Grafton Lakes State Park, on the forested mountain ridge between the Taconic and Hudson Valleys, includes five ponds and 2,357 acres. Long Pond has a large, sandy beach, which is a popular summer attraction. Anglers can go after rainbow and brown trout in Long, Second and Shaver Pond. Pickerel, perch, and bass are abundant in all ponds including Mill Pond and walleye are found at the Martin-Durham Reservoir. All ponds have launch facilities for canoes, sailboats and rowboats, electric boat are allowed. Visitors also picnic, walk the nature trails, and hike, bike or ride horses along the 25 miles of park trails. In winter, the trails are groomed for cross-country skiers and snowmobilers, and visitors may also snowshoe or ice skate.
okay....dont listen to google for directions. If you are looking for the fire tower, take rt 2 to babcock rd and turn on fire tower rd. google was all over the place...including a quad trail. views from the tower are amazing. you can see vermont, mass and ny.
Easy hike to do with kids. More of a walk along a gravel road. The directions take you to a gate which is about a tenth of a mile from the fire tower. The trailhead and parking are along north long pond road not where the apps. Directions bring you
This really isn't too much of a trail per se; it's more a nice walk in the woods up a wide woods road ... easily wide enough for an vehicle. I brought 6 of my kids with me aged 4 to 12; they had no problems other than a grassy area at about the 1 mile mark that was very wet and quite muddy. When thru us off was that there wasn't a clear marking to turn off to get to the fire town ... just a gated road saying don't not block, emergency vehicles only ... we assumed this was something that was a "no go" area and kept walking until a half mile later I thought it felt like we went too far. We turned around an went up the access road, and sure enough there was the tower. It was very buggy at that time in the grass at the top and the grassy area around one mile. But lots of newts on the way down, and good time was had by all.
Our group of three set off from the parking area on Dunham Reservoir Rd to do the loop around the D. Reservoir: Double Bit to Johnson Rd to S. Dunham Trail. The Double Bit did not seem to be marked along the gravel road in any way, and we were a little confused and surprised to learn that we had to cross the Quacken Kill on marginally helpful rocks. 2/3 of us got at least one foot wet, so maybe should have gone with boots over toe shoes and hiking sandals (it was a cold, windy day in June). Once in the woods on the other side, we began seeing red trail markers on trees, so off we went with more confidence. We began seeing orange flagging hanging from trees, which in hindsight, may have been the way to go since it seemed to bypass the somewhat overgrown and unmarked trail that went around the perimeter of the peninsula in the middle of the reservoir. You could easily skip this if you don't want to bushwhack at all, but it was okay, and you certainly can't get lost since you're by the shore of the reservoir the whole time. Amazingly, we didn't pick up any ticks doing this. Once we got back to the more beaten path, the going was easy and the trail fairly well marked. We ate lunch at a fire ring on the shore not far off the trail, which was nice. We popped out onto Johnson Rd and found the entrance to S. Dunham easily enough. It was nice, but away from the lake, so less scenic -- maybe an argument for doing the loop in reverse if you want to end with the most scenic part and a stream crossing. The only unpleasant thing about this trail was that there were big patches where the trail was in a muddy ditch that the thick woods made it hard to get around easily -- another argument for sticking with Gortex boots. All in all, a nice loop that took us 3 hours with a leisurely lunch break and stops to double check GPS. Could be done in 2 +/-. The kayaking looks very nice, and we saw a solitary loon on the upper section. Nice!
Definitely not difficult. Very moderate. If you like hiking around lakes it's a good one. I suggest getting there early in the morning during summer months as the beach can get crowded and noisy. Pretty flat all the way around, as well. Good hike though! Lots of little side trails to have fun on.
I went mid-afternoon on a Saturday, the summer season had ended and while there were events going on the park was pretty quiet. My intention was to take the Long Pond (LP) trail from Eastern end of the beach to the Long Pond Connector (LPC) trail to the Nimo (NM) trail and finally to the Fire Tower (FT) trail. While the trails are pretty well marked, there were a few tricky spots. At the junction with the LPC trail, there were no trail markers, it was ground flags that caught my attention which eventually led me to seeing the blazes in the distance for the other trail. I reached a clearing that ran parallel with N Long Pond Rd which I expected to be the NM trail, but I didn’t find any blazes and the area north and south were very overgrown. I decided to follow N Long Pond Rd which is mainly used as a bridle path to the FT trail. The FT trail eventually leads you to a seasonal road where you pass a dwelling with a garage across the street. As you head further east, you reach a gate which no signage on the right, this leads to the Dickinson Hill Fire Tower. I would have passed this as well if not for two vehicle being parked next to the gate. The fire tower is 60 feet up and provides views great views in all directions.
It was a nice, easy hike. We were able to do it in our flip-flops. The path is full of roots that have surfaced and stones to watch out for.
There is kayak and canoe rental available. If you're looking to kayak in a double, consider coming earlier because there is only one available.
Dorothy S. on Spruce Bog Trail Loop
Spruce Bog Trail is one of my favorites at Grafton Lakes State Park. I do not think it is difficult but it is long as compared to most trails at the park. There is only minor elevation change in this section of the park. You pass through deciduous forest and pine stands. If you look hard enough you will see signs of animal life at the park. This is especially true in the winter. Snowshoeing is fantastic here. It would be more difficult to cross country ski but not impossible only due to the rocks and tree roots that are exposed when the snow is light. There are two new trails that connect with Spruce Bog and they are a nice side route. Spruce Ridge loops to come back onto Spruce Bog. Beech Nut is an in and out to White Lily Pond.
There are many options to return to your car without having to return via Spruce Bog.
This is not a short hike, plan on staying for several hours. Stop for lunch at the boat launch at the north end of Long Pond or take Beech Nut and have lunch at White Lily Pond.
The last time I went it was very cold and some snow on the ground. We wore spikes and did not snowshoe. We hiked a little over 7 miles and it took about 5 hours, but we stopped for lunch, photography and rest stops.