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Clarence Fahnestock State Park covers over 14,337 acres and is situated on the eastern edge of New York, near the state’s border with Massachusetts. This state park was once owned by Dr. Ernest Fahnestock, who donated the land in honor of his brother Clarence.
The state park is a popular location in the state for fishing, skiing, and hiking. Clarence Fahnestock State Park also features a beach next to Canopus Lake. The park contains part of the Hudson River Birding Trail.
There are many outdoor activities to do while visiting Clarence Fahnestock State Park. One activity you could do is fishing. Fishers can search for fish in Canopus Lake (or one of the smaller nearby ponds), which is stocked with bass, perch, and trout. There are rowboats available for rent to fish with. However, if you prefer to use your own boat, you need to have a permit from the park office. A New York fishing license is also required.
Another thing to do while at Clarence Fahnestock State Park is birdwatching. Thanks to the thick forests surrounding the park, you’ll find many different species flying around. Some include owls, hawks, swans, terns, and sparrows. Birdwatchers can hike down one of the park’s many birdwatching trails to try catching a glimpse of them.
In addition to these activities, visitors could go hiking. Clarence Fahnestock State Park features over 24 hiking trails. A few you’ll find here include the Pelton Pond and Canopus Lake Trail, East Mountain Loop Trail, and the Fahnestock Loop. All of these will take you through the surrounding landscape providing you with breathtaking views of the nearby mountains and a few abandoned historical areas, such as railroads.
When you’d like to book an RV in Putnam County, you will find that there are a few campgrounds nearby Clarence Fahnestock State Park. One option is the Clarence Fahnestock State Park Campground. This motorhome campground has numerous RV sites that come with amenities such as showers and picnic tables. You’ll also find some boat launches nearby as well as a convenience store.
A few minutes away from the park is Highland Falls RV Park & Marina. This RV park features a variety of camper sites that come with amenities like water, electric, WiFi, and restrooms. This option also features waterfront views of the Hudson River.
For those who would like to explore the surrounding area with their camper, there are a handful of nearby destinations to venture to. About an hour away in Manhattan is Central Park. This historical urban park was created in the mid-1800s as a way to help the city’s reputation grow throughout the world. Besides its many walking trails, the park has a variety of interesting attractions nestled inside it as well. These include statues of famous figures, a zoo, and the Belvedere Castle. Visitors will also find plenty of shops and restaurants bordering the park.
A short drive away in Poughkeepsie is the Locust Grove Estate. This structure was home to Samuel Morse, the man who invented the telegraph and Morse code. Overlooking the Hudson River, this estate is designed to tell you more about this famous inventor’s life. Tour the interior of the home where they’ll find numerous artifacts from Morse’s life. There are also a few gardens surrounding the home, including a kitchen garden filled with herbs and vegetables. In addition to this, you’ll find old carriage roads winding around the home, which have been converted into hiking trails. After exploring the grounds, stop by the museum’s store where you will find locally-made art and edible treats.
In Kingston, there’s the Hudson River Maritime Museum. This museum is located on the shoreline of the Hudson River and teaches guests about New York’s maritime history. There are a handful of exhibits inside which focus on various maritime topics, such as how local canals were built and the environmental damage the Hudson River suffered from during the 1960s. The museum also has a boat school where you can learn about the art of boat building and even try building one of these vessels yourself.
Head over to Catskill and explore the Olana State Historic Site. Built-in 1872, this house museum was once home to Frederic Edwin Church, a landscape artist best known for his work at the Hudson River School. While here, you’ll be able to view not only the home’s impressive architecture but many of Church’s paintings. The museum also hosts guided hikes around the grounds, so don't forget to check them out.