When hiking the Catskills or climbing the Shawangunks, go to Mohonk Mountain House (www.mohonk.com), about 15 minutes outside New Paltz, New York. Founded in 1870 by the Smiley brothers (philanthropic, far-sighted Quakers), Mohonk is eastern North America’s answer to the Banff Springs Hotel. If it’s within your means, stay in this unique, beautiful, historic, lakeside lodge. Outside Magazine named it one of North America’s five best city escapes. Even if it exceeds your accommodation budget, visit Mohonk. A day pass will allow you to walk a 100-mile network of trails and carriage roads spiderwebbing through 7,000 forested acres. Immediately across the lake from the lodge is a short scramble route known as “the Labyrinth” that climaxes at “the Crevice” and leads to “Sky Tower,” which affords a panoramic view. While squeezing among the boulders, Kathy called the Labyrinth route “the miniature golf of mountaineering.” From the tower, you can follow the Eagle Cliff trail back down. Total round trip: about 45 minutes if you’re fit and agile. We also enjoyed walking around the lake, stopping at numerous, rustic, scenic gazebos. If you’re not dining at Mohonk, we recommend the superb, south-Indian cuisine at Suruchi, in New Paltz. You’ll find it on Church Street, just off Main.