Ferncliff Forest in Rhinebeck

This should be an easy hike.  It features a fire-tower you can climb to get a view of the horizon.    Here is a link to their website:

http://ferncliffforest.org

Although, the following hiking review provides better information about the trail:

http://hikethehudsonvalley.com/ferncliff-forest


Directions:

Here is more information for getting there.     Important, from the South, do not approach from Rt 9 through Rhinebeck as you will get greatly delayed by Dutchess County Fair traffic.

You can use  this link  to see a street view entrance to the Forest.  Click on "Return to Map" in the lower left hand corner to return to a map where you can get driving directions.

Because of the Fair traffic, most should be approaching from the North.  Here are two pictures showing the entrance on the right just before you get there and then from directly in front of the entrance. 

Approaching the entrance on the right:

Directly in front:



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  • Courtney

    Courtney and I enjoyed meeting all of you. We could not have asked for a better donkey hike. It was great seeing how all of you worked together to encourage the donkeys to squeeze through the gates.

    August 27

  • Rosita C.

    Great event, thank you all!!!! Nice people, perfect weather, good park choice and cute brays!!!!

    August 27

  • LarryF

    I have uploaded a video of Flame entering the trail system (and Flint saying no way I'm going in there) to http://youtu.be/E49Wc0a7Bjk

    1 · August 25

    • Steve S.

      Carol, your suggestion to whomever was leading Indy leader is one of the reasons why you merit the Jennet level. :-) This reminds me that one thing I should have done, particularly since we had some extra time waiting for some members to arrive, was to take them back and forth through there a few times to reinforce the lesson. You guys have had some real good opportunities to understand the donkey pysche... one aspect being that they are very cautious and not innately stubborn animals. Our goal as leaders is to get each donkey to develop the confidence in us that Dakota has in her mom (of course, there's also the not wanting to be separated thing going on there too which is why I will sometimes tell you all to go ahead so as to try and encourage a lagging donkey along).

      August 26

    • Nancy

      You mean we all have to be like their Moms, show no fear, makes sense.

      August 26

  • Nancy

    Great pictures, great day, great people, great brays, who climbed the ladder Flame:)

    August 26

    • Steve S.

      They all would have gone up I'm sure... but, alas, the sign said, "No pets"... um, that's the only reason though. :-)

      August 26

    • Nancy

      Right:) thats what you and they are sticking with:)

      August 26

  • Cleone von E.

    I sent a little note on my experience but I don't see it posted anywhere. It was a lovely walk and the donkeys were perfect. Cleone

    1 · August 25

  • Nick De S.

    Excellent

    August 25

  • dorothy

    Wonderful day. I so enjoyed meeting everyone. The donkeys are a joy to be with. Photos to follow later today.

    August 25

  • Jan D.

    Enjoyed the walk today! Perfect day with nice people and of course our little four legged friends whom without all of this wouldn't have happened! !

    August 24

  • Jan D.

    Enjoyed the walk today! Perfect day with nice people and of course our little four legged friends whom without all of this wouldn't have happened! !

    August 24

  • Rosita C.

    Hello from Atlantic City!!! just kidding, I got home OK. Thank you all for a great event.

    August 24

  • Rosita C.

    it was great, wonderful people, nice weather, very enjoyable all together.

    August 24

  • Rosita C.

    If I understood all my helpers I will be going 199 to 308 to 103 to Mt Rutsen. Thank you all, please let me know if I am wrong.

    August 23

    • Terry S.

      Rosita,

      August 24

    • Terry S.

      I'd stay off 308. Just take 199 from the Taconic to 103 (River Road) to Mt. Rutsen Rd.

      August 24

  • Marge B.

    Wish I could have joined you but that's the last day and matinee performance for the Coach House Variety Show. I'll be "hoofin" it in a different way!!

    August 23

    • Steve S.

      Since we can't join you, you'll have to perform your opening act at our next walk! Break a leg. :-) Wish I could catch the show.

      August 23

    • Marge B.

      We got good reviews last night!! Hope tonight goes as well! I'm the opening act so it was a bit scarey!!!!

      August 23

  • Rosita C.

    Now seriously. I have never been there and i would be devastated if I can't find the group. Is there an specific point, or specific characteristics of the place we meet? well...I know the donkeys are pretty obvious but my question is how to find them. I am coming from New Milford. Thank you.

    August 21

    • Steve S.

      Good catch, thanks, Terry!

      August 22

    • Rosita C.

      Thank you all, I hope i don't en in Canada, I always say that. :)

      August 23

  • Rosita C.

    Thank you Larry!

    August 22

  • Cleone von E.

    Great. I will be coming with Jan and Nick. See you on the 24th

    August 22

  • Rosita C.

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    I can't guess this one!
    Sorry for the silly joke of the day.
    This is one the Google explanations, Carol was right.

    August 21

  • Dace

    I had to cancel . I hope that someone from waiting list can join now.See you another time.

    August 20

    • Steve S.

      Aww, that's too bad. We haven't had the pleasure of your company in a while. Hope the foot is better and we'll catch you soon. Donkstock 2014 is coming up, so watch for that!

      August 21

    • Dace

      Steve , my foot is OK , it was bad in spring(somehow you have mixed the time). I have been for 2 or 3 meetups this year and I really love donkeys and all the nice people who come to those meetups. It is just that I have some friend coming over who I have not seen a long time. Sorry .

      August 21

  • LarryF

    If you have read the hike description linked above at hikethehudsonvalley.com you have already seen this advice, but if not: If you tend to be bothered by mosquitoes or other insects, make sure bring insect repellent on this hike. I walked these trails this week, and there were definitely more bugs than I have seen on any other recent hike.

    August 21

  • Amy D.

    Apologies, but we are backing out...after two weeks vacationing up in Delaware/Ulster counties, we really do need to get back to the City and real life. We would love to come to the next one though.

    August 21

    • Steve S.

      No problem, Amy, there should be plenty more opportunities before we break for the year. We'll catch you on a following walk. :-)

      August 21

  • Nancy

    Ppfm

    August 21

    • CarolDewar

      Google it. Almost all of the top hits are: Principles and Practices of Financial Management

      August 21

    • Steve S.

      That's it, she's got work on her mind and really needs a break to walk with the donkeys! :-) (I think Rosita's guess sounds pretty good too)

      August 21

  • BobH

    Something came up for Sunday so I hope to see the donkeys next time.

    August 20

    • Steve S.

      Hi Bob, sorry to hear but will look forward to seeing you and Yvonne again on a future walk.

      August 21

  • Dace

    What about Esopus trails ? Or there is park near Ellenville with trails? I walked once there , there was huge parking lot. I just don't rememeber the name of that park.

    August 14

    • Steve S.

      Hi Dace, there are some trails in Esopus. Black Creek isn't good because of a narrow suspension bridge at the beginning that the donkeys don't like. I tried and couldn't get past the bridge. (I think it might actually be the sound of the rushing water below that bothers them). Shaupeneak Ridge might be one that we can do. Someone scouted it for me a while back and I got the impression it might not be good, but I don't remember why now. There is also the John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary, which based on the name ("Burros") should be perfect for donkeys. :-) I walked it many years ago but don't recall now if it's suitable.

      August 18

    • LarryF

      There are definitely trails which are quite nice and would be suitable for the donkeys at John Burroughs Slabsides. The main problem there would be parking. Some of the trails there have small wooden bridges over and puncheon through swampy areas, so you would have to avoid those trails.

      August 18

  • Steve S.

    Can one of you confirm that this the correct location for the entrance to Ferncliff Forest? https://www.google.com/maps/@41.957494,-73.920149,3a,75y,240.94h,79t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sGlUkhpfNTc0qxfAaw6tiRA!2e0

    Larry, if you go and can get some pictures of the parking, that would be very helpful to me, plus I can post them in the event info to help people better find it.

    One thing... the Dutchess Co Fair runs through Sunday. Do you think this will have any effect? It may clear the trail as people will attend the fair rather than the trail. But, it's like to increase traffic in the area.

    August 18

    • LarryF

      Yes, that is the entrance. You can see the gate that I described straight ahead. I took a couple of pictures at the entrance to the trails but don't see an option to upload pictures for this event yet. I'll email them to your personal email address.

      August 18

  • Terry S.

    What about Ferncliff Forest in the Town of Rhinebeck? They allow horses there.
    http://www.ferncliffforest.org/Photos/Gallery/index.html

    1 · August 14

    • Steve S.

      Larry, you've been on enough of these now that I trust your judgement and so lets plan on the Ferncliff Forest. I also checked out some info I found about the trail that included pictures and it did not appear to have any donkey-stoppers... that is, except for the fire-tower which is something I expect only our short-ear members to climb. :-)

      August 18

    • Steve S.

      Terry, thanks very much for this suggestion. It's nice that it's in Rhinebeck too as we have some members that this is more convenient for.

      August 18

  • BobH

    South section of Harlem Valley Rail Trail to keep it in Dutchess County.

    44 South Center Street, Millerton, NY 12546

    August 12

    • Steve S.

      Ehhh, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail rules say "no horses". That's always a tricky one for us. Technically, we're equines and not horses. To apply the same logic in reverse, that's like saying if they allow dogs, we could bring wolves, or more analagous, jackals or foxes. From a practical level, they're probably concerned about people riding horses, but unfortunately, I've run into the trail "police" (official and unofficial) on other trails that get anal and don't make the distinction. I was stopped on one trail being told I couldn't bring the donkeys on while a Great Dane, larger than any of my donkeys, walked right by. Just for giggles though, I'll contact them just to see what type of person (anal or practical) we get.

      August 13

    • Steve S.

      I got a response from the Dutchess Country Director of Parks who said that we need to fill out an application and acquire insurance to bring them on the trail.

      August 14

  • Nick De S.

    I understand the total distance to the point is 5 miles from the DEC parking lot off Platt Cove Rd. That would be 10 miles total walk/hike if you want to reach the point for the view and return. There are some steep hills on this trail and a stream and muddy areas to cross. It has been rated Easy by some and Moderate by others . I believe it is approximately 40 miles from Port Ewen to the trailhead parking lot. I vote for Poets Walk this time and maybe we could do Huckleberry Point in the fall when its cooler.

    August 13

    • Steve S.

      I like the idea of introducing more challenging trails and getting into the Catskills. For the next two walks though, I'd like to keep them at an easier level so that more can get involved. But, I'd like to try and work in a more challenging one occasionally as long as people know beforehand what they're signing up for. So, Poet's Walk might be a good trail for the next one or the one after that. I'm still also looking into some other suggestions for some trails in the Saugerties area and I'll post info about that option soon. What I should do is start collecting a list of trails so we can keep track of our options.

      August 13

    • Steve S.

      I also like the idea of trying to get down south for some walks although, surprisingly, the last one didn't really draw a a greater number of our southern members, so I'm not as concerned about that diversifying the locations geographically,

      1 · August 13

  • Steve S.

    I think it's awesome that so many are getting involved in picking the trails. Many of you are now familiar with the needs of the donkeys and it helps me a great deal and makes it better for everyone because your options aren't limited to my knowledge and time constraints scoping things out.

    August 13

  • BobH

    I do not know the capabilities of the donkeys but maybe the Huckleberry Point Trail would be good?

    2425 Platte Clove Rd, Elka Park, NY 12427

    August 13

  • Dace

    If it will be at Poets walk I would want to go.I signed up. but If it is somewhere really faraway I will have to cancel .Just let me know soon enough when you have choosen the trail ,like I don't want to take a spot if I will not be going.

    1 · August 12

    • Steve S.

      Hi Dace... Poet's Walk has been suggested several times and I believe we will end up there but I'm not sure if it'll be this walk. It seems like it might be a bit on the short side, but I'm still investigating. We could use some short walks thrown in.

      August 13

  • Steve S.

    Hey everyone... needed to take a couple days off. Will start focusing now on scheduling the location for this event and future events. Thanks for all the suggestions! Very much appreciated.

    August 13

  • BobH

    1/2 hour north at:

    Poet's Walk Park
    740 River Rd
    Red Hook, NY 12571

    or 1 hour north at:

    North section of Harlem Valley Rail Trail
    park accross from: 86 Under Mountail Rd. Copake, NY 12516

    August 12

  • LarryF

    Look at Scenic Hudson's Falling Waters Preserve in Saugerties, http://www.scenichudson.org/parks/fallingwaters. Normally those trails might be suitable, but the web page indicates that there has been some recent storm damage. Dog walking (on leash) is listed as an allowed activity, and those are just big long eared dogs that you are planning to bring, aren't they?

    August 1, 2014

    • Steve S.

      Hi Larry, we've already discussed this at our past event and I've received some more info from Alan too which I'm reviewing. Just wanted to publicly acknowledge and thank you for your input.

      August 5

  • Dace

    How about Hurley rail trail? Starting from entrance where Rt 209. It is cleared trail, no fallen trees. People go there ,but it is never crowded. Need bug spray there for sure.

    August 3

    • Steve S.

      Hi Dace: Thanks for this recommendation. This one might be a perfect candidate for one my mid-week walks. For those, I'm looking for something close that I can check out for a future walk for the group.

      August 5

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