Fahnestock State Park Region

Photo

A pastoral view at Fahnestock State Park. Photo by Daniel Chazin.
DescriptionThis region is centered on a large park in Putnam County of over 12,000 acres with a large lake and many ponds and streams.
Facts/Resources

52 miles of trails are maintained by 33 Trail Conference volunteers and member groups.

Find descriptions of great hikes in this region: click here.

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Trail Conference News: Bridge replaced on the Fahnestock Trail, giving access to other bridges needing repair.

This region consists primarily of Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, which is nestled in the wooded hills of northern Putnam County on the east side of the Hudson Highlands.  The park offers rolling terrain that is dominated by a series of ridges that tend to run from soutwest to northeast.  The overall elevation is higher than in neighboring districts, and snow may remain in the park later than elsewhere.

The Fahnestock area was once known for its thriving iron industry that began soon after the American Revolution. The iron ore was smelted locally early in the industry's development, but later was transported to the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, which made cannons used in the Civil War. Remnants of the industry and the settlements that grew up around it remain in the stone ruins of former towns, compacted woods roads lined with stone fences, trenches and pits now covered with more than a century's reforestation, and broken dams that had provided power to operate machinery.

After the industry died out the land reverted to farmland, but even farms were not economically viable. In 1900, Major Clarence Fahnestock began purchasing abandoned farms to create a gentleman's farm and shooting preserve. However, he perished in WW I. In 1929. His brother donated 2400 acres to the State of New York to create a park in memory of Clarence Fahnestock. By purchase or gift, the park has grown to over 12,000 acres.

The Appalachian trail traverses the region from southwest to northeast.

Parks in this region: