The Pawling Nature Reserve is 1,000 acres of pristine forest in Dutchess County, NY, smack in the middle of what I recently learned was the Great Swamp, one of the largest, freshwater wetlands in NY state, spread out over 6,000 acres in the Harlem Valley, and filtering the water supply for almost every city between Pawling and NYC. An easy 3-mile loop, I’m seriously hoping there’s snow on the ground for this one, because it’ll make it twice as awesome! It’s a 2-hour train ride on the Metro North Harlem line, so we’ll be meeting at the clock at Grand Central Station at 9:15am to catch the 9:47am train to Appalachian Trail Station. From there, we can have a light snack, hike 2 hours, leisurely lunch (weather dependent), then hike out. We’d catch the 4:45p back home, and arrive back at Grand Central around 6:45p. It'll be 60s and sunny, so you can leave the heavy coats and winter boots at home. That said, always bring some kind of layers and enough food and water to snack, but not get full.
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