Thanks to the spectacular panorama the crystal-clear water provides as it meets the Peterskill stream, Awosting Falls is no less than heaven on Earth. One of the primary reasons Minnewaska State Park is a popular tourist attraction is the presence of Awosting Falls inside the Park.
Here is all the information you need to know before visiting Awosting Falls. Continue reading to learn more about what you can do there, from taking a nature-filled hike to diving in Minnewaska State Park’s beautiful lakes.
History and Geology
Awosting Falls is only one of the magnificent waterfalls in the famous tourist hotspot Minnewaska Preserve. The Park was established in the late 1900s when the State of New York purchased the land in 1987. The Park lies on Shawangunk Ridge, located within Ulster County.
The preserve stretches over twenty-two thousand acres and is home to four stunning lakes. When a prominent Institute donated a stretch of land from Sam’s Preserve to the Minnewaska Preserve, the preserve expanded even more than 5400 acres.
The waterfall’s name comes from Lake Awosting, a well-known lake inside the Park. Visitors can reach the 18-meter-long waterfall from off route 44/55, where they will eventually come across a sign taking them to Minnewaska Park.
You can see 200 different types of migrating birds and other wildlife during your visit to Awosting Lake. Since the lake is inside Minnewaska Park, you may visit the Park’s Bird Conservation section to see shrubland birds, raptors, and other species.
Since approximately forty of the numerous animal and plant species that call this place home are rare, you may also enjoy some unusual sights. Here are some other animal species you may see when visiting Awosting Lake.
- Cooper’s hawks
- Turkey vultures
- Ruffed Grouse
- Black bear
- Cottontail rabbits
- Sharp-shinned hawks
- Timber rattlesnakes
- White-tailed deer
- Black-billed cuckoos
Do not go to Awosting Falls expecting to see fish since the waterfalls and Lake Awosting does not sustain fish and has not had fish in the last hundred years. The lake’s water is toxic to marine life.
Following a disaster in which the authorities attempted to supply the lake with roughly fifteen hundred fish, all of which died within a few days, the authorities decided not to stock the lake with fish again.
Things to Do While On Your Visit to Awosting Falls
Aside from going to the Awosting waterfall and admiring its beauty, you and your family can engage in various recreational activities. Here is a list of activities you can enjoy when visiting Awosting Falls:
The Minnewaska State Park has some of the most picturesque hiking paths you’ll ever see. You can hike to Awosting falls by starting your journey from the lower Awosting falls parking area. The climb is relatively easy and does not have much rocky terrain, so you can bring your children along, and they will undoubtedly enjoy the experience.
It will last approximately 1.0 miles and give you an elevation gain of roughly 100 feet. If you’re ready for a challenge, you can begin the 10-mile-long journey at the Upper Awosting Falls Parking Area, which has an elevation rise of around 320 feet. Here’s a list of some more hiking trails surrounding Awosting falls that you can enjoy:
- Gertrude’s Nose and Millbrook Mountain Loop
- Lower Awosting, Rainbow Falls, Upper Awosting, and Mossy Glen Trail
- Lake Minnewaska Carriage Road Loop
- Bull Wheel to High Peter’s Kill Trail
- Millbrook Mountain Footpath and Carriage Road Loop
You can bring your dogs to the hike since dogs are allowed within the vicinity of Minnewaska Park. However, they must be on leashes, which should be no more extended than six feet. Dogs are not allowed on pathways, buildings, swimming areas, or picnic locations.
Swimming is a great way to cool off after your hike to Awosting Falls. You won’t be allowed to swim at Awosting Falls due to safety concerns, but you may cool down in Awosting Lake, located near the waterfall. During the summer months, the lake is swarming with lifeguards from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., so you can enjoy swimming while knowing your family is safe.
The Minnewaska State Park is also an excellent spot for bikers, as you can enjoy some fantastic panoramas while riding on one of the Park’s biking paths.
The Park urges cyclists to follow the rules such as riding safely, wearing helmets, using maintained carriage routes, yielding to horses and pedestrians, and allowing them plenty of space. Here is a list of some riding paths you may visit when exploring Awosting Falls.
- Lake Awosting Trail (EASY) Length: 5.8km
- Upper Awosting (EASY) Length: 5.0km
- Castle Point (EASY) Length: 7.3 km
- Minnewaska Lake Loop Trail (EASY) Length: 3.0km
- Millbrook Mountain (EASY) Length: 4.1km
How To Reach Awosting Falls?
The route to the Awosting waterfalls is relatively straightforward and uncomplicated. To reach the waterfall, you must drive through the entrance gate of Minnewaska Park, which is situated on Road 44-55. Next, you must leave the main street and go down the footpath until you reach the ticket window.
If you are confused, you can buy your tickets here and ask for directions to the Awosting falls. Next, you may turn to the left after the ticket desk to go to the higher parking lot or go toward the Lower Awosting car park.
Important Note: You may not have a choice regarding where to park your vehicle during the busiest times of the year, which are usually from spring to autumn. During these seasons, the employee at the ticket office will inform you if there is an unoccupied parking spot in the car park. If not, you may have to find a parking spot outside the Park.
Awosting Falls should be at the top of your list of places to visit if you want to make holiday plans that will be unforgettable and witness nature at its finest.
Once you get there, you will find yourself absorbed by the waterfall’s splendor, which is nothing less than a work of art. Don’t forget to take advantage of the variety of recreational activities offered to tourists in Minnewaska Park while you’re there.