Hiking at Shaupeneak Ridge – White and Purple Trails to the Waterfall

The everlasting snow was finally melting away when on a nice March Sunday I went hiking at Shaupeneak Ridge Cooperative Recreation Area with Fresh Air Parent and a group of friends. Shaupeneak Ridge is a 790 acre recreational area in the Town of Esopus in eastern Ulster County, New York. It offers more than seven miles of easy to moderate hiking trails with several overlooks and beautiful scenery. At the end of the Purple Trail there is a cascading waterfall that was halfway frozen when we hiked to it. The Red Trail has a nice overlook over the Hudson River.There is Luisa Pond at the top of the ridge with an easy trail that loops around the pond. The Green Trail is a mountain biking trail.

Shaupeneak Ridge trail guide map at the start of the White Trail.
Shaupeneak Ridge trail guide map.

A Winter Hike on the White and Purple Trails to the Waterfall

This time I took the White Trail about halfway. The full White Trail is 1.63 miles long in one direction and it climbs up the mountain to the lookout on the Hudson River, where it meets the Red Trail. I turned onto the purple trail and did the whole thing!! All of the 0.10 miles one way. The White Trail ventures through a meadow and then into a thin forest. The White Trail is the hardest in this recreational area because it climbs onward and upward. The Purple Trail goes alongside a hill and then opens up to an icy waterfall. We climbed up to the frozen sides of the waterfall and tried to peak under the ice. We could see the waterfall through a hole behind the ice but we could not fit our cameras in to take a picture. The waterfall is beautiful in the winter with all the ice formations. But imagine how refreshing it must be during a hot summer day hike.

The cascading waterfall at the end of our hike on the Purple Trail at Shaupeneak.
The beautiful waterfall at the end of the Purple Trail at Shaupeneak.

On our way to the waterfall we saw beautiful scenery and even a few trees and plants fighting the cold to keep their leaves.

A small tree with a few leaves on it that was next to the White Trail.
A small tree with a few leaves on it that was next to the White Trail.

The whole hike was mostly straight with two uphill climbs, but not too steep. If you go in the winter make sure you are careful because the trails are icy and it is very easy to slip. As I was hiking I saw a dog paw print in the mud that was frost lined! Look out for all of the amazing things in nature as you hike and enjoy the great outdoors!

A frost-lined paw print in the mud.
A paw print in the mud on the trail.

Below I have included some of my favorite pictures of the Shaupeneak Ridge hike. Enjoy!

The winding, icy hiking path on the Shaupeneak White Trail.
The winding, icy hiking path.
Water falling in graceful droplets at Shaupeneak.
Water falling in graceful droplets at Shaupeneak.

I hope you enjoyed this post and make sure that you check the hike out! This hike is faily easy and very enjoyable in any part of the year. Please comment to tell me some other awesome hikes or outside activities. I would love to hear from you! :)


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