We have three hikes restored so far on our property in addition to offering guided hiking on any number of off-site hikes. Menla’s hikes are the easy Waterfall-Medicine and Naga Trails as well as the intermediate-difficult Metta Trail. A number of lost trails remain to be restored, the ongoing project of our spring and fall Volunteer Trail Restoration retreats (see Retreats).
A mild enjoyable hike that takes one behind our water-filtration building along the Pantherkill Stream towards its source (not all the way to the source), crossing the stream in three places and looping around the inside of the southwest corner of the back of Menla’s property. This hike is the shortest and easiest one at Menla and is appropriate for older guests or people who essentially want to go for a walk in the woods, rather than get a serious workout. This trail is marked with white flairs.
A slightly more challenging but still easy trail leading from the mouth of Eva’s pond partway up the northern ridge and then descending back to Menla’s property, follows the Pantherkill stream, until it intersects the Waterfall-Medicine Trail. This trail is marked with blue flairs.
The most challenging hike on the Menla property, but yielding the best view, is the Metta Trail leading to Lookout Point, where one can sit and enjoy a partial view of the Catskill Mountains. This trail is quite steep at times, takes about 45 minutes each way, and is not recommended for people with physical limitations. This trail is marked with blue flairs.
Giant Ledge Hike
An even more rewarding nearby off-site hike and a local #1 favorite, this experience takes about 4 hours for the Giant Ledge hike, and about 6 hours for the Panther Mountain Summit hike, looking down upon Menla at the peak. At both Giant Ledge and Panther Summit, breathtaking vistas reveal the awesome beauty of the Catskills east of Menla. This trail is not accessible from Menla and requires one to drive off campus to get to the trailhead.
“You know that thing when you think you soul might be finally crushed for good and the nameless, wordless, friendless dread of the city has sucked you dry? Well, this place has the cure. You can help with the grounds and garden, you can yoga and meditate, you can get the best massage in 48 states, you can eat the most delicious vegetarian cuisine, and my favorite, walk the trails and paths through bubbling brooks and over rushing waterfalls and regain your spirit and feel the beat of your heart in time to nature.”
“Great place overall. Beautiful grounds, excellent service and friendly staff and well-maintained rooms/property. Also the food was awesome, creative and unique. Great experience, very relaxing and tranquil overall, if your looking for a retreat from the city!”
“Please thank all the staff for the kindness and care of service to us. It was felt by ALL. It allowed us to provide a nourishing container to the women who came to our retreat, all of whom are doing some form of service work out in the world be it in the arts, in social justice, in climate change,in philanthropy, in healing trauma, and in caring for people’s physical and emotional well being. We all need time to replenish!”