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Bonticou Crag — Mohonk Preserve

High Falls (Ulster County)

Why we love it

Rock climbers from around the world come to test their mettle against the Shawangunks. This three-mile hike gives you an inkling of the thrills—and challenges—they face. It takes about 20 minutes of concerted hand and foot action to scale the crag’s boulder-strewn slope (its name means “spotted cow” in Dutch). Any sweat generated will evaporate once you reach its windswept summit, which offers outstanding views out to and far beyond the Hudson River. It’s ranked the toughest rock scramble in Mohonk Preserve, so avoid it if you have coordination issues.

More to explore

In downtown New Paltz (a short drive from the trailhead), Historic Huguenot Street preserves half a dozen homes of the community’s early settlers, while the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz offers intriguing art exhibits. The village also contains many restaurants and shops.


  • Spectacular panoramic views
  • A challenging rock scramble—definitely not for young children or the uncoordinated

Directions, hours, etc.: