Exploring Lake Awosting, Rainbow Falls

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I made a somewhat unplanned hike (if that’s possible) out to┬áLake Awosting last weekend… somewhat unplanned in that it was about seven miles and I sort of did it by accident. I had hoped to make the hike out to Rainbow Falls, and then go down to see two more waterfalls in another area of Minnewaska. Wrong. Rainbow Falls is about an hour of moderate hiking back into the forest, and by the time I got there, I realized it was only about 15 more minutes from Lake Awosting, a sprawling glacier lake I’d not yet seen.

So, I trudged on, and then back to my car in a draining day. Here’s just a few images I managed.


Lake Minnewaska, taken from a cliff on the north side between the beach and parking area. I spoke to a park ranger who told me the old Phillips house on the east cliffs will be opened as a visitors’ center within the next year or two. Hopefully it’s next year and not 2016, but he said it’ll be really cool. Those following this know it’s sort of been in the works since at least 2010.Upper Awosting 060114 386

In April 2012, Gov. Cuomo gave $1 million to help renovate some of the trails a Minnewaska (in stark contrast to our absolutely inept and awful former Governor Patterson, who recommended closing Minnewaska to save money.

The state then pledged an additional $1.05 million last May to Minnewaska State Park toward renovations needed to convert the Phillips House into a visitor center and office space.

Anyway, it’s awesome news for this place.

Upper Awosting Carriage Road, as I’ve been told, is indeed pretty boring. There’s no cliffs, no lookouts, no lakes or streams or really anything of interested to see along this route beyond trees. If you like birch trees (and I do), you’re in luck. Otherwise, it’s flat and slightly uphill:

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Rainbow Falls is probably pretty cool when there’s a lot of water flowing. On this day, it was pretty slim. The best part here is being able to walk up and stand in the water itself. The worst part is I got a bit of poison ivy on my leg walking the path out here.Upper Awosting 060114 053 Upper Awosting 060114 019As some have recommended, this route is best done on a bike. If anyone has advice on where to rent a bike for the day up in New Paltz, let me know. I’d need one to fold or somehow fit in the trunk of my car.


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