Grafton Lakes State Park
|Grafton Lakes State Park contains 5 bodies of water within it's 2357 acres. Long Pond, Second Pond, Mill Pond, Shaver Pond, and Dunham Reservoir each have launch sites for non-motorized craft. There are 25 miles of trails both North and South of route 2 as well as connectiong to the Pittstown State Forest. Some of the trails are roads or former roads and make for easy walking while others are more natural but still quite accessible. Snowmobiles are allowed in the park during the winter and make a good base for cross country skiing. |
See the guidebook and links for maps of the various trails.
Grafton - South
- Dunham Reservoir:
The Martin Dunham Reservoir Boat Launch is located 3/4 of a mile on Dunham Reservoir Road, a paved road. The North (Double Bit Path Trail) and South (Dunham Reservoir Trail) are located approximately 1/10 of a mile on either side of the parking area. They are only marked by a telephone pole barrier and yellow "Property Boundary State Park" signs. There is room for a few cars to park at the North trail head.
There is another boat launch on the Northeast end of the Dunham Reservoir on Johnson Road however is the status of this dirt road is unclear. While some parts are well graded other parts are somewhat soft and there is evidence of washouts that have had some work done to them. There are signs indicating that the road is closed but no barriers and cars have been observed using the road. Trailheads for the paths around the reservoir and the Gartler's Trail are well marked from this road.
The North trail around the Dunham Reservoir is marked by blue trail markers from the Office of Parks and Recreations. While the trail isn't as well defined as others, the markers give appropriate guidance in the few spots where the trail is not obvious. Terrain is gently sloped and generally near the water. After crossing the earthen dam it is necessary to cross the Quacken Kill which the reservoir feeds. In arid times it may be possible to safely cross on the spillway however there are several fallen trees a short distance downstream that can also provide passage. Right after that you have to cross the Shaver Brook Stream. Hidden a short distance upstream is a log and plank bridge that is most likely on private land. No other dry passage was in evidence but unlike the Quacken Kill, the flow is quite mild and the stream should be easily wadeable.
The South trail is more defined than the North trail but does go over a hill and is only briefly near the reservoir. It is marked with orange trail markers.
- Gartler's Trail
The Gartler's Trail connects Johnson Road at the Northeast end of the Dunham Reservoir to Route 2, just west of the Grafton State Park entrance. While the southern trailhead is well marked, the trailhead on Route 2 is a flatish area opposite the last house before the park. From Route 2 an infrequently used dirt road leads through a meadow to a telephone pole barrier. Shortly after entering the woods the trails leads along the western edge of a large blueberry meadow. The trail turns east at the end of this first meadow and continues besides an old stone wall that bisects the blueberry meadow and exits through a gap in the stone wall to the east. The trail is well marked with yellow trail markers and orange diamonds. Several bridges have been built over streams and muddy areas and maintenance continues (possibly for the benefit of snowmobilers) by authorized personnel in pickup trucks so the trail is quite wide with gentle rolling terrain.
Natural Areas of Rensselaer County, New York
Quiet Water Canoe Guide: New York
Grafton Trail Blazers
NYS State Parks
Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park