I drove north on the Taconic and turned west on Route 301, parking at the southern end of Canopus Lake.
12:10 p.m.: I hiked north on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, where in the course of a few minutes I met nine hikers, in five groups, heading south. I thought it would be one of those days in which I had no solitude, but my encounters with others waned after that.
12:23 p.m.: After 0.5 miles, I turned left (west) onto the blue-blazed Fahnestock Trail.
12:39 p.m.: It was a hot and humid day, so when I came to a large bare rock, I took the opportunity to rest a few minutes and enjoy a Clif bar.
12:57 p.m.: I appreciated the fact that most of my hike was on footpaths, rather than on old woods roads.
1:00 p.m.: There were a number of trees across the trails, but I don’t know if they fell recently (such as during last Sunday’s Hurricane Irene) or if they’ve been down a long time. I think I duck-walked under these two. In another case I was able to step over one, and in one case I sat on the tree and then swung my legs to the other side.
1:05 p.m.: After another 0.9 miles, the blue trail turned north and was joined (briefly) by the red-blazed Charcoal Burners trail.
1:12 p.m.: The trails then passed by Beaver Pond:
1:16 p.m.: After 0.3 miles, the red trail continued north, but I stayed with the blue trail, which now turned west once again.
1:33 p.m.: Mossy rocks:
1:51 p.m.: The trail curved, first turning north-northwest, and then southwest. The trail then passed by a large pond which the map does not name. Trees screened most of the pond from the trail, however. Here, a low stone wall afforded some contrast.
2:02 p.m.: After 1.7 miles, the blue trail reached an intersection with the yellow-blazed Perkins Trail. I continued on the yellow trail, which continued to the southwest. There is some private property in the middle of Fahnestock, and signs warned hikers to keep to the trails.
2:14 p.m.: After 0.5 miles, the yellow trail crossed Glynwood Road and reentered the woods, where this brand new bridge (with a dead tree wedged against it) crossed Clove Creek.
2:45 p.m.: The yellow trail then ran alongside the creek for a while. I stopped along the way for a late lunch.
2:57 p.m.: An old stone wall:
After 0.6 miles of running parallel to the creek, the trail turned south, away from the creek. The trail then doubled back toward the northeast.
3:21 p.m.: After another 0.7 miles, I came to a scenic view identified on the map, a bare rock that afforded a nice view of the countryside. The heat and humidity was again bothering me, so I rested here for a few minutes.
3:39 p.m.: The trail then led to a clearing, with the trail pretty much continuing straight through the clearing and through a gap in the trees on the far side.
3:40 p.m.: Another stone wall:
3:48 p.m.: After about another 0.6 miles, the trail led to another clearing, and another starred scenic view. This was not a single point, but an entire cleared hilltop that afforded a nice view to the north.
3:49 p.m.: Just beyond the second clearing was a gated fence, with blazes indicating a turn to the right.
A closer look at the tillers:
I first turned right in front of the fence, but after about 0.1 miles the path became too overgrown to follow. I backtracked to the gate and discovered that there was a yellow blaze on the inside of the gate, so I decided that I was supposed to hike inside the fence instead of outside of it. The map just showed that I was to hike south about 0.2 miles. I hiked south, and noted one or two blazes on fenceposts as I hiked, though I didn’t see very many of those blazes.
4:05 p.m.: After a while I didn’t see any blazes at all, but I continued following the fence until it ended. At that point, I saw a very impressive (and thick) stone wall. Obviously, if one clears a field, one has to do something with all the rocks.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know where to go from here. There were no blazes. The map showed that the yellow trail was supposed to turn left (east), but from what point? I had been following a fence bordering a huge field with ankle-high grass. I was probably supposed to turn east at some point, but I hadn’t seen any blazes on the fence post indicating a turn to the east, or any path through the ankle-high grass indicating a path.
So as I stood at the southern end of the field, this was the view toward the east. No blazes there.
To the south, an open gate led to an unmarked trail. I wasn’t terribly concerned about being “lost,” because the map showed that I was at the most 0.3 miles from a road, and I believed that if I found a trail to the east that I would soon encounter the road. I also knew that I could cross the open field to the east and find the road, but I didn’t like the idea of doing that, especially in an area that was private property.Not having much choice, I continued through the open gate onto the unmarked trail (which also did not show on my map).
4:13 p.m.: The trail turned east, the direction I wanted, and soon led to this horse corral.
As I walked by the corral, I saw a fence with a dirt road behind it, which I realized was the road shown on the map. I found a gate and let myself out and onto the road. Now the only problem was that I had wanted the yellow trail, which led to the east and back to Route 301, whereas the road led to the south-southwest and Route 301, taking me about 0.8 miles in the wrong direction. I had little choice in the matter, though.
I followed the road, which led me to Stonecrop Gardens, a public garden. I walked through the parking lot and continued following the road to Route 301. What should have been a 1.4 mile walk back to my car was now a 2.1 mile walk, because of the unplanned detour.
5:05 p.m.: Made it back to my car, after a 5-hour hike of about 9 miles.