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Appalachian Trail: Route 55, Pawling

Discover, enjoy, spend the day!

appalachian trail, poughquag, dutchess county, route 55, pawling, hiking, dipping, swimming, family friendly, kid friendly, places to go, things to do, ny, nuclear lake, day trips, summer

On Route 55 right on the border of Poughquag and Pawling there is an entrance to the Appalachian Trail for a hike that I absolutely adore. The parking lot is unmarked but easy to find, located right across the street from D's Bait Shop, address 3213 State Route 55 you can park and easily access this portion of the Appalachian that is pretty secluded. Whenever we have hiked here, we have only seen one or two other hikers at most. This is the perfect hike for a family that wants to get away from it all but doesn't want to travel far to do so.

The reason this hike is one of my favorites is because of the varied terrain that you can find here. There are huge rock ledges, flowing streams, wetlands and wildflower fields all in one hike! If your kids are adventurous like mine this is definitely the hike for you; they can climb large flat rocks, splash in the many creeks and vernal pools as well as find a whole plethora of frogs, salamanders and even turtles!

This hike is perfect on a hot summer day, we love to get hot and sweaty hiking through the rocky trails ending up at our favorite spot about a mile in! An icy cold creek flows into small wading pools and into a large, cattail filled pond. The creek's shallow wading pools are full of crayfish and my daughter loves to splash to her heart's content! The pond area is perfect for exploring if you have children who love aquatic life, we always find lots of creepy crawlies.

This hike is 3.6 miles if you do the full loop, but there is no need to hike the whole thing, we often just hike in to our favorite creek to splash and then hike back out. We love to bring a lunch, water shoes and a towel so we can spend the whole day in nature's paradise. This is hands down my daughter's favorite hike!

Tips for this hike:
  • Bug spray is a must on this hike, the mosquitoes will carry you away otherwise.
  • There is a parking lot at the trail head to this hike, it is free to park.
  • This is a carry-in and carry-out hike, take all trash with you and pick up after pets.
  • This hike is dog friendly. 
  • This is not a stroller friendly hike, I suggest babywearing.
  • Route 55 is a very busy road with very fast driving traffic please be careful when in the parking lot.
  • There is no official name or website for this hike, that I can find, but there is a map at the trail head for this section of the Appalachian Trail.
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