If you are visiting Ulster County, you will want to make sure that you visit Shawangunk Ridge. The ridge passes through the counties of Ulster, Orange, and Sullivan. Known also as the Shawangunk Mountains and The Gunks, this area is ranked as one of the top 75 Last Great Places on Earth. Once you visit, you will easily be able to see why.
If you enjoy rock climbing, this is one of the best areas to visit in the United States. The four best climbing cliffs in the area are the Near Trapps, The Trapps, and Millbrook. Skytop is another popular climbing area, but only guests of the Mohonk Mountain House are allowed to climb there. You may also want to visit the ice caves, which keep their ice even through most of the summer.
If you aren't a climber but you enjoy hiking, you will find some great places to visit along Shawangunk Ridge. Check out the trails around the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. It offers many well-worn trails as well as small trails that can take you to areas that most people will never see. The preserve is home to several beautiful lakes. You will also be able to picnic, bike, ski, and go horseback riding along many of the trails.
Another popular place to visit along the Shawangunk Ridge is Sam's Point Dwarf Pine Ridge Preserve. The area is home to the rare red dwarf pine as well as beautiful lakes. The trails meander through the woods and past bodies of water. Some areas here require permits for hiking.
Everyone who loves the outdoors will want to make sure that he or she takes the time to visit the area and experience the beauty of the Shawangunk range firsthand.