A winter hike through Minnewaska

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This year is coming to an end, and it made me realize how much better it was — at least by comparison — to 2012. I made an effort this year to get outside and enjoy nature and explore the mountains, so the first day of winter, Dec. 21, seemed like a good cap to an enjoyable stretch of hiking. Hope everyone has a great holiday season and enjoys the New Year! Thanks for stopping by my page!

I started Saturday morning outside of New Paltz on Butterville Road, re-visiting three red barns that all offer some nice rustic postcard scenes. The first is patrolled by a group of donkeys which love visitors:

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Down the road is this picturesque red barn that looks out at the ridge and Mohonk. I did two different edits on these shots, with more of a bluer, colder look on the second:

Minnewaska 122113 092 Minnewaska 122113 114Up at Minnewaska, the crowds of October and early November were gone. It was a very quiet walk on the Beacon Hill Carriageway out to the peak, seen below:

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At the cliffs of Lake Minnewaska, the icy water below was full of reflections, cracks and unique winter patterns of snow and ice:

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Down below, the quiet, gentle Awosting Falls I came to know and love this past autumn was suddenly a loud, raging waterfall of ice and mist and snow. Much of the pool down here has frozen over, and a large hill of snow and ice has formed at the bottom of the waterfall, creating a giant hole for the water to disappear into:

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A video of this scene:

On the hike down to the waterfall, icicles melted and dripped off the rocks with the unseasonably warm temperatures.

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I found this tiny mountain creek flowing down through the rocks and trees:

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Atop Awosting, I found a completely different scene than I saw a month or so earlier:

Minnewaska 122113 581 1Here’s a comparison, from October to December:

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The Peters Kill flows through ice and rocks:

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Down below the waterfall, the stream makes its way through a layer of snow:

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The lone gazebo at Minnewaska, overlooking a frozen lake. There isn’t much snow here on the ground, but the path up was wet and icy with an inch or so of snow:

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Looking south:

Minnewaska 122113 313And looking straight down:

Minnewaska 122113 295 Minnewaska 122113 288A few more comparisons from autumn to winter, just to put these into perspective:

Beacon Hill lookout:

Beacon Hill

Minnewaska lake loop:New Paltz 102713 1252

Awosting Falls, September and December:Awosting Falls before and after

Mohonk barn on Butterville Road in October and December:

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  1. Admiring your photography – learning from your composition. Good article. Minnewaska is just one gem in the area – just a short trip from NYC, to boot.

    1. Thanks Peter, appreciate that! And yeah, Minnewaska is a great place, lots to see and you can always find different trails to take. I’m looking forward to going up again when the weather isn’t so harsh

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