Site #12 Mohonk Lake


Thomas Cole, the father of the Hudson River School, made the Catskill Mountains famous with his dramatic paintings of them. So far as is known, only once, late in his career, did he venture into the Shawangunks, just twenty miles to the south. Left unfinished, his painting "Lake Mohonk" is one of only two known Shawangunk subjects by Cole. His view here is from the northern end of the lake—today the location of the boat dock of the Mohonk Mountain House—looking southeast past the lake's sheer rock walls at right and Sky Top Ridge at left to voluminous cumulus clouds, rising from the Hudson River Valley, which conceal the famous Trapps of the Shawangunks beyond. Cole compressed the space between the ledges to augment the impression of their height as well as the lyrical semi-circularity of the gap and its reflection in the water.

Plan Your Trip

Visit their Website

Admission Fee 
Day visitors pass $22-27 per person, $15 under 12 (check website for seasonal rates, family discounts)

Paid w/Admission 


Accessible with Assistance 
Meets some ADA standards and has some barriers. Many visitors with disabilities will require assistance

Open all seasons 
7AM - 4:30AM (May - Oct), 3:30PM (Feb - Apr), 2:30PM (Nov - Jan)


Map & Directions

Driving Directions: We recommend Google Map . Site coordinates: 41.76814 Lat., -74.15532 Long.

Location Notes: Mohonk Mountain House is a convenient 90 mile trip from New York City. The hotel and resort is located six miles west of the NY State Thruway near New Paltz, New York and is easily accessible by auto, train, bus, or air. After leaving the NYS Thruway at Exit 18, turn left at the traffic light onto Route 299/Main Street. Follow Main Street through New Paltz. Immediately after crossing the bridge over the Wallkill River, turn right (follow "MOHONK" sign). After 1/4 mile bear left at the fork and follow Mountain Rest Road and Mohonk signs to the Gatehouse. (NOTE: The Mohonk Gatehouse is located about six miles west of the Thruway Exit.) Stop at the Gatehouse or the Guest Services Desk and ask for a Mohonk Hiker's Map. The viewing location is to the left of the boat dock, near the East Porch of the Mohonk Mountain House.

Photography / Painting Credits

Thomas Cole. Lake Mohonk. Oil on panel, c. 1846, 20 ¼ × 30 1/8 in. Collection of Questroyal Fine Art, LLC.

William M Hart. Lake Among the Hills (Lake Mohonk). Oil on canvas, 1858, 40 x 60 in. Courtesy of the White House Historical Association and the Wikimedia Commons, 976.1225.1.

Janet Bachant. Lake Mohonk. Photograph, undated, 1024 x 819 px. Courtesy of Janet Bachant..

Thomas Worthington Whittredge. Skytop from Lake Mohonk. Oil on canvas, ca. 1865, 16 x 23 in (?). Private Collection.