet your Guide. 

Pond Exploration and Scavenger Hunt 
Meet at the junction of Lenape Lane and Butterville Road. From the NY State Thruway take exit 18-New Paltz. At the light turn left (West) onto Route 299 through New Paltz. After crossing the steel bridge, continue ahead to a stop sign. Turn right onto Butterville Road. Turn left at Lenape Lane and meet your Guide who will open the green gate for you.

If lost, contact your Guide at the number they will provide to you, or call the Visitor Center at (845)255-0919 extension 1221.  
 

Mohonk Preserve is open to the public 365 days/year. You may encounter other visitors on the trail or in the vicinity.