2017, Day Hikes, Hudson Valley

July 29, 2017: Lake Awosting – Meditative Hike & Swim

Bask in Some of NY’s Greatest Views and Cool Off in a Glacial Lake

What We Love

  • Swim in a glacial lake
  • Open views of stunning cliffs
  • Lush and colorful forests
  • Visit a local farm stand
Photo credit: Discover Outdoors

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After arriving at the beautiful glacial Lake Minnewaska, we’ll warm up with three miles through the lush and mystical forests high above the Palmaghatt Ravine. We’ll take in the sweeping views of Gertrude’s Nose and the Hudson Valley as we make our way to the cliffs of Hamilton Point.

Our next stop is Lake Awosting, where we can take a break by the calm waters and jump in for a quick swim while we enjoy lunch.  After our rest, we’ll turn to off our gentle carriage roads and join the wondrous Shawangunk Ridge Trail out to take in views from Castle Point and Litchfield Ledge, stretching out to the Catskill Mountains.  We’ll return back to our trailhead via a moderate carriage road and enjoy some final views before our ride home.

We’ll integrate sitting and walking nature meditation throughout the hike.  Some examples of practices may include the following, but actual practices will vary based on location and weather.

  • Sensory and Tactical Awareness
  • Non-Conceptual Awareness: Letting go of existing concepts and focus on direct experience
  • Expansive Awareness: Dissolving into the sky
  • Four Elements: Contemplating the elements of air, earth, water and fire
  • Tree Meditation

Most of the hike will be observed in silence.  John Muir said, “In every walk in Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”  Silence is a critical ingredient for introspective and transformative experiences.  Turning our attention inward allows us to become receptive to both of our outer and inner experiences.  Allow your senses to come alive and watch your sense of separateness falls away in nature.  The dynamic outdoor conditions will be a perfect container for mindfulness practices.  As we become intimate with the natural world, we become intimate with ourselves.

Perfect for: Fit, new hikers up for a challenge, intermediate and experienced hikers looking for a relaxing day.  No prior meditation experience needed.

When: 7am-6:30pm, Saturday, July 29, 2017

Where: Minnewaska State Park, New York

Registration Fee: $105.  We are partnering with Discover Outdoors for this hike.  Registration fee covers transportation, an expert trail guide, and park permit.  It also covers a portion of dana for teachers and New York Insight.  At the end of the trip, if you are moved by the experience, additional dana is appreciated.

Based on the size of the van, only 12 spots are available per trip.  There will be a waitlist once these spots are filled.  If you decided to drive to meet us, you will make more spots for others to join and pay $70 ($35 less).  As soon as you register, please email info@beinginthewild.com to indicate that you’ll be driving so we can inform others of additional availability.  Please read the refund and cancellations policy.

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Jon Aaron has been a teacher at New York insight since 2006. His principal dharma teacher has been Matthew Flickstein of The Forest Way. He trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and is a certified teacher through the CFM. He has taught over 50 cycles of the seminal curriculum as well as numerous courses for alumni of the program. He completed the Integrated Study and Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. He is the co-guiding teacher of the Makom Meditation Havurah program at the Jewish Community Center. He is a certified Somatic Experience Practitionertm and has most recently completed the teacher training in Mindfulness for Pain offered by Breathworks in England.

Lin Gordon has practiced insight meditation in the last six years. Her principal dharma teachers have been Jonathan Foust of Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Mark Coleman of Spirit Rock, and Jon Aaron at New York Insight. Inspired by Mark Coleman’s nature practices, she will complete Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Meditation in Nature Facilitators Training in the fall of 2017.

Trip Details

Meeting Location and Time:

Meet at Paragon Sports, Broadway at E. 18th St. (Union Square area)
Meet at 7am, leaves at 7:15am, returning at 6:30pm

Drive to Meet Option:

Have your own transportation? If you would prefer to drive yourself, you can select the “drive to meet” option at check out.  You’ll meet your guide at Rock and Snow in New Paltz, NY at 9:15 AM.  From there, you’ll follow the van about 15 minutes to the Minnewaska State Park parking area. Please note there is a fee to park.

Pack List:


  • Your lunch
  • Ample snacks
  • At least three liters of water
  • A backpack
  • Bathing suit and lightweight towel if you’d like to swim
  • Sitting props if needed (thermal rest z-seat pad, light yoga block, etc.)


  • Comfortable athletic clothing
  • Hiking boots
  • Hat
  • Jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses


  • Expert guides
  • Transportation
  • Park permits


  • 7 miles, mostly on carriage road

Intensity Level

  • This trip is rated Level 4 by Discover Outdoors.