Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, Putnam County, New York

YBS, Xi and I were interested in cross-country skiing or snow shoeing, so we headed north to Clarence Fahnestock State Park, which has a winter park featuring groomed trails and gear rental. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, close to 11:00 a.m., the man at the gate told us that the parking lot was full and that they had rented all the ski gear. Disappointed, we drove southwest on Route 301 a half mile and decided to hike a bit.

We started out exploring Conopus Lake, to the north of Route 301, joining a number of skiiers and at least one ice fisherman who were enjoying the lake, which had several inches of powder over thick ice:

Conopus Lake, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Conopus Lake

One of my roommates lent me his snow pant bibs, which came in very handy. I’ve never worn any before, but I enjoyed both the insulation and the waterproofing.

Sitting on frozen Conopus Lake, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Sitting on frozen lake

I try making a snow angel. Xi was a prettier snow angel, but I’m not sure that she wants me to post her photo.

Making a snow angel, Conopus Lake, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Making a snow angel

After an hour or so on the lake, we left and crossed to the south of Route 301, hiking southwest on the Appalachian Trail.

Appalachian Trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Appalachian Trail

After about three-quarters of a mile we stopped for lunch:

Lunch in the snow

Lunch in the snow

It was a sunny day, with a clear blue sky:

Blue winter sky

Blue winter sky

After a mile on the Appalachian Trail, we turned left onto a blue-blazed park trail, hiking roughly northeast back toward Route 301:

Blue trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Blue trail

Blue trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Blue trail

Even though Conopus Lake had been frozen, we did find a few streams that still had running water:

Stream in winter, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Stream in winter

Some tracks diverted southeast. This was apparently the green-blazed park trail, though at the time I didn’t see any blazes.

Intersection of blue and green trails, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Intersection of blue and green trails

We continued on the blue-blazed trail, however.

Blue trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Blue trail

A fallen tree:

Fallen tree, Blue Trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Fallen tree

Another fallen tree frames a depression:

Fallen tree, Blue Trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Fallen tree

We only hiked about 2.5 miles on the Appalachian Trail and blue-blazed trail, and maybe we covered another mile at Canopus Lake. It’s much harder work to hike in snow than on hard-packed ground, so even though we were only at the park about three hours and didn’t cover many miles, it was still a fun trip and a workout.

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