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Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander

Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander

One of the more popular hikes in Hudson Valley, NY is the Three Lakes Trail at Fahnestock State Park. Touted as one of the most scenic trails around, it’s one of the best ways to spend a weekend warrior trip. Before you go through, there are some things you need to know about hiking in the Hudson Valley, so read on to get yourself prepared.

Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander
Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander – Backpack/Duffel Bag by HARD NEW YORK

Why do it?

For your spring NYC escape and the first hike of 2022? Maybe a weekend warrior looking for inspiration to explore new trails in New York State? If you’re interested in hiking in Upstate, NY but need some help deciding where to go, or just want to hear what a Hudson Valley weekend adventure is like, check out my hiking adventures with Hudson Valley Style Magazine and my recent hike at Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park (below).

Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander
Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander

What you need to know

The idea of a weekend getaway is romantic, but it seems everyone is too busy to actually take one. There are only 168 hours in a week, and if you want to make any forward progress in your career or passion projects, taking weekends away from work can be challenging, and you might not have sufficient time to prepare for the hike.

Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander
The Best natural bug repellent by DA Aromatherapy Collection – Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander

One thing you need to know about hiking in the Hudson Valley is that the NYS Department of Parks and Recreation has a warning for everyone visiting the area about ticks and Lyme disease. It might sound scary, but you shouldn’t be: simply follow the number one rule of staying on the trail and avoid going into grassy/bushy areas that are known as ticks/mosquitos habitats and you’ll be just fine. Additionally, think about using a natural bug repellent with organic essential oils, to repel those bugs without the use of dangerous pesticides such as DEET and picaridin. You love nature, so why would you come to visit the forest all covered in chemicals that kill innocent creatures like bees and salamanders? Think about it. I use DA Aromatherapy’s natural bug repellent with 7 organic essential oils. It smells amazing and does not harm the environment that I enjoy so much.

Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander
Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander – Backpack/Duffel Bag by HARD NEW YORK

Best time of year

Everyone will tell you that the best time of year to visit is in late October and early November, just before Thanksgiving. The Hudson Valley is filled with color that makes for breathtaking views. The trails are still open and there aren’t too many other people out hiking around. This makes for a perfect weekend warrior adventure! However, my personal take on this is that any season has its benefits and just my recent early Spring hike creates unforgettable memories.

Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander
Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander

Best time of day

As a Weekend warrior, I can choose which time of day works best for me. I love hiking in the late afternoon. The sun is up high enough to see well but not as hot as it will be when it peaks at noon. My favorite season to hike is spring, so I pick a time of year when temperatures aren’t usually too cold or too hot. Late afternoons create amazing sunset lighting for my photography projects and I use every opportunity to catch that spectacular golden hour in the mountains.

Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander
Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander

How to get there from NYC

(Fahnestock State Park on Google Maps) The best way to get there is via Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal. You can take a train from as far north as Croton-Harmon (train name: Harlem Line) or go as far south as Poughkeepsie (name: Hudson Line). If you want to be efficient, I highly recommend getting off at Cold Spring and using an Uber to get to Fahnestock State Park. Plan your travel in advance here.

Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander
Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander – Backpack/Duffel Bag by HARD NEW YORK

The hike

The 3.7-mile (round-trip) Three Lakes Trail is one of my favorite hikes in Fahnestock State Park—which, to be honest, is like saying the BEST Instagram hiking movie ever made. The views of Canopus Lake and its three adjacent sisters are unparalleled and because it loops back around on itself after an out-and-back excursion to Canopus Lake, you can decide how long you want your hike to be. You’ll be sure to notice the actual beaver dams created along the creek connecting the lakes. It was kinda mindblowing for me because I’ve never seen such an amazing job that a creature like a beaver can do. Here is the Three Lakes Trailhead on Google Maps for you >> There is parking for about 10 cars right there, so it might be all taken on a busy day, so Uber is definitely your best bet.

Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander
Three Lakes Trail, Fahnestock State Park – Hudson Valley Hiking Adventures with Maxwell Alexander

Tips for this hike

Plan to hike at least 4 miles on mostly flat terrain, you’ll be crossing a couple of creeks and will have an amazing experience of being so close to nature. This is a great weekend adventure if you have time and want to spend a couple of days hiking and exploring in Upstate New York, so if you need help finding an amazing Airbnb to stay in the area, check out our featured Airbnb listings here >>