For creatives, choosing how to recharge is just as important to creative work as the work itself.

Creative work can be draining — it asks a lot of us, and to make sure we don’t burn out, it helps to be deliberate in how we spend our time away. Thankfully, the Hudson Valley is full of places that foster healthy, restorative rest.

For me, one of those places is Minnewaska State Park, just outside of New Paltz. I’ve been going up to Lake Minnewaska my entire life, and breathing the mountain air while hearing the water lap against the shore is instantly calming to me.

Where to Go at Minnewaska

My two favorite places in the park are probably the two most clichéd — these places aren’t exactly secret, but they sure are beautiful.

First is Awosting Falls, just down the path from the park entrance. The falls drop 60 feet into a small pond, and in the summer it kicks up a light cooling mist.

Awosting Falls at Minnewaska State Park in the winter

Second is the loop around Lake Minnewaska, a leisurely hike that shouldn’t take more than an hour. In addition to the views of the lake, it takes you past some soaring overlooks that offer stunning panoramas of the whole Hudson Valley. I’ve never been able to take a picture that adequately captures the vastness of the view, but suffice it to say it makes me glad to live nearby.

Hike the Hudson Valley has a thorough profile of Minnewaska that’s worth reading if you’re considering a trip.

When to Go to Minnewaska

On summer weekends and holidays, Minnewaska can get crowded, so it’s best to get there early. (I went right at opening this morning, hoping to beat the Independence Day crowds, and it was already filling up at 9:11.) It costs $10 per car, but if you have an Empire Pass you can skip the line and get in at no charge. If you’re local and have control over your schedule, you should consider going during the week — maybe work from a coffee shop in New Paltz (like Cafeteria, Mudd Puddle, or Commissary) and go up during lunch for a short hike.


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