This section of the AT covers from Rte 55 (Poughquag) to Rte 22 (Pawling). It covers everything from swamps, ridges, pastures, a train station and the largest oak tree on the AT!
From the trailhead at Rte 55, the trail meanders through a variety of forests, passing by Nuclear Lake; former site of a nuclear processing facility, long gone, but safe and clean! The trail continues on past as few ridges offering amazing views of Southern Dutchess County over into Conn. Make sure you take a rest stop at Cat Rocks, a little bit south of the Telephone Pioneers Shelter; the only available camping location on this stretch of the trail. From Cat Rocks you head down hill to West Dover Road, home of the Dover Oak, the largest oak tree on the AT. You will then pass along some farms and pastures, gaining the ridge once again before heading into the woods.
After coming out of the woods, you are faced with the Great Swamp! You will need to follow the puncheons to avoid the mud, muck and water. At the end of the swamp, you will find another trail one of a kind, the Metro North Railroad Appalachian Trail train stop. From here you can actually take a train and be in Mid-Town Manhattan within an hour and a half! Train service is only on weekends at this stop, but you can get the train from Pawling everyday, the village of Pawling is south on Rte 22.
This section ends at Rte 22. There is a deli north on Rte 22 a bit, and the nursery next to the parking area is hiker friendly and has allowed you to get water from their tap, ask first!
Watch for deer ticks in these areas!
To get to the trail heads, head EAST on Rte 55 from Poughkeepsie, past Rte 82 into Poughquag. The parking area is on the left handside of the road, there are signs marking the area with room for a few cars.
The trailhead on Rte 22 is at a garden center, North of Pawling at Hurd's Corner. The parking area is marked and has room for a few cars.
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