Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts. This 14,086 acre park, covering land in Putnam and Dutchess counties, boasts hiking trails, a beautiful beach, picnic areas, scenic campground, and abundant opportunities for boating, hunting, fishing, and birding. The park is also home to the Taconic Outdoor Education Center which provides high quality environmental programming and Fahnestock Winter Park which includes 15 kilometers of groomed trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, and an area for sledding. Did You Know? Fahnestock has 79 campsites. The large beach at Canopus Lake is the jewel of Clarence Fahnestock Memorial Park. Its sandy shore and nearby picnic area are enjoyed by thousands of bathers. In addition to swimming, campers and day trippers can fish in or tour Canopus Lake by row boats which are available for rental by the hour or the day. Visitors with their own boats must obtain a Regional Boating permit at the Park Office. Fishing by boat is permitted at Stillwater and Canopus Lakes. Fishing at both lakes and four ponds is excellent in all seasons for anglers seeking bass, pickerel, perch or brook and rainbow trout. Please note that all freshwater fishing requires a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This permit can be obtained from town halls and many sporting good stores. The scenic campground, formed along the park's natural rock ridges, provides alcoves of privacy and tranquility for campers. Each of the 80 campsites has a picnic table and fire ring. Additionally there is an area for RV camping. Although there are no hookups available or dump station, restroom and shower facilities are centrally located to all RV and tent sites. Individuals, as well as larger camping groups, are welcome. The campground's nature center houses environmental displays and a variety of touch boxes. On weekends, park staff organizes hikes and craft activities. Movies are shown on Saturday evenings for the enjoyment of all campers.
I spent a few hours just walking around the trails and there are some beautiful views of the lake. Plenty of activities at the park for families to do as well. I parked by the beach (there was an entrance fee) and started on the eastern most corner of the lake. Within the first mile you can reach a spot with an amazing view.
I enjoyed the trail. not strenuous. peaceful. easy to get to.
started at Dennytown rd hiked to 301. my brother and I camped out one night. saw 5 or 6 fire pit campsites along the way only a few taken. Didn't encounter any dangerous wildlife besides one black racer midday. more of a moderate hike made strenuous with our 40lbs camping packs. over all a pleasant experience.
The Three Lakes - Appalachian Trail loop is a good 5.5 mile track. It is labeled as Moderate to Strenuous by the NYNJTC, but I would call it more moderate. The Three Lakes trail is well marked. The Appalachian Trail section at the northern end could use some more markers or repaint the current ones. Note that the bridge crossing the stream at John Allan Pond is out and you have a choice of using a bridge of two logs tied together or stones laid in the water. The trail offers good views and you get to see two beaver dams - and all of the stumps that they have left behind. All together - a good hike. Will return in summer for a different view.
There are many trails in this park, all well maintained. I added a link to the trail map below. I followed a loop trail recommended by "Best hikes Near NYC". You can find my route in the uploaded tracks section. It starts off at the parking lot at the southwest tip of Canopus Lake, follows white AT trail north, then blue, red, white (reaches Jordan Pond), yellow, red (cross the road), blue (reaches Hidden Lake), and finally back on white AT. The AT portions had some nice rock face and forest. The rest of the trails were just okay. Even though you climb a ridge top, there's really no panoramic view points since there are so many trees. The whole trail is nice, but nothing spectacular. Good as an easy workout, though. (UPDATE: Just found out the name of this trail is Fahnestock Circuit, it's one of the suggested hikes on the official state park trail map.)