New Paltz is a pretty and historic college town in the Hudson Valley, surrounded by farms, orchards, and hills. There’s a particularly nice selection of running options in the area.
Walkill Valley Rail Trail. This gravel multi-use path is 21.4 miles in length and a great option for a longer off-road run. From New Palz headed south, it’s 5.7 miles to Gardiner and 8.2 miles to the southern end at Denniston Rd. Headed north from New Palz, it’s 2.5 miles to the access point at Springtown, 7 miles to Rt. 213 in Rosendale, and 13.2 miles to the northern end in Ulster County. In New Palz, it intersects the Hudson Valley Rail Trail. ROUTE MAP
New Palz 5 Miler: New Paltz is a charming small college town, with some historic sections. One great route is to combine a run along historic Huguenot St., which goes for 1.4 miles, and then loop back along the Walkill Valley Rail Trail. To make this a 5-miler, take Hasbrouck Rd. to Hasbrouck Park, and then do a loop around the paths of the SUNY New Paltz campus. For a longer run, connect to the River to Ridge Trail (below).
River to Ridge Trail & Mohonk Preserve Testimonial Gateway. One of our favorite routes in the area! This is a scenic, easy trail run on a wide, gravel path passing through farm fields and over rolling hills, accessible right from New Paltz. There are a couple of options here:
- The River to Ridge Trail, starting from the Main St. Bridge in New Paltz. A full loop is nearly 8 miles, all the way out to the Pine Rd. parking lot. You can also just do a section of it. ROUTE MAP. From the Pine Rd. parking lot, you can access the extensive trails of the Mohonk Preserve (below). Note the full loop involves 465 feet of elevation gain. INFORMATION. TRAIL MAP
- A shorter version of this is to access it from the Mohonk Preserve Testimonial Gateway. This parking lot is the gateway to the larger Mohonk Preserve (fee required). A loop of this area, which includes a section of the River to Ridge Trail, is 3.5 miles. ROUTE MAP.
Mohonk Preserve and Mohonk Mountain House. The Mohonk Preserve is a large nature preserve in the Shawangunk Mountain range (‘the Gunks’), with fantastic trail running options for all abilities. There are 75 miles of trails, ranging from gentle carriage roads to steeper, hillier, and rockier terrain. Note: expensive day use fee required. PRESERVE INFO SUGGESTED RUNNING ROUTES
Adjacent to the Preserve, the Mohonk Mountain House is a historic Victorian hilltop hotel set on Lake Mohonk, with several miles of wooded trails (Day Pass required). Loop around the lake, head up to Skytop Tower (great views!), and enjoy the numerous interconnected paths. Can also connect to the trails in the Minnewaska Preserve (below).
Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Adjacent to the Mohonk Preserve, the Minnewaska Preserve sits on a ridge rising to 2,000 feet. This is a fabulous spot for running, with beautifully maintained and well way-marked trails, a large visitor center, and numerous facilities. There is gentler running on the 35 miles of carriage roads, while trail runners will love the 50 miles of hilly footpaths. There are many options for runs and loops of various length and difficulty in terms of terrain and hills. Two favorites are loops around Lake Minnewaska (2 miles) and Lake Awosting (3.5 miles). It’s possible to connect to the Mohonk Preserve (above). PRESERVE INFO. TRAIL MAP. Notes: $10 per car fee. Also, in winter, certain trails are reserved for nordic skiing.