Tag Archives: Fahnestock State Park

Charcoal Burners/Perkins/Fahnestock Loop

“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.”

-Thomas Jefferson

“Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter.” – Amit Ray

“A few simple tips for life: feet on the ground, head to the skies, heart open…quiet mind.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

Yesterday, 5/20/17, I was able to experience a beautiful 6.2 mile hike around a section of Fahnestock state park. After several days with temperatures in the high 80’s with matching humidity, today proved to be much cooler. As I parked my jeep, I noticed a couple of raindrops on my windshield. Since I hadn’t heard about any rain, I checked my cell and it confirmed what I had thought, no rain for at least 120 minutes.

Of course within 15 minutes later it started to rain and didn’t stop for well over an hour.

With that said, it was nice to hear the rain falling through the woods and it promoted a nice sense of isolation.


My pack and poles at the second juncture of the hike. 


Stay to the left on the yellow  marked Perkins Trail.


The view as you make your way through a farm.



A cairn to keep you moving in right direction.




A friendly face on the trail. He stared at me for a good five minutes…


In about one and half hours, you will be hiking along the far side of this lake.


The path moving downhill towards the stream seen in the picture below.


You get to hike next to this stream for about 1/2 mile.


This is a good place to take a break, drink some water and listen to the stream. (right after this you will climb a pretty steep hill so rest up!!!)


The Fahnestock Trail




More awesome hiking on a trail that says “peace.”

The Fahnestock Special (again and again)

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”

-Nhat Hanh
“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet”
-Nhat Hanh

One of the best things about hiking this time of year is you get to see the woods come back to life literally right before your eyes after a long winter. If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I have a 2.7 mile hike in Fahnestock State Park that I enjoying doing when I don’t have much time but have the need to get out on the trail. In the last couple of weeks I have done this hike several times and the change I have witnessed is nothing short of remarkable!

This is why I hike!!!


The Appalachian Trail


When thru hikers go to cross route 301, they will see this sign.


A waterfall after almost three inches of rain four days ago.


Quite simply-a dandelion.


Compare this to other pictures from the hike a couple of weeks ago. What a difference!!!!






The AT headed back to Route 301.


More of the AT.


Fahnestock in Spring

“I find that the three truly great times for thinking thoughts are when I am standing in the shower, sitting on the john, or walking. And the greatest of these, by far, is walking.”

-Colin Fletcher

I believe that I have noted before that one of the best things about hiking in the Hudson Valley is how the terrain changes along with the change of each season. Today is April 30th and as you can see by the pictures, winter is out of the picture and spring is here to stay.

Today’s journey was a familiar one in Fahnestock State Park. Although it is a pretty short hike at 2.7 miles, it was nice to get out since I didn’t have the entire day to spend on the trail. Once again I was lucky enough to have my daughter join me (even though she said she had homework to finish!) and that always makes any hike that much better.


The start and end to todays hike. You have to love the AT!


“Although the vast majority of walkers never even think of using a walking staff, I unhesitatingly include it among the foundations of the house that travels on my back.” -Colin Fletcher


Runoff from Canopus Lake in Fahnestock State Park. 


The view on the 3 Lakes Trail.


If you look closely at the water you can see the rain. It lasted for 10 minutes.



3 Lakes Trail


In a couple of weeks this short part of the trail will be transformed into a lush tunnel of green.



I have hiked by this section on the 3 Lakes Trail and have never seen any evidence of beavers until today.


More work by the beavers.


The beaver dam.


A cairn where the 3 Lakes Trail intersects with the Appalachian Trail. It seems to change every time I pass by it. 


The view on the Appalachian Trail.


Another view on the AT.

“Hiking and happiness go hand in hand (or foot in boot).”

-Diane Spicer

A New Years Special

“Days of high temperature are almost disposable. Time gets pureed in the swelter of it all. Cold-weather hours drags, days and nights become small epics. I welcome the bleakness!”

~Henry Rollins

“While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.”

-Tom Allen

“Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration.”

-Anamika Mishra

The last hike of 2016!!!! Since it was already 2:30 by the time I got to the trailhead, I decided to go ahead and do the quick loop in Fahnestock State Park.The loop ensured that I would get a good work out and more importantly, that I would be out of the woods before it got dark.

As soon as I came down off of Route 301, the sound of cars passing quickly disappeared and I was quickly embraced by the silence of the woods. I was lucky enough to be alone in my endeavor and I relished every minute I was out there. The sound of my hiking poles mixed with the crunch of the ice under my boots made for an interesting soundtrack as I made my way through the woods.

Although it was cold and the wind was blowing, the solitude was bliss!

Enjoy the photos!!!















Happy New Year and Happy Hiking in 2017!

Rare (weekly photo challenge)

What is it about this photo that is rare? The day this photo was taken, it was around 60 degrees with no humidity. In the state of New York in late July, this makes days like this very, very rare!



The Fahnestock Special-7/20/16

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”
-Frank Herbert

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.”
-Rosalia de Castro

“Let me live where I will, on this side is the city, on that the wilderness, and ever I am leaving the city more and more, and withdrawing into the wilderness.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Today was a perfectly glorious day in the Hudson Valley. When I started hiking at 6:45 am, the temperature was a cool and refreshing 58 degrees with absolutely no humidity. The sky was blue and if only for the wisps of white fluffy clouds, the suns brilliance would have been absolute. For an early morning hike on July 20th, you weren’t going to get much better than this. Mornings like this are a rarity in this area for mid to late July, with days usually being much warmer and humid than what I was faced with today. Instead of being confronted with a hazy film and endless bugs that thought I was a good source of protein, the slight breeze that was present made my eventual journey into the woods a positive one

Leaving the house, the sun was slowly rising as I made my way around Lake Mahopac. I was amazed at its brilliance, but with no humidity to hinder its ascent, the warm glow basked everyone who was out shortly after sunrise.



One of the  best things about hiking in Fahnestock State Park is its proximity to where I live. Traveling north on the Taconic State Parkway, it only takes 15 minutes to get from my front door to the trail head.

Parking alongside Route 301, the Charcoal Burners Trail makes a hasty retreat into the woods where it meets with the Perkins Trail (Y) about .1 of a mile after you start.




Slowly winding its way uphill, the trail snakes its way further and further away from the heavily traveled route 301.


If you have never done this hike before, you will be pleasantly surprised when you come out of the woods, turn left and begin walking on grass. It is a welcome change from the usual rocks and uneven terrain that are a staple of every trail.



As you walk through the grass, be prepared for your boots to get wet!!!


After a short distance you turn right and in front of you will be a gate. Make sure that as you make your way through this area, you stay on the trail as you will be hiking on private property.


Instead of being confined to a narrow rocky trail, once you pass through the gate the entire world opens in front you. Breathtaking in its scope, a myriad of photographic opportunities await as you take a moment to reel everything in.





As you continue hiking, you will see horses on your left and cows on the right. The trail continues on some really nice terrain, and even though the grass was wet with a cool morning dew, it was somewhat better than the trails we are used to in this area.


This was a great place to get some excellent pictures of the surrounding countryside. Without the summer haze that you would expect in mid July, the mountains in the distance were crystal clear. Even more interesting were the tractors, some dead and some alive, that seemed to inhabit the area. They added some nice character to the pictures that you see here.


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Continuing on the grass, follow the trail markings (not hard to miss) and you will make the hard left turn.

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After walking for another 10 minutes, you will eventually end up re-entering the woods. As with everything else, all good things must come to an end and the trail picks up exactly where it left off, in the woods.




Once you get back on the trail, you will see that it  heads downhill for probably about a mile, ending at a small bridge. If you were to do this hike in reverse, you would have a pretty long climb, so if you decide to do this hike, choose your direction wisely! This is also an excellent place to stop and rest for a little bit because you have a small climb ahead of you.





After crossing Glynwood Road, the trail heads steeply up hill for approximately 1/4 of a mile and then turns on to a dirt where you will stay until it heads deeper into the woods.


As the trail gradually slopes downward, you will see a lake to your right. Now  marked by Blue Blazes, this will continue to be the color of the blaze that you will follow for almost the rest of the hike.

As the trail winds around the lake, it begins a slow ascent back to the Charcoal Burners Trail where, one mile from the end of the hike, you can rest for a final time at yet another lake.

After you rest and get some good photos, cross the bridge and follow the blue blazes until they turn left. You will stay on the red Charcoal Burners trail until you reach Route 301.


Overall this hike is 6 miles long. Technically it isn’t a very difficult hike, but it does offer a couple of small climbs that will get your heart pumping. As you can tell by the pictures, it does, however, offer a wide range of scenery that will allow you to get some excellent photos.

Peace and happy hiking!!