Did you know that Ellenville is the hang gliding capital of the northeast U.S.? There are a number of schools from which to choose to learn the sport. If you’re harnessed in, you’ll have a free hand to snap a photo of yourself while gliding over green mountain ranges, with blue skies and white clouds in the background!
It’s the highest point of the Shawangunk Mountains, rising more than 2,200 feet above sea level. When you reach the level rock outcropping, the expansive views of forested valley make a great backdrop. The trek along the hiking trails through Sam’s Point Preserve is well worth the effort.
It’s the most challenging hole on the course at Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa, and one of the roughest in the metropolitan New York area. But Hole 8—also called “Spirit”—is also quite scenic. Snap yourself here, framed by pine trees, after driving the ball 417 feet, or if you manage to sink your shot in Par 4.
The final hole on this nearly 100-year old course is also the most beautiful. You’re surrounded by gentle green slopes, mature trees, and mountain ranges. This hole backs up to a small, sleepy historic cemetery, with headstones dating back to the 1830’s. Old legends recount the ghost of a little boy walking through it; maybe he’ll be in your shot!
Before it was a trail, this route served a railroad, and before that, it was the D & H Canal, built in the 1820s to bring coal from Pennsylvania to New York markets. If you start your hike or bike on this trail off Route 209 in Ellenville, you’ll access a well-manicured paved stretch with open views of the Catskill Mountains. You can get a great shot on the bridge over Esopus Creek.
There are many scenic backdrops throughout this 22,000-acre protected nature preserve. Find the 87-foot tall Stony Kill Falls in the northwestern section of the preserve, or the 65-foot tall Awosting Falls. Peter’s Kill Falls are shorter, but empty into a scenic swimming hole. For sky high views, hike up to open rock slabs of Gertrude’s Nose, which offers broad views of the Wallkill Valley to the east and south.
A section of this 35-mile trail runs through Ellenville, alongside the white cliffs and waterfalls characteristic of the Shawangunks. Want a wildlife shot? Head to Basha Kill Wetlands, the largest freshwater wetland in southeastern New York, and home to more than 200 species of birds. Among other wildlife, you may get a glimpse of an eagle or heron in your shot!
This old carriage road, now used as hiking trail, was named after the original owners of Mohonk Mountain House. It’s the longest in Minnewaska State Park, taking you from Ellenville to Lake Awosting. You’ll get great shots under the shady trees!
Now formally known as the Sundown Wild Forest, this protected acreage used to be part of the Lundy Estate, owned by a wealthy New York City restaurateur. Along the forested trails, you’ll come across cold-water streams, old stone walls, and a lot of wildlife.
This could be a fun trick photo! The Boy statues were created in 1875 by the J.L. Mott Iron Works in New York City. Very few survive, so spotting them has become the lore of roadside attraction aficionados. If you crouch in the foreground, you could get a photo of your head under the spout of water flowing from the tip of the boy’s boot.