Rock doc: Steve Weinman’s Shawangunk trail guide

Steve Weinman at Hamilton Point (photo by Kyle Weinman)

Steve Weinman at Hamilton Point (photo by Kyle Weinman)

Twenty years ago, when Dr. Steve Weinman wrote his 68-page non-profit pocket book A Rock with a View: Hiking, Biking and Skiing The Shawangunk Mountains, he had no idea that the trail guide would sell by the thousands and he would be able to donate over $20,000 in proceeds to Family of New Paltz, the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Fund.

Now in its fifth edition, the book – with all the classic local trails intact, like “Millbrook Mountain via Footpath,” “Sunset Path to Minnewaska,” “Stony Kill Falls” and “Bonticou Crag,” plus many others, from a leisurely stroll to a strenuous hike – has now added treks like the fifteen mile trail to Mud Pond and Verkeerderkill Falls at Sam’s Point Preserve. “That’s a strikingly beautiful place. It’s a challenging combination of hiking and biking to reach. But when you get there, it’s all yours,” says Weinman, who walks/hikes/bicycles the mountains as much as possible when not working at his office, the FirstCare Walk-In Medical Center, an urgent care facility in Highland.

The idea for the book came to the New Paltz native in 1995, when he was working at hospitals in Colorado. He was hiking in the Rockies when he thought about the trail guides available in all the Colorado towns, “but not in the Shawangunks at the time. Climbing routes, sure; but no one had done hiking or biking trail routes for the Gunks.” So when Weinman returned, he contacted Bob Freeston at Canal Press of Rosendale and voilàA Rock with a View was born.

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“The book is very easy to use, with concise information, not a lot of fluff. It’s slim and portable. While there are a few drawings, and now photos in the ebook version, and interesting facts on the mountains, A Rock with a View is designed to get the reader where they want to go and give them enough information to know what to expect when they got there.” And to make things even simpler, A Rock with a View is now an e-book available from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and at NewPaltzTrailGuide.com. “You can view the book on whatever device you have and take it to the mountain,” adds Weinman. “There is also information about cross-country skiing, biking, and local accommodations.  There is also a section on where to go when it’s crowded, which it can be on summer weekends. ”

The physical book is available at the Mohonk Mountain House, Rock and Snow and the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz. It’s also stocked at the Mountain Harbor Deli in Gardiner, Handmade and More in New Paltz.

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