Catfish Loop via Appalachian Trail

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Clarence Fahnestock State Park

Catfish Loop via Appalachian Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Putnam Valley, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 597 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This is a nice walk in the woods, but no spectacular viewpoints to be had. There are a couple of moderately steep inclines along the way (and a very short rock scramble), which will make sure you get your exercise. Park at the area on Dennytown Road where the Appalachian Trail [AT] (white) crosses the road. Cross the road to where you will see the trailhead sign for the Catfish Loop Trail (red). In a few yards, bear left and then straight to stay on the AT, which descends, only to begin a moderately steep ascent (with a few switchbacks) to a ridge which the AT then follows for a while. At 1.2 miles, turn right onto the Catfish Loop Tr (red), which begins a descent, passing an intersection with the Moneyhole Mountain Tr (yellow) at 1.5 miles. You start climbing a bit, and reach an occluded view to the north and west at 1.8 miles, at the point where you do a bit of rock scrambling. The trail once more descends, reaching an occluded view of Catfish Pond (on your left) at 2.2 miles (at the point where the trail turns north). At 2.7 miles, you start climbing again, and you will see some impressive old stone fences. At 3.3 miles, there is an occluded view of Duck Pond on your left. Around 3.8 miles, you climb to another ridgeline, and cross another intersection with the Moneyhole Mountain Tr at 4.3 miles. After descending from this plateau, you close your loop at 4.6 miles, turning left to return to the parking area.

rocky
scramble
10 days ago

great run. many interesting trails can get confusing. zero mud. very fun

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
scramble
17 days ago

Fine trail for a morning quick hike, some nice rocks and little uphills, not much views. But very quiet in the morning which was nice!

very hot and sunny as the leaves are yet to come. on the easy side of moderate

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

nice hike. lots of rocks. no good views

hiking
bugs
off trail
1 month ago

Narrow paths at times.

hiking
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

Beautiful trail. Not a soul in sight the whole hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail for the end of summer/ early fall. Takes about two hours, and you’ll be sure to break a sweat. No views, but on the plus it’s shaded enough to stay cool and it gets a great breeze. Saw a copperhead sunning on the trail by some blueberry bushes (my first in 20 years in the HV). Might recommend keeping your pups close!

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Not a bad trail but as others have said before me no views. Scrambling up the rock pile was fun but lots of hills. Sighted some bear scat so be “bear aware.”

hiking
Sat Apr 06 2019

Emerald mosses lined the trail. Quiet and ice age boulders were a great snack spot.

hiking
Wed Mar 27 2019

Not my favorite hike. Like every other one I’ve done at Fahnestock it suffers from a lack of excitement. Just one view of far-off Storm King Mountain. No waterfalls, no caves, no dramatic cliffs. A few streams and that’s about it. Good stretch of the legs - nice and quiet. I followed the Catfish Loop all the way around. Did not take the AT as this route shows. Also did the hike counterclockwise rather than clockwise as shown here.

hiking
scramble
Mon Mar 11 2019

Fresh snow made this hike beautiful! I imagine most of the AT is gorgeous.

running
Mon Feb 11 2019

Average for the area. Lots of hidden rocks, a few soggy crossings, not many views, virtually no wildlife, signs all over the place talking about ticks, boundaries, ... Tried it as a trail run in February but not much fun. Figure on an hour or so. Positives: part of the AT, saw only one person with a dog, well maintained, good parking, yeah it's a loop.

hiking
Sun Dec 30 2018

Fairly easy trail, no views on main trail. Extra star for taking the Chimney Top trail where the view is at the top.

hiking
Sat Jun 02 2018

Good close by trail. Good variety of terrain.

hiking
Sat Nov 25 2017

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
Sun Aug 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.

Wed Jul 26 2017

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

Sat Apr 22 2017

Very nice and peaceful.

hiking
Thu Apr 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

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