The Gunks Through Time is an illustrated history of the Shawangunk Mountains and its surrounding ridge and valley towns. Nearly 200 old and new comparative photographs reveal how The Gunks — both the ridge itself and the valley towns — have changed over the past century. The book is adorned with full-color images throughout and detailed captions packed with historical information.
All proceeds from sales of The Gunks: Ridge and Valley Towns Through Time will benefit The Mohonk Preserve.
The Gunks — Shawangunk Mountains — are renowned for stunning landscapes on and off the ridge in a region that has remained a favorite destination for visitors since the middle of the nineteenth century. While the mountain elevations are not high — nowhere exceeding 2,240 feet — they present rugged topography with glistening grey-white escarpments, jumbled boulders at the base of cliffs, deep crevices, as well as precipitation-fed “sky lakes.” Arnold Guyot, the first Professor of Geology and Geography at Princeton University, remarked in 1887 that “Few spots on our continent unite so much beauty of scenery, both grand and lovely, within so small a compass, to be enjoyed with so much ease,” a sentiment echoed by many today.
Framing the Gunks are the valleys of the Rondout Creek and the Wallkill River where one finds New Paltz, which lays claim to being “one of the oldest towns in America” because of the stone houses aligned along Huguenot Street, as well as quaint hamlets like Gardiner, Rosendale, Accord, High Falls, and Marbletown.