Gertrude's Nose - Minnewaska State Park
Region: Hudson Valley
My second trip into the Minnewaska State Park did not disappoint, despite it being the hottest day of the year at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I hiked to Gertrude's Nose, a beautiful trail that leads to a wild cliff formation offering panoramic views of the Palmaghatt Ravine and Hudson Valley.
I visited Lake Minnewaska a few years back with my Mom and our dog Mac and thought it was a sweet little spot, but only got to do the Lake Loop trail. It's a short loop around a nice lake surrounded by great cliffs and an excess of other trailways which one can travel. I've heard about Gertrude's Nose and have seen many pictures before. I highly recommend taking a day to travel out here to visit. Super nice, relatively moderate, and fantastic cliff formations.
UPDATE: I took a third trip to Minnewaska with friends in April, 2019 on a day that seemed like it was probably the worst day to hike due to the pouring rain literally all day long. But, it turned out the extremely foggy and rainy views made for something special. The hike was wet, slippery, and foggy, but the scenery had it’s own unique life in these unfavorable conditions that brought us a great day and some sweet pictures. Enjoy the updated pictures below!
Overall I think the trail is roughly 7-8 miles depending on your route. This link provides a trail map of the Minnewaska State Park. I took the Lake Minnewaska trail around the lake from the parking lot, and found the Millbrook Mountain Carriage Road (MC on the map, yellow path, also pictures below include a few shots of maps along the pathway). After about 1.2 miles on the carriage road, you'll come to the Gertrude's Nose Trailhead, which brings you off the road and more into the woods. From here, it is a relatively moderate hike, with a slight grade change throughout and a few steep spots. Overall the Gertrude's nose trail itself is 2.7 miles of beauty. The rock formations, cliffs, massive cracks in rocks, crevasses to jump over, and the beautiful views of the valley are some of the many reasons to visit this great spot in Ulster County, NY. Once I finished my lunch at the tip of Gertrude's Nose, I finished off the trail and headed back to the lake by way of Millbrook Mountain trail. Some additional great views around Millbrook, including some seriously low-flying and numerous Turkey vulture sightings at the edge of the mountain. The trail back on this day was seemingly never-ending given the 100 degree heat. Eventually, running low on water, I came to the end of the MM trail and made it back to Lake Minnewaska. Luckily I had a Yeti filled with waters back at the car, and my hike came to an end.
The trip to Minnewaska from NYC isn't too bad if you have a vehicle. I personally used a zip car from the Beacon train station after traveling on the Metro-North. It took about 35-40 minutes and was a nice ride through the country once I crossed the Hudson. One can also get off in Poughkeepsie and drive from there (30-40 mins or so). Also, if you have time, I highly recommend stopping in town in New Paltz - a great upstate town!
Enjoy the hike.