Location: Cold Spring
Distance:4.5 miles, option for less
Skill Level: moderate to difficult
Elevation Gain: 400′
Type of Hike: loop
Trail Condition: trail, rocky, wet areas, stream crossings
Wow Factor: varied terrain
How to get there: From 301, turn south on Dennytown Road. Drive 1 mile and the large gravel parking area will be on the left. There is a little white building and a big orange kiosk.
Address to get you close: 295 Dennytown Rd, Putnam Valley
Summary: From the parking lot, go to the far end from the kiosk and cross the street. You will see a brown “Catfish Loop” sign. Head down into the woods on white.
Almost immediately, the trail splits three directions. Head right on red (blue on the map and you can see some of the faded blue paint). Immediately, start climbing up the largest and hardest part to get it over first.
You will cross yellow. If you want to make the hike significantly shorter–around 1.5 miles, make a left on yellow. Left on red. Right on white back to the road.
When you get to the top, head back down the other side. The path takes you to a beautiful but possibly wet spot at the bottom at around one mile. There are lots of moss covered rocks that you will have to traverse, being especially careful when wet. There are plenty of spots in the stream to look for critters.
Keep following red (blue) past quite a few unmarked trails that lead you to the off limits nature center.
The trail switches to red on the map and leads you south for a mile. You will have to climb through a gap a large boulder grouping. There are seasonal views of the surrounding mountains.
The trail swings around and heads north.
After three miles from the start, you will start to climb again. You will pass the yellow trail again. Cross over the white trail as well. You’ll see a large pond down to the right but are not allowed to get close.
At around the fourth mile, the red trail makes a sharp left turn on a newly created path that keeps you from having to walk on the road. Follow it north.
When you hit white for the second time, turn right and head up to the road and cross the street to the parking lot.
Dogs: on a leash