10:15 AM start
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
Clarence Fahnestock State Park - Sign for Hubbard Lodge
2920 Rt 9
Cold Spring, NY 10516
Begin the hike by proceeding ahead (east) along the paved road for about 500 feet. As the paved road curves left, continue ahead on a grassy road, soon reaching a gate. Here, the white-blazed School Mountain Road and the blue-blazed Fahnestock Trail begin. Continue ahead along the road, following the white and blue blazes (which are rather sparse along the road). Soon, the road crosses two streams on steel-plate bridges.
After passing stone pillars on the left and crossing another stream on a steel-plate bridge, the blue-blazed Fahnestock Trail turns sharply right, leaving School Mountain Road. Continue along the blue-blazed trail, which parallels the stream, following an old woods road. In 0.2 mile, the woods road leaves the stream, and about half a mile from School Mountain Road, the Fahnestock Trail turns left, leaving the woods road, and begins a rather steep climb of Round Hill on switchbacks.
At the top of the steep climb, the trail reaches a west-facing viewpoint amid red cedars, with the intersection of Routes 9 and 301 directly below, and Bull Hill (Mt. Taurus) in the distance. This is a good place to take a short break. The trail continues up the cedar-studded ridge of Round Hill, climbing gradually.
After following the ridge for about half a mile, the trail turns right, descends slightly into a shallow ravine, then climbs more steeply and follows a winding path to reach a viewpoint from a rock ledge just below the summit of Round Hill. The view here is to the southwest, with the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson River visible in the distance on a clear day. This is another good spot for a break.
After climbing to reach an east-facing viewpoint over the hills of Fahnestock State Park, with Route 301 visible below and a communications tower to the right, the trail descends rather steeply to reach a woods road in a valley. The trail follows the woods road as it bends left, climbs over a rise, then descends gradually.
Continue on the Fahnestock Trail as it levels off, crosses a seasonally wet area, then climbs gradually. After a short, steep climb of a rock ledge, the trail passes a west-facing viewpoint through the trees and continues to climb steadily to the crest of another ridge. There are some east-facing views on the way up, but there are no views from the wooded summit, marked by a large lichen-covered boulder.
The trail now begins a very gradual descent. After crossing a stream and climbing over a low rise covered with mountain laurel, the trail continues to descend, soon reaching a junction with the yellow-blazed Perkins Trail. You've now gone a little more than halfway along the hike.
Turn left at this intersection, leaving the blue-blazed Fahnestock Trail, and follow the yellow-blazed Perkins Trail, which descends on an old woods road to cross a stream, then continues through an area with many stone walls. It bears left at a fork and continues to descend along a cascading stream, reaching its terminus on School Mountain Road. Turn right onto School Mountain Road, cross a dilapidated wooden bridge, then immediately turn left onto the red-blazed East Mountain Trail.
Follow the red-blazed trail along a woods road bordered by stone walls, passing an abandoned farmhouse to the right. Soon, the road begins to descend. At the base of the descent, it crosses a stream on rocks in an area in which relics of the former agricultural use are abundant. The area is criss-crossed by a series of stone walls, and just beyond the stream crossing, rusted iron parts (probably from an old farm wagon) may be seen on a rock to the right of the trail.
The road now begins to climb, passing a stone foundation to the left. Near the top of the rise, follow the red-blazed trail as it turns left, leaving the woods road, and begins a steady ascent of the ridge of East Mountain. After bearing left at the crest of the rise, the trail continues along the summit ridge to reach a panoramic east-facing viewpoint just below the summit. The view is over the Fishkill Ridge, with South Beacon Mountain (marked by a fire tower) and North Beacon Mountain (the site of several communications towers) directly ahead. This is another good location for a break.
The red-blazed trail now begins a steady descent, with Round Mountain (which you climbed earlier in the hike) visible through the trees to the left. On the way down, you'll cross a number of stone walls and follow old woods roads for part of the way. At the base of the descent, three red blazes mark the end of the East Mountain Trail. Continue ahead, crossing a stream on wide logs to reach the white-blazed School Mountain Road. Proceed ahead (southwest) on School Mountain Road, which immediately crosses another stream on a dilapidated wooden bridge.
Follow School Mountain Road through a pleasant valley for about a mile and a half, paralleling a wide stream for much of the distance, and crossing a number of steel-plate bridges along the way. When School Mountain Road ends at a gate, continue ahead on the paved road to return to the starting point of the hike.
$1.00 fee for this event - Well behaved dogs are welcome -
Will update with phone number as we get closer to the date.
Potential Post Hike Gathering at Whistling Willie's to enjoy happy hr half price refreshments and appetizers at the bar. Continuation of the Mars and Venus discussions