Explore the most popular river trails in Clarence Fahnestock State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This isn’t an easy hike! It requires crossing some creeks with no bridges and the trail is very muddy/wet in parts. Don’t attempt it without waterproof hiking boots.

That said, it’s a good hike. Very quiet and peaceful out in the woods, and I hardly saw anyone all day.

Like all the hikes around Cold Spring, it’s well marked with color tokens nailed to trees. Take a map at the trailhead, as the Alltrail route jumps around between different color trails a lot.

The first 3.6 miles are a general ascent on a good trail. The next two miles (a mile descent and mile ascent) is on an ok but less good trail that includes some mossy rocks that are slick when wet.

At mile 5.6, you reach a peak and have a big lookout area to the left of the trail. It’s a nice place to stop and have lunch.

Around mile 6.4, make a short detour to Beaver Pond. It’s beautiful and the trail goes right to it.

Miles 6.4-8 were my least favorite. The trail gets very narrow in places, with branches pressed against you on both sides. It was also extremely muddy.

Around mile 8, I decided to divert from this route and cut back over to the trail I’d walked up, rather than climb up Round Hill. The ascent and descent of Round Hill are by far the steepest part on this route, and a review here said it involves walking on big rocks. I knew the park’s rock surfaces were wet and slick today and it didn’t sound like fun. My rerouting didn’t meaningfully change the mileage, though it meant I missed some elevation. It turns out I could’ve also cut across further along on the “G” trail, as they’ve just lengthened that trail all the way to the “W” trail.

In case it’s useful, here are the full route’s colors: W, right on B, left on Y, right on B, B becomes R, right on B (but I recommend walking left on B a bit to see Beaver Pond), straight on R, right on G, left on B, left on W.

I like how it weaves together lots of different trails to make a long hike, which you can modify to make your hike easier or even harder.

The Three Lakes section is scenic and easy except in the very beginning. The AT half of the loop has steep climbs and not as much to see. We're not fast and we completed in under 3.5 hours. Next time I will take the side trail to look at the abandoned mines.

It was really nice and almost clearly marked for novice hikers but at the point where it loops back we got so lost we followed the blue dots across the creek which ended up being a different trail only realizing it when I looked at this app that we had gone way off the trail, we turned around and could not find our way back on the trail off course it was my first time using this app and didn’t want to pay for it not knowing if it’s any good so I used google maps gps to bush wack our way towards the parking lot finally crossing the return trail that now had white markers instead of blue. At the turn around point where we got lost an area almost appeared like there was a bit of a land slide cause the path pretty much disappeared into a bit of a cliff. It was great though. I will be buying this app

I don’t know who labeled this easy, but I would list it as moderate to hard. If you go right on the blue trail, you’ll go up two steep, rocky inclines. You never have to scale or anything, but the inclines are steep for a good mile or so. The views were worth it though. The walk down is much easier. I haven’t gone all the way around, I’ve cut across the green trail, which cuts about 3 miles out. There were a few boggy patches, but the trail showed recent signs of tree cutting and such, although some areas the brush was so tight to the trails it felt like a chute.

Good close by trail. Good variety of terrain.

wonderful trail around a pretty lake

Nice trail, highly moderate in some spots, easy in others. Scenic and quiet. Although it was a beautiful day, few people on the trail, just like we like it.

I really enjoyed this trail. Beautiful scenery and two beautiful lakes.

The creek on the AT off Sunken Mine Rd was too deep to cross; a section of the beaver dam burst.
Returned via blue trail.

hiking
9 months ago

Not a bad trail, just doesn't offer the views of surrounding hikes.

This is a nice trail with a few views now that the leaves are off the trees. Also added a part of CT Trail and that view is worth it.

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

After not feeling well for a few days this hike was the perfect medicine to feel better!! Took solace in the sound of birds and the breeze through the trees. Nice quick hike....pop unto the boulders for a beautiful view of the Hudson Highlands.

No views to see besides trees, narrow path, many rocks. OK.

hiking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Very nice trail. But if it has better view, it would be a 5 star.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

not sure why this trail was so well rated. The "waterfall" was nowhere to be found, and the trail was overgrown with grass so badly that we had to do tick checks every 10 minutes.

Also worth mentioning is the overflow on the main path in and out. I didn't plan to walk through water on my hike, and definitely didn't appreciate the wet socks...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Beautiful trail

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Very nice and peaceful.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

I love this trail. I usually go blue to yellow to white. Nice 7 mile loop with decent climbs and a nice simple walkout at the end. It is also very lightly trafficked, so if you want a little peace and quiet this is a great choice.

Nice long walk through nature and pretty lake view. The trail did not lead to any spectacular vistas, and even the hardest parts were not very challenging. I did find a tick on me so use bug spray! Overall, not bad; a good trail for beginners.

hiking
Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Easy to find from the parking lot GPS and clearly marked with blue blazes. We only made it halfway because the rain started coming down in buckets.

It may have become more moderate in the second half, but it was very easy except for a couple of small uphill stretches and one small scramble towards the start. Overall it felt fairly remote and far from suburbia, however, there were a couple of dirt roads running through. The topography changed throughout the hike - lake, dams, etc - which was nice and the trees were pretty. I wonder what the second half of the hike would have been like -- from the map it looked a little confusing as to which loop to take. Would go back and explore this trail and Fahnestock in general more.

camping
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Fun camping experience for our young kids.

hiking
Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's a great beginner trail. Got my wife out with me takes about four hours. Plenty of parking and some nice views

hiking
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Good trail. Use the many trails that intersect with it to make a nice "loop"

hiking
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Pretty good workout on this 6 mile loop. Varying terrain, with minor rock climbing as the trail runs up the rocks in 2 different places. Not too many good views, unless you like lakes, streams, marshlands, and a closed mine or two. This is backwoods with very little sounds, other than wildlife.

Nice, decent trail...some rocky terrain mixed with easy trails...we did the red trail, past yellow and turned right onto blue...it was between easy and moderate at times.

It's a great location - just 10 minutes from downtown Cold Spring.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

We took Appalachian Trail from 301, heading North, moderate hiking up hills and rocks. At approx 2 miles, we turned right onto Blue Trail , down rocky hill to beach and concession stand. Great workout for a day hike. Chose to return to car via 301 as we were pressed for time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This is the trail to take. The western section ridge runs and offers great views. This trail connects to many other trails and is a great stating place for a loop hike to start.

A good loop with an even mix of flat and incline. Depending on your approach you can start off with a few flat miles then head up the mountain and get some great views of Fahnestock and the Hudson Valley.

We did a slightly different hike combined with Charcoal Burners trail with a trailhead on NY-301. It was a very nice trail, and generally well maintained. The climbs were easy, but the combination we did took us through farm fields, which got my shoes soaked. Clove Creek was very attractive, as was the Beaver Pond adjacent to the Charcoal Burners trail.

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