Difficulty: 2 (easy stroll)
Highlights: Pleasant trail beside a creek, picnic area, gazebo, ball fields, shuffleboard. No, really, shuffleboard.
Distance: 2-mile loop
Approximate roundtrip time: 40 minutes
This hike is for you if: You don’t have time to get too far out into nature, but want to take a stroll on a pleasant trail anyway, and perhaps catch a foul ball while you’re at it.
Super-cool Google Earth flyover of hike route:
Google Terrain Map of hike route:
Background you can feel free to skip: Technically, this loop probably doesn’t really qualify as a “hike”, but it’s a pleasant spot that happens to be not so far from where I live, so it’s getting included. The red trail, which is about a mile long, is a woodsy trail along a creek, and even though there are houses on the other side, the benches beside the picturesque bends in the creek make this place a very nice suburban oasis. Half the loop is paved, wandering between ball fields in a very well-used park. It’s a very nice place to visit, but if you’re looking for seclusion, you might want to try somewhere else.
1. From the parking lot at East Fishkill Community Center, head towards the paved trail and take a look at the green map to get your bearings. I appreciate that there is a trail map posted here, too. It looks like one of Rand McNally’s very early works.
2. Head straight down the paved path, walking directly over the shuffleboard court, unless there are people playing on it (there won’t be). If you brought shuffleboard equipment (perhaps you’re on your way to a cruise?), have at it! If not, you’ll have to entertain yourself with plain old walking for the next 40 minutes or so.
3. After a couple hundred yards, take your first right, continuing along the paved path that cuts towards some sports fields.
4. In about a hundred yards, the paved path dumps you onto a residential street (Anne Ave.). At this point, you might be thinking, “Dude, what am I doing here?” Have no fear. Hang a left onto Anne Ave. and walk past a few houses. You’ll re-enter the park in just a moment.
5. At the cul-de-sac on Anne Ave, follow the big honking “East Fishkill Walking Path” sign to re-enter the park.
6. Keep straight on this path. At the fork with the large picnic pavilion in front of you, keep right, close to the tennis courts.
7. When you get to the long bathroom building, go around to the right of it (unless you gotta go, in which case follow the gender-specific directional indicators), heading slightly downhill to the gate with the nice little creek-lined picnic area behind it.
8. Venture into the picnic area and walk along the creek. There are some nice little ripples in the water here. To the right of the gazebo (where it looks like you should hold an old-timey political rally), you’ll see where the red trail starts. Hop on that bad boy.
9. Follow the red trail along the creek. You’ll see a couple of benches along the way that beg to be sat upon. If you’re game and they’re empty (they often aren’t), why not sit upon them for a bit? It’s even better if you thought to bring a baby and some proud grandparents along.
10. The red trail pops out onto some soccer fields. I’ve never been here when a game is going on, but if there’s one when you’re here, you should probably resist the urge to streak it. Walk the entire length of these fields, up the little hill to the dirt parking lot. If you brought an adorable puppy that you don’t remember ever being that small, take a picture.
11. On the other side of the dirt parking lot, you’ll find the paved trail where you started. Turn right onto that trail and you’ll be back at your car in just a moment, kicking yourself once again for forgetting your shuffleboard gear.
Directions to the trailhead: From the intersection of Rt. 376 and Rt. 82 in Hopewell Junction, take Rt. 82 north for a few hundred yards. Turn right into the East Fishkill Community Center, and park in the back-right corner of the parking lot, near the paved trail that heads into the town park.
You can also get directions by checking out the East Fishkill Rec Park entry on the HiketheHudsonValley.com Google map.
Address for your GPS: This trailhead has its own address. Wahoo!
East Fishkill Community Center
888 Route 82
Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
GPS coordinates of parking area: 41.58113, -73.80485 (Clicking will open in Google Maps or the Apple Maps app, depending on your browser/device.)
More East Fishkill Recreation Park pictures from the hike’s Picasa album:
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