Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, Putnam County, New York

While this has been the second mild winter in a row, we did have snowfall on Friday night, and Fahnestock reopened its winter park.

Suri, Greg and I decided to visit. I reminded them that two years earlier I had tried to rent gear there, arriving at 11:00 a.m., it had been too late. Nevertheless, they were unable to commit to meeting me earlier than 9:00 a.m. So it was that we arrived at Fahnestock at 10:15, waited in a long line of cars for 15 minutes, only to be told once again that it was likely that all the gear would be rented until the afternoon, when some early renters might return their gear.

Thus, I was again frustrated in my attempt to try cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing. Canopus Lake appeared frozen, and Greg and Suri explored it for a few minutes while I donned my snow bibs. We opted to hike on the trails, and followed the blue-blazed 3 Lakes trail southwest 1.4 miles, then turned north onto the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, which we followed northeast for 0.8 miles. We then reached Highway 301, turning right to follow a trail beside the road, and after 0.2 miles we reached my car.

Obviously a 2.4 mile hike is anemic, but it was hard going in the soft powder. The snow on the trails had been compressed somewhat, apparently by snowshoe wearers, though that did not compress the snow enough to support people wearing only boots. Thus, we frequently sank through the surface, slid backwards on the snow, and then had the exertion of pulling our boots out of the snow to step forward.

I did manage to take a few photographs along the way. I only noticed the arching tree in this image, but Greg noted the two dead trees underneath it, saying they looked like two centipedes fighting.

3 Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

“2 centipedes fighting”

Here the trail passed under a shaded area and in between snow-covered boulders, and I told Greg and Suri to pose for a photo:

3 Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Two boulders

There was a lot of snow:

3 Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Snow everywhere

Greg and Suri examine a partially-frozen stream:

Partially-frozen stream, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Inspecting a partially-frozen stream

Not all the water was frozen:

Stream in the snow, Fahnestock State Park, NY

A stream in the snow

Where the trail crossed a freezing stream, icicles formed under a ledge:

Icicles forming under a ledge, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Icicles forming under a ledge

A freezing stream:

Freezing stream, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Freezing stream

Another view of the freezing stream:

Freezing stream, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Freezing stream

The trees cast long shadows on the snow:

Trees casting shadows on snow, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Trees casting shadows on snow

During the Civil-War, a railroad was constructed to aid in mining ore. The railroad bed is incorporated into the Appalachian Trail:

Railroad bed on Appalachian Trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Railroad bed on Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail passing by rock outcroppings:

Rock outcropping on Appalachian Trail, Fahnestock State Park, NY

Rock outcropping on Appalachian Trail

When we returned to the car, we all had wet footwear. I do not remember having that problem on my last snow outing from two years earlier (or from my hike in Harriman a few weeks ago). I think that I encountered deeper snow than I had on those occasions, and the snow poured over the top of my boots. I had fresh socks, but the insides of the boots themselves were wet, so after returning to the car we decided that 2-1/2 hours of playing in the snow was enough, and we returned home.


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