Image   When I was younger, my friends and I used to head over to Minnewaska, hike to the falls, cliff jump, and sunbathe on the smooth rock.  As a busy parent of two littles, I haven’t been back in a long time for obvious reasons, and I truly miss it.  So, you can imagine how excited I was to hear of a toddler friendly swimming hole right in the Mohonk Preserve.  I couldn’t wait to try it, so over the weekend we packed up our suits and headed over to Split Rock.   Image   After stopping at the visitor’s center and speaking with the guide (you can read about our experience at the visitor’s center here), we felt pretty confident we could find Split Rock. We made a right back onto Route 44/55 and headed up the mountain.  We drove about a mile and a half before making a right onto Clove Road.  We drove less than a mile on Clove then made a right onto a dirt road leading us to the Coxing parking lot. Once there, we paid the attendant our admittance fee ($12 per person, kids under 12 are free) and headed across the street and picked up the trail.  After a quick walk through an open field, the path intersected with the meandering brook.  We followed the stream downhill, and the trees opened up to reveal Split Rock.   Image   Nature is truly a wonder, and Split Rock is the perfect example of it in its purist form.  Rocks in the formation of stairs lead you down the side of the waterfall to the crystal clear pools below.   The water is so transparent you can see the bottom of the basin which consists of smooth rock and sand making it the perfect pool.  The water is chilly but refreshing on a hot summer day.  It’s all too delicious to not immediately dip your toes in.   Image   We had a great time exploring and enjoying this beautiful site.  The girls splashed in the pools, built dams in the stream, and let the little waterfalls cascade over their toes.  Had the day been a bit warmer, we would have joined the brave few who ventured deeper to swim.   photo-1   A few things to consider… Although I was warned we might stumble upon some nudists if we headed further downstream, the only naked people I saw were of the toddler variety.  Also, the Coxing parking lot is rather small and can fill up quickly so an earlier start is better to guarantee a spot.  Also, bring water shoes or crocs to better maneuver through the water.  Lastly, plan to stay for the day because no one will want to leave!

 

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  We also enjoyed Croton Gorge for a toddler friendly hike and waterfall, and you can read about our trip here.

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