Gertrude’s Nose is a stunning hike in the Hudson Valley that features rocky outcrops, diverse terrain, and panoramic views. The “nose” is a gorgeous rock formation, but incredible landscapes line the entire trail. Lush trees extend far beyond the cliffs with unbeatable views over the region.
This hike is one of my favorites, despite going on over 100 hikes in the past year. It exceeded my expectations. Although the trail can be challenging at points, it is accessible for hikers of all levels. A dazzling hike 🥾, dense forest, and mountainous terrain make this trail unforgettable. If you’re looking for a wonderful day adventure, look no further. You can read below for a detailed trail guide.
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Table of Contents
Gertrude’s Nose Hike Details
Quick Hike Overview
Length: 6.7 miles
Elevation: 1,141 ft
Gertrude’s Nose Location
Gertrude’s Nose is located within Minnewaska State Park Preserve, about 70 miles from New York City in the Hudson Valley region. The park is situated on the Shawangunk Mountain ridgeline ⛰, a rugged and beautiful landscape.
The nearest city to Gertrude’s Nose is New Paltz, New York, which is a good place to stay if you are visiting the park. To reach the Gertrude’s nose trail, take a left after the entrance booth and a left at the next junction. Drive up the hill and you can park at the Visitor Center to take the path that starts at the back of the building. The trail 🪧 for Gertrude’s Nose starts at the far end of the lake and climbs up into the mountains.
Things to Know Before You Go
💵 Minnewaska State Park entry costs $10. You must pay at the entrance station. Also, reservations are required for parking on the weekends during the peak season from May 1st through October 31st. In order to make a reservation you can go onto https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com.
☀️ Weather changes quickly when you get into the mountains. Make sure to be prepared for inclement weather as you hike on these trails.
⏰ Minnewaska State Park Reserve has strict opening hours from 9 am- 5 pm daily. You cannot be in the park outside of those hours.
⛺️There is no camping or lodging within Minnewaska State Park. You can find lodging in nearby towns or further in the Hudson Valley.
🐻 You will find the largest density of black bears within this park. So make sure to stay bear aware and make loud noises when hiking on the trails. Use the rule of thumb when viewing wildlife, so that you stay the correct distance away.
🦮 Dogs are the only animals allowed in the park. You must keep them on a leash of no more than 6 feet at all times. They are not allowed in the buildings, but are allowed on most hikes within the park.
🍃 Remember to follow the Leave No Trace Principles. As always, you want to leave nature looking better than you found it.
Gertrude’s Nose Route Options
There are three options to get to Gertrude’s Nose:
1) You can go clockwise on the right path and complete a loop.
2) You can go counter clockwise and complete the loop the other way.
3) Or you can choose either the left or right path go directly to Gertrude’s Nose and return the same way.
I recommend choosing one of the loop routes, so that you can see the diverse landscapes. These trails will take you through woods 🌳, by the lake, and over rocky cliffs. We definitely enjoyed doing the counter clockwise route, and we thought it was well worth it!
Gertrude’s Nose Trail Description
I completed the counter clockwise trail, so I will explain the path based on that route. You’ll begin on the red path. This trail starts off pleasantly as you meander down the hill and onto a gravel path. It travels past a nice bathroom house, and continue on the right side of the Lake Minnewaska shoreline.
As you get to the far end of the lake (about a mile in), you’ll see signs for the yellow trail that point you into the forest. After about 1 mile, you will then see a sign for “Gertrude’s Nose Footpath” and markers will be red again. You’ll continue into the dense woods for a fair amount of this part.
This hike can be confusing, so I recommend downloading the map before you head out.
Again, you will continue for about 2 miles until you get to the heart of the hike. The trail opens up to jagged cliffs, crevices, and beautiful rocky outcrops. You can spend time exploring this part and soaking in all of the magnificent views 👀. Continue until you get to Gertrude’s nose.
Then, you have a couple of options. You can turn back the way you came or continue the loop. Again, you will walk for another 2 or so miles until reaching the shores of the lake. You can walk along either side of the lake to return back to your car.
Best Time of Year to Go
Minnewaska State Park is open year-round, but Gertrude’s Nose trail is only accessible from spring through fall 📅. The exact dates that the trail is open change every year, so I recommend you check the website for updates.
The Gertrude’s Nose trail is beautiful at all times when it is open, so it depends on your preferences. In the spring, you’ll see flowers 🌸 blooming and leaves returning to the trees. Summer can be hot, but the trees are full of leaves and the lake is open for swimming. While, Fall offers stunning displays of orange and yellow foliage. No matter what time of year you choose, you’ll be blown away.
Gertrude’s Nose trail is located in the mountains and features many cliffs. So, you must be prepared before setting off on the trail. Make sure to pack the 10 essentials including items like a first aid kit and a map 🗺. It’s important to check the weather forecast, because storms roll in quickly in the mountains. If inclement weather is in the forecast, it’s best to stay at home. To ensure a safe and enjoyable hike, here is a list of gear that you should consider bringing with you:
- Comfortable Hiking Boots
- Hiking Poles
- Small Pack
- 3-4 Liters of Water
- Snacks and Food
- First Aid Kit
- Bug Spray
- Hat to block sun
- Rain jacket or light winter jacket
- Satellite phone
- Downloaded Maps
Gertrude’s Nose is one of the most stunning trails in the Hudson Valley. As you hike along the cliffs, you’ll be awestruck 🤩 at the views that extend for miles. Feel on top of the world as you sit and take in the beauty around you. I hope you fall in love with this trail like I did.
Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed Gertude’s Nose trail guide!
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