Scenic Byway
Shawangunk Mountain Scenic Byway

ROUTES 44/55

  This 16.4 mile route across the Shawangunk Mountains begins at the intersection of Route 208 and Routes 44/55 at Ireland Corners. Drive west on Routes 44/55 through the hamlet of Gardiner. Antiques, jewelry, wine, flowers, gifts, hardware, restaurants and Majestic Park are all centrally located in Gardiner. Travel over the steel bridge that spans the Wallkill River and continue toward the mountains that stretch out in front of you. Pass the Route 299 intersect and the Bistro Mountain Store, and in less than a mile you will pass the Mohonk Preserve Trapps Gateway Visitor Center on the right.

  Go around the hair-pin turn and take in the view as you climb this classic mountain road for 10.4 miles. At the peak there is a scenic overlook offering expansive views of the Wallkill Valley. Back on the road, drive under the steel bridge and pass by the Mohonk Trapp’s parking area and entrance on the right. Continue along Routes 44/55, pass the Peter’s Kill recreation area on the right. A bit further up is the entrance to the Minnewaska State Park Preserve on the left. This parking area leads to the Minnewaska Carriageway to Lake Minnewaska and beyond that to the Coxing Kill. And, the Awosting Carriageways lead to Lake Awosting, Rainbow Falls and many pathways.

  Back on the road, you will begin to make your descent through the mountains where glacial boulders and conglomerate rock are interspersed throughout the forest. There are two scenic overlooks (one right after the other) on the right that expose magnificient views of the Rondout Valley and Catskill Mountains. Continue down into a residential area and eventually cross over the Rondout Creek. The road comes to an end where it meets Route 209. You can then go north toward Kerhonkson, Accord, and Marbletown or south toward Wawarsing, Ellenville and Sam’s Point. This inspiring drive will take you away from your regular routine, in any season, any day of the week. Enjoy the ride. Explore something new.

 

northern loop map

 

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Conglomerate rock, glacial boulders and pitch pine trees
Conglomerate rock, glacial boulders and pitch pine trees are signatures of the Shawangunks.
Rondout Valley and the Catskill Mountains
Rondout Valley and the Catskill Mountains in the distance from the Scenic Overlook.

Lake Minnewaska
Lake Minnewaska is a unique skytop lake surrounded by conglomerate cliffs.