With its extraordinary Shawangunk crags, cliffscapes, and sky lakes, Minnewaska State Park Preserve rivals America’s national parks for scenic inspiration. Historic carriage roads and footpaths thread through a rare and enchanting forest on the ridge, making the park’s wonders accessible to everyone.
And now, thanks in part to $3 million raised by OSI, the Lake Minnewaska Visitor Center offers a central location to welcome and guide visitors as they set out to explore the park. Completed in 2020, the center improves overall public access to the park by familiarizing visitors with all of the park’s scenic destinations, providing upgraded visitor amenities, and guiding visitors to new opportunities for walking, running, hiking, biking, cross-country
skiing, and more.
Giving every visitor the full Minnewaska experience
The new visitor center makes it possible for park explorers to:
• learn about Minnewaska’s offerings, meet friends and get tips from park staff
• refresh themselves and refill water bottles
• warm up before heading back out into the park
Telling Minnewaska's story
Minnewaska’s beauty speaks for itself. But not everyone knows its storied history. With the Visitor Center, visitors will learn more about:
• modern-day conservationists defending the ridge against threats
• visionary Americans finding transcendence in nature
• rock formations and forests filled with wildlife and rare plants, including dwarf pitch pine.
Designed to Protect the Environment
The Lake Minnewaska Visitor Center features elements that minimize the building’s environmental impact to reduce disruption to wildlife, protect water quality, and harness renewable energy.
The building’s sustainable features include:
- Bird-friendly glass to reduce bird strikes. The visitor center windows and doors have a special UV-reflective coating that is visible to birds while remaining nearly invisible to humans.
- Rain gardens to manage stormwater runoff. Rain gardens planted with native species collect runoff and help filter out pollutants, recharging groundwater.
- Natural ventilation. A computerized ventilation system automatically opens and closes the building’s windows, controlling the building’s temperature and air quality while also saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.
- Passive Solar. The building’s orientation and shape maximize seasonal exposure to the sun to keep the building warm in the winter. In the summer, a large roof overhang provides shade.