The Shaupeneak Ridge is part of the Marlboro Mountains, a hogbacked group, or series of slanted hills, that extends for 25-miles from Newburgh to Kingston. While this mountain’s summit is 892 feet, this range has several peaks that reach over 1,100 feet and separate the Hudson River Valley to the east from the Wallkill Valley to the west.
The park has about 9 miles of trails and 936 acres of land that permit hiking, mountain biking, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, dog walking, fishing, hunting (by permit), and boating. Multiple parking lots provide visitors several activity access points, many trail length and grade options, and various topographies to explore. Its name is Native American, of Munsee Lenape origin, and thought to mean "waterfall on the prominence."
Shaupeneak Falls is located on the mountain’s eastern slope, and it can be accessed by the White Trail followed by the Purple Trail. The primary viewpoint to the Hudson River is located near the intersection of the White and Red trails. This land was heavily used for tanbark harvesting and farming over the past two centuries, and the remains of former property lines are represented by rock walls throughout the property.
The Marlboro Mountains each share similar geological characteristics that have a sharp rise on their eastern face and a gentle slope toward the west. Sediments deposited in this once shallow marine environment during the late Ordovician period (approximately 450 million years ago) make up the land’s geology. A layer of hard sandstone and quartzite cap the ridge and have naturally resisted erosion.
Scenic Hudson purchased the land in 1994 along with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the West Esopus Landowners (a local sportsmen’s group). Many mountain tops throughout this region are being bulldozed for homes and development, and the results isolate and scatter natural ecosystems while inhibiting growth and natural habitats. The Shaupeneak Ridge represents the successful efforts of individual citizens who seek to preserve and conserve the native land. Become a member of Scenic Hudson to join an active group that advocates key environmental legislation and pressures developers to scale back massively oversized developments.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.