breakfast and hike the River-to-Ridge trail

The River-to-Ridge Trail (R2R), located at the foot of the village of New Paltz, is a free ribbon of paradise for the public just steps from local restaurants, shops and historic sites. The Off-Road Loop, created with support from the Open Space Institute (OSI) in partnership with the Mohonk Reserve, offers walkers, joggers, cyclists of all ages and skills a chance to cross acorn-corn stalks in gold backed by the sublime curves of the Shawangunk Mountain ridge.

Visitors can park on the free municipal lot next to historic Huguenot Street or Plattekill Avenue and refuel with breakfast or lunch, and browse local shops and galleries before or after the hike without get caught up in the often heavy buildup of westward traffic from the Wallkills. Another advantage of the grounds in town over the official trailhead is that you are more likely to find parking.

Fill it up first

Bewitching aromas of coffee, waffles and baked goods invite you to Main street bistro (59 Main Street). Located in an old brick building with a large sign of a painted hand making the peace sign pointing to the sky, the restaurant is owned and operated by Doug Thompson, a local triathlete and trainer who is often behind the counter or kitchen himself.

Le Bistro, circa 1993, is deeply rooted in New Paltz’s DNA. It’s hard to get people to choose their top three breakfast dishes, but most students and climbers would vote for the breakfast special, which includes two eggs of any style, with hash browns. and whole wheat toast for $ 1.95. Hard to beat that price, but for a little more there are countless incarnations of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options like chicken and waffles, or hash salmon made with grilled salmon, poached eggs and homemade fries. , all glazed with Asiago cheese and Hollandaise.

Right in front of the Bistro is the Grid side B (62 Main Street) known for its delicacies like green eggs and breakfast ham and bruschetta, made with scrambled eggs, mozzarella and basil on squares of toasted garlic bread.

Both places have a range of coffee drinks and fresh baked goods, but for a more traditional coffee, one of New Paltz’s iconic spots is The bakery (13a N. Front St), which serves breakfast, sandwiches, gourmet coffee, pastries, bread and artisan cakes.

The hike: where to start

Fully fortified? Now walk. The R2R trail has two main accesses: one to approach on foot and the other by car.

The first entrance flows harmoniously from the outskirts of the village across the Carmine Liberta bridge at the end of the main street. A stone-paved gazebo and seating area with a viewfinder provide a respite or meeting place before the hike before setting out. This entry is for hikers, walkers and cyclists only – no cars – to start the R2R trail.

For those heading straight for the trail with their car, the formal trailhead (42 Springtown Road) is located 800 meters beyond the Wallkill River and offers parking, a bicycle and air repair station, as well as an information kiosk. As the official entrance to the trail, however, the parking lot fills up quickly.

The R2R round-trip scenic loop, which you can access from either entrance, is approximately 6 miles. Those more for a scenic walk may enjoy a shorter pass over flat terrain along the first mile and a half of the trail that winds along the Walkill River and through cornfields. This part of the trail, located on farmland and floodplains, is wide open so there is no chance of getting lost.

Hiking: Connecting the trails within the R2R

Take the trail a little further to Duck Pond to see turtles and mallards, and take in the Skytop Tower view at the Mohonk Mountain House Resort and Spa.

Erin quinn

The trail is wide, well maintained, and can accommodate bikes, baby joggers, and all kinds of non-motorized activities, without ever feeling too crowded.

Once the trail begins to climb west towards the Gunk foothills, those wanting a more vigorous exit can continue while those walking around can turn around here.

When you reach the ridge of the R2R trail, approximately 2.3 miles, the panoramic valley and mountain views can be the highlight of your walk. But you can walk further into the foothills of the Mohonk Preserve, a protected natural area of ​​over 8,000 acres of land and 30 miles of historic motorable roads.

The R2R connects to one of the most popular routes: Pine Road, located just after the R2R Butterville Road junction. This country farm road is bordered by pasture and disappears into the woods, converging with well-marked trails that lead to the Glory Hill Trail, which winds up to the majestic Duck Pond.

This pond is teeming with wildlife including snakes, frogs, box and serpentine turtles, and, yes, mallards and ducks. Rustic benches frame one end of the pond. From this vantage point, hikers can see the Skytop Tower, a century-old stone edifice built by the Smiley family, owners of the Mohonk Mountain House Resort and Spa.

This loop adds an additional 2 miles to the 6.6 mile R2R loop, but is worth every ounce of extra effort. Once the hikers have completed their stay at either R2R Foothills Ridge or Duck Pond, they can begin their trek back to town with the lollipop-shaped loop coming in a single thread down the trail. flat and winding through the agricultural fields.

Cross the bridge again for a lift after the hike to Mud puddle coffee or the neighbor Jar’d Wine Bar, both located at Water street market (10 main street), where you can take in incredible views of the loop you just completed.

Details: Download a map of the River-to-Ridge Trail from the OSI website and find more information about day passes or Mohonk Preserve memberships at mohonkpreserve.org. Although R2R is free, once entered the territory of the Mohonk reserve, rangers at the small kiosk will ask to see membership cards or collect the daily fee in cash or by credit card, which is $ 10 for hikers. / runners and $ 15 for cyclists.

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