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Public Programs at Minnewaska State Park Preserve in March

  |   March 4, 2014  |  Comment

The following public programs will be offered at  glorious Minnewaska State Park Preserve in March:

Pre-registration is required for participation in all public programs. Please call the Park Office at 845- 255-0752. For outings, please wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring snacks and water. A parent or guardian over the age of 18 must accompany children wishing to participate in any programs. Snowshoe and cross country ski outings will be offered as winter hikes when snow conditions are poor.

Thursday, March 6, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Homeschoolers: Maple Sap Tapping

Come join other homeschoolers at Minnewaska for a sap-seeking journey! Mid-February and early March is traditionally when sap is collected for producing maple syrup. We will search for and tap sugar maple trees along the intersection of the Old Warwarsing Turnpike and Jenny Lane Footpaths, in the site of a former farming community. This program is recommended for children between the ages of sevento ten years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. As always, well-behaved younger siblings capable of participating are welcome to join us. This program will meet in the Awosting Parking Area. Pre-registration is required.

Thursday, March 6, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership Lecture

Climbing and Conservation in the Gunks. With Mohonk Preserve Director of Conservation Science John Thompson and Mohonk Preserve Research Associate and climber Joe Bridges, Ph.D. With a rich climbing history, today the Gunks are a world-class climbing area, offering some of the best climbing in the U.S. on over 1,000 routes. Learn about the evolution of Gunks climbing, including the “clean climbing” movement, and successful partnership between climbers and conservation scientists to help protect Peregrine Falcons on the ridge. This lecture will take place at SUNY New Paltz, Lecture Hall 102. No pre- registration is required, free of charge.

Saturday, March 8, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Sugaring Down the Old Turnpike

Come join Park Educator Nick Martin to explore a section of the old Warwarsing Turnpike, the former highway that predates the current Route 44/55, to the site of a vanished mountain-top community. Learn how to identify sugar maple trees, how sap is collected, and how to make maple syrup at home. If there is sufficient equipment, we will tap a sugar maple, with traditional maple sugaring equipment that perhaps residents of this community may have used. This outing is approximately one and a half miles long with a sustained hill on the return trip. Participants should be prepared for muddy or snowy conditions, with appropriate footwear to keep their feet dry. Meet at the Awosting Parking Lot. Pre- registration is required.

Tuesday Treks:

This series of outings is being offered every second and fourth Tuesday of the month from September through the following May. It is designed for people who are home during the week, such as retirees, stay-at-home parents, or people with weekdays off from work. The series will offer outings led by a park naturalist.

Tuesday, March 11, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Tuesday Trek: Snowshoe the Peter’s Kill Area

Join Laura Conner, Environmental Educator, for this picturesque two-mile long snowshoe outing in the Peter’s Kill Area of Minnewaska, located one mile east of the main entrance. This route, which features scenic views and a streamside trail, does include several hills, some fairly steep. Snowshoes may be rented from the Park Office for this program. Meet at the Peter’s Kill Park Office. This outing will be offered as a hike if snow conditions are poor. Pre-registration is required.

Sunday, March 16, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Classic Cross-Country Ski Clinic 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Skate Cross-Country Ski Clinic

Vic Izzo, Professional Ski Instructors of America member, former ski racer and high school cross- country ski team coach of 18 years, will be leading two cross-country ski clinics here at Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The clinics, which are open to skiers of all abilities, will focus on helping participants improve their skiing technique through the use of basic drills and instructional tools. This class is dependent on snow conditions. At the request of the instructor, videotaping of these clinics is not permitted. There is no fee for this clinic. Meet at the Wildmere information kiosk. Pre-registration is required and class size is limited.

Saturday, March 22, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Spring Wake-Up Hike from the HeightsOn this approximately six mile hike, join Nick Martin, Park Educator, for a search for signs that spring is springing! This modestly strenuous hike will take participants on a loop of the High Peter’s Kill Footpath and the Awosting Falls Carriage Road. Hikers’ hard work will be rewarded with numerous scenic vistas, along a quiet footpath and culminate with a visit to the 65-ft. Awosting Falls on the return trip. This outing includes narrow sections of trail with numerous hills and rocky footing. All participants must come prepared to spend the day outside, with appropriate footwear, enough food and water for the outing. Dependent upon conditions, snowshoes or ice gripping devices may be necessary for this hike. Pre-registration is required.

Tuesday, March 25, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Tuesday Trek: Jenny Lane Long Loop

Join volunteer naturalist, Eric Van Deusen, who has over 25 years of experience exploring in the ‘Gunks, for an approximately five mile long hike along Jenny Lane, Blueberry Run, Mossy Glen and Wawarsing Turnpike footpaths. This route traverses an area of the Park Preserve that was heavily burned by the forest fire of 2008 and has since bounced back remarkably well. This hike is challenging and does include two stream crossings. Meet at the Awosting Parking Lot. Pre-registration is required.

Sunday, March 30, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Gear 101 in the Gunks with Eric Van Deusen

Are you confused about the abundance of choices available for outdoor gear today? If so, you’re not alone. Eric Van Deusen, experienced hiker and Minnewaska volunteer, will share his vast knowledge about rain gear, backpacks, hiking boots, jackets and all those new-fangled, technical fabrics. He’ll bring gear in to show participants and he’ll help you figure out how to make useful purchases that won’t cost a fortune. After the presentation, join Eric for a leisurely hike along the Beacon Hill Loop. This three mile hike traverses cliff edges nestled in the spring woods as well as easy walking carriage roads. Meet at the Nature Center. Pre-registration is required.

For more information and to register for programs, please call the Park Preserve Office at 845-255- 0752. The Park Preserve is open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. until March 9th, when the closing time will switch to 7:00 p.m.

The fee for parking at Minnewaska is $8 per car. Once trails are groomed for cross-country skiing, a per-head trail fee will be charged instead. The trail fee is: $6 per adult and $5 per junior. Snowshoe rentals are available at the park office at $15 per adult and $14 per junior for the day and $5 to join a public program.

All fees are subject to change. There are no additional fees for public programs, unless noted otherwise. Minnewaska State Park Preserve consists of approximately 23,000 acres of wild and scenic land located on Route 44/55, five miles west of the intersection with Route 299 in Gardiner, New York.

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