One of the benefits of living in upstate New York, is our easy access to some of the finest hiking trails in the state (some say, the country!) Another great benefit is if you are a NY state resident and at least 62 years old, you get free access to all the NY State Parks (and that includes Niagara Falls!) Today, we saved the $10 entrance fee to the lake. Yay!
Every fall, just as the leaves are turning, Nick and I head out to hike and spend the entire day at Lake Minnewaska State Park, a 22,275-acre preserve. Located in the center of the Shawangunk Mountains in Ulster County, NY the hike around the glacier lake is approximately three miles. You start out at the bottom of the lake and slowly hike your way around the lake to the top of the mountains, looking down on the lake. There are picnic tables and a grassy area up at the top of the mountain, so you can sit for a spell, have lunch, rest up and take in the great, magnificent views.
Here are some shots I took with my iPhone. Better quality shots are on my photography blog.
At the base of the mountain is an authentic German Restaurant (established in 1955) aptly called: Mountain Brauhaus. I find it fascinating that here in America, we can experience other places on the planet, sometimes without ever leaving our nearby home! The food is amazing and true to its fundamental basics. The atmosphere is authentic Germany, Austria, Switzerland…..take your pick. The mountains could have been the Alps. The beers are imported from Germany. The bratwurst is made on premises, as well are the breads, strudels and other hearty entrée’s. Just perfect comfort food after a day of hiking! (Note: we had a friendly waitress and were seated at a window that had a superb view of the mountains)
We started our meal with an Ayinger Oktober Fest beer. I had the bratwurst sandwich on home-made pumpernickel bread, sauerkraut (with tiny bits of bacon), real home-made potato chips, a side of cole slaw, a pickle and that fine German mustard. Nick had sliced roasted, fresh turkey with swiss cheese on an organic honey wheat bread (baked on premises) with the same sides as me. We finished off our meal with warm apple strudel with raisins and walnuts, a side of home made whipped creme and fresh blueberries. We shared a decaf. The bill came to $32. Well worth it!
It was another great day in our retirement life!