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The 14,086 acre Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park is located in Putnam and Dutchess counties. This beautiful state park has over 50 miles of hiking trails, including nearly nine miles of the famous white blazed Appalachian Trail.  The state park is a popular stop for thru hikers of the 2180 mile National Scenic Trail. 

The trail travels on the western side of scenic Canopus Lake as well as coinciding with a park trail for a short time.  For more information on hiking on the Appalachian Trail, check out Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Hikes in the Mid-Atlantic States - Maryland Pennsylvania New Jersey New York and Appalachian Trail Guide to New York-New Jersey

The original land of about 2,400 acres for the park, was donated in 1929 by Dr. Ernest Fahnestock as a memorial to his brother Clarence.  Clarence Fahnestock, Ernest's brother was a Harvard graduate, died in the post-World War I influenza epidemic while treating patients with the disease.  Check out the East Hudson Trails Map for more information on the trails in this area. Look below for more information on the many hiking trails in Clarence Fahnestock Memorial  State Park.

Located off NY 301 as well as the Taconic State Parkway, just south of I-84 and west of US 9,  Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park is easily accessible for everyone.  Check out the NY State Parks website or the NY-NJ Trail Conference website for more information on this scenic state park.  The NY State Parks website has a real nice Park Trail Map.

How do I get to Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park?

Canopus Lake

Hiking Trails at Clarence Fahnestock State Park

Appalachian Trail (8.9 miles) - The AT travels on the western side of Canopus Lake as it meanders thru the park, following park trails briefly.

Cabot Trail (1 mile) - A short side trail leads to a viewpoint over Jordan Pond.

Charcoal Burners Trail (3.3 miles) - This trail follows a ridge and provides access to the Cabot Trail as well as the Perkins Trail. 

Catfish Loop Trail (4 miles) - This trail gives hikers a chance to explore the different terrains located in the area all on one trail.

Candlewood Hill Trail (2.5 miles) - This trail ascends, sometimes steeply to the 986 foot summit of Candlewood Hill and 360 degree views.

Clear Lake Scout Reservation Trail (4.4 miles) - This trail meanders east of the AT near Clear Lake.  The trail does travel in some wetlands.  The trail is sometimes referred as the Blue Trail.

East Mountain Loop Trail (1.5 miles) - This trail travels over East Mountain with access from the School Mountain Road Trail.

Fahnestock Trail (5.4 miles) - This is the main east to west trail north of NY 301. This trail has a very steep climb to the top of Round Hill, which provides long views of the Hudson River.

Moneyhole Mountain Trail (4.1 miles) - This trail travels over Moneyhole Mountain.

Old Mine Railroad (1.7 miles) - This trail follows the rail bed of a Civil War era mule drawn railroad used to haul iron ore. The trail is quite level, with only one short rocky hill after it leaves the rail bed.

Peekskill Hollow Road Trail (6.0 miles) - Follows an old road that runs parallel with the Taconic Parkway for much of its length.

Perkins Trail (3.7 miles) - This trail travels along rolling ridges and through hilltop farm fields with a few nice views, and then a long descent to a scenic stream. Be sure to leave all farm gates through the fields as you found them (open or closed).

Pelton Pond Nature Trail (0.9 miles) - This is the most used trail in the park. Located across NY 301 from the park office, it is a level, easy and scenic stroll around a pond. There is a pavilion built by the CCC, a restroom, and a picnic area. A side trail leads to the Nature Center, which is open in summer. No dogs are allowed on this trail.

School Mountain Road (4.1 miles) - This old road gives hikers access to numerous other interior trails. Some hikers use the trail to create a lovely 7.5 mile loop with the Fahnestock Trail over Round Hill and East Mountain Trail over East Mountain.  You can find this great hike in the 50 Hikes in the Lower Hudson Valley guide book as well as below from the NY-NJ Trail Conference.

Trout Brook (0.4 miles) - This trail gives access to the Wiccopee Trail from near the end of Trout Brook Road.

Three Lakes Trail (4.3 miles) - This trail begins at NY 301 and crosses the AT as well as Sunk Mine and Dennytown Roads.  The trail meanders past three lakes in the park.

Wiccopee Trail (1.8 miles) - This trail is a scenic, however lightly used connector trail between the Charcoal Burners Trail and School Mountain Road in the northernmost section of the park.

Here's a few of the more popular hikes in the park according to the NY-NJ Trail Conference website:

  1. Catfish Loop Trail (4.9 miles, easy to moderate)
  2. Charcoal Burners/Cabot/Perkins/Fahnestock Trail Loop (7.2 miles, moderate)
  3. Round Hill/East Mountain Loop (7.5 miles, moderate)
  4. Three Lakes/Appalachian Trail Loop from Dennytown Rd (5 miles, moderate to strenuous)
  5. Appalachian Trail/Blue Trail (Clear Lake) Loop from Route 301 (6.3 miles, moderate)
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