The Labryrinth sounds like a wild amusement park ride. But it's actually a crazy, natural rock formation with a stone-built tower at the top.

And it's a 2-1/2 hour drive from Utica. Just another great COVID-19 escape in our Explore CNY series, even though this one qualifies more as an Upstate adventure, rather a Central New York one, since it's located in the Hudson Valley Region--only about 90 minutes from New York City.

It's a hike beginning at Mohonk Lake and rising to the top of Mohonk Mountain. Along the way, you'll hike partially on trails and roads and, at times, through a million-year-old rock formation called the Labyrinth. Sometimes you'll utilize wooden ladders that are built into the walls, sometimes you'll fit your body through tight rock tunnels and crevices, one of which is called The Lemon Squeeze.

Reach the top and a whole new experience awaits. Your maximum height at the very top would be 1,617 feet above sea level. And the views up there are spectacular. The Sky Top Tower is a rock castle lookout built in 1921. From its turret, you can see for hundreds of miles across the Shawangunk Mountains.

Be aware: there are fees associated with some of this hiking. For more information about the hikes, the lake, the rock scrambling, and the Victorian castle and spa known as Mohonk Mountain House, go to

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