Hiking: Unboring Exploring: Bonticou Crag in Mohonk Preserve, NY | Shawangunk Mountains

Many thanks to Krysti Sabins of Unboring Exploring, our newest contributor to Adventures in the Outdoors! 

Did somebody ask for a hearty helpin' of rock scramble?  Well, ORDER UP!  During this hike in Mohonk Preserve outside of New Paltz, NY, we venture up the giant talus fragments of Bonticou Crag.

This 3.5 mile loop hike begins at the Spring Farm trailhead off Upper 27 Knolls Road (GPS 41.794616, -74.128513).  This small parking lot fills VERY early on peak summer (and fall) weekends, so arrive early and consider carpooling to ensure a parking space.

Once you have parked and paid the well-worth $12 entry fee, you'll begin following signs for the "Crag Trail".  This path leads you over field and forest toward "Bonticou Road" an easily trekked carriageway.  From here you'll find the yellow-blazed "Bonticou Ascent Path" where your rock scramble awaits!

Be sure to have a craving for climbing as well as proper footwear before attempting this ascent.  Once you begin scaling Bonticou's giant chunks of white Shawangunk conglomerate and avoiding tumbling into its yawning fissures, you'll find yourself wondering how this could possibly be the trail!  Oh, but it is, and how.

This distinctive trek culminates with a 360° view encompassing the Catskill Mountains and beyond and is loaded with one-of-a-kind perspectives.  Definitely worth shinnying up such a precarious precipice! 

So what are you waiting for?  Go get your clamberin' on!
For more information on this hike as well as other Unboring Exploring adventures with Krysti, visit www.unboringexploring.com.
See you on the trail!

If you're looking for maps and guidebooks for planning your adventures in the Shawangunks, the Trail Conference publishes the Shawangunk Trails Map and the book, Scenes and Walks in the Northern Shawangunks is a guide to trails of the northern Shawangunk Ridge area, as is Gunks Trails: A Rangers Guide and the Shawangunks Trail Companion.