GO Gathering 2008 in NY, July 11-13 at Fahnestock State Park

By Mike Boisvert.

Come join us for a fun weekend at our private group site at  beautiful Fahnestock State Park near Cold Spring, NY from Friday, July 11th to Sunday, July 13th in 2008.

This is our second year here and this time we will have a large party tent with tables, chairs and large charcoal grill port-a-potties and a few picnic tables. Our campsite is right along the Appalachian Trail and like last year, we may meet a few thru-hikers, offer them some beer and hear stories of their adventures. It's 1 1/2 hours from New York City and 3 hours from Boston.

It's a great chance for outdoorzy guys to meet up and chat about their outdoor experiences.

There will be activities at all levels including on-site activities, sunbathing/swimming on the Hudson River, a boat trip to visit Bannerman Castle, hikes, paddling, mountain biking and much more!

In the evenings we have a Beer Swap, party music, campfires, a group potluck BBQ, fireworks and other on-site activities.

Dogs are welcomed as long as they don't bark with other dogs around (most dogs do). The park requires that your dog must be licensed and have proof of vaccinations. 

For more information about the state park, click here: http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkID=129

If you haven't looked at last year's pictures, you really should.


Arrival Registration

As you enter the site you should walk to the big party tent where you will be greeted by a member to check you in and other people in your car. If nobody is there, especially if you are arriving late, just ask around for either Mike or Jon. We'll direct you where to pitch your tent and where you can park your car. We cannot park our cars near the campsite. Please DO NOT pitch your tent until you have checked in. After unloading your car you will be asked to park it about 200 yards away from our group campsite near the Appalachian Trail. 


Please try to carpool by using our message board to offer rides from where you live.  Mention what time you plan on leaving/returning and a convenient place for other cars/passengers to meet. Post/Read Carpooling and RideShare Messages Here.


Our group campsite is secluded away from the main park headquarters and is right next to the Appalachian Trail. It's basically in a large grassy field surrounded by trees. We will have a large party tent with tables, chairs and large charcoal grill port-a-potties and a few picnic tables. There is filtered well water within easy walking distance (200 yards away and next to where you will park your car) and right on the AT. Hot showers can be taken at the main campground without charge which is about 4 miles away.

The site cannot handle small or large RV's.

Lodging Option

For those of you who want to hang out but not camp in a tent, there are three reasonably priced motels about 10 miles away. There is the Windsor Motel in New Windsor, the Bear Mountain Bridge Motel in Fort Montgomery, and West Point Motel in Highland Falls. Nearby in Cold Spring, there is the beautiful Hudson House Inn. It is right on the Hudson River with breathtaking views.

If you want to join us but will be spending the night somewhere else, there is a $20 weekend entrance fee.

Food/Saturday Night Group Potluck BBQ

You are responsible to bring your own food and beverages for the entire weekend. There are grocery stores in Cold Spring, NY for ice and supplies and if you prefer eating out Cold Spring has a good ion of restaurants. 

Saturday night we will have a group potluck BBQ. We will have a large charcoal grill all set-up for you to use. We'll light it up at 6PM and it should be ready for grilling by 6:30. Bring an appetizer, side dish, salad or dessert to share and grillables/entree for yourself. 

We will provide the paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels and grilling tools.

Activities Schedule

This is what we have organized thus far. This page will be frequently d with new activities as we learn of them. We will have a Bulletin Board inside the BIG tent to post both planned and impromptu activities throughout the weekend. We will have Croquet and Bocce equipment at the campsite for anyone who wants to play and/or get a tournament started. We hope to have a volleyball net set-up for pick-up games. Throwing a frisbee around is another fun thing to do. For information on what to do in Putnam County, check out this site: http://www.visitputnam.org/activities/hiking.html

Friday, July 11, 2008

3PM: GO Gathering Registration Begins
Register under the PARTY tent. This year we will allow walk-ins. Setup your tent, explore the park and make new outdoorzy buddies.

7PM: Beer Swap/Campfire
We'll light up the group campfire and turn up the music! We'll place name tags on everyone. Put a six pack from your favorite local micro-brewery in one of the coolers and sample what the other guys brought. We are pitching in two cases of beer from a local NH micro-brewery to get things started. Bring snacks to share with the other guys and folding chairs if you prefer sitting around the campfire. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You can certainly plan your day around enjoying the beautiful white sand beach at Canopus Lake. Facilities include a concession stand serving hot and cold foods, grills, changing rooms and showers. The proverbial "day at the beach" is just minutes away! The entrance fee is only $7 per car. Hours are from 9AM to 7PM, swimming from 10AM to 5:45PM. Rowboat rentals are available to rent and you can launch your kayak for paddling. The lake is stocked for fishing.

9AM: Weekend Overview 
Mike Boisvert and Jon Normand, GO Gathering Directors, will introduce all the trip leaders for the weekend and have them describe their activity/start time. Meet under the PARTY tent next to the bulletin board. 

10AM: Hudson River Sunbathe/Swim
We will hang out on the Sandy Beach at Little Stony Point: one of the finest beaches on the Hudson River!  Enjoyed by hikers, boaters, swimmers, birders, outdoor lovers and nature lovers, it's one of my favorite summer spots. It's a wonderful way to spend the day. While you are here there are easy hiking trails to take that explores the area. We will carpool from our campsite. Bring bathing suit, towel, cooler with food/beverages, etc.

10AM: Appalachian Trail To Canopus Lake Hike 
This is a full day 7.4 mile hike starting from our campsite that follows the Appalachian Trail to Canopus Lake for swim/sunbathing (dogs are not allowed at Canopus Lake). We would return using the Three Lakes Trail.

10AM: Catfish Loop Hike 
This is a 1/2 day 4.7 mile hike starting from our campsite that follows the Catfish Loop up to a lookout with a view of the Hudson Highlands. We would return using the Three Lakes Trail.

11:30AM: Hudson River Sighseeing Cruise
Right now there are temporarily NO walking tours on Bannerman Island. They are awaiting word from the Bannerman Castle Trust when  work will be completed on the island so that tours can resume. As a result, the Bannerman Castle Tour has been changed to a Hudson River Sightseeing Cruise that departs Newburgh, NY.

This cruise passes Bannerman Island with wonderful views of it but does not stop. The cruise goes down to the north end of West Point and back. Nothing beats a boat cruise to cool you off in the heat! Click here for more info: http://www.frontiernet.net/~hudrivad/. The boat has a cash bar and sells light snacks. You can bring a water bottle for the cruise.

The boat leaves the Newburgh Ferry Dock in Newburg, NY at 1:00PM. Tickets are $18 per person and can be purchased one hour in advance. You can call and give them your name to reserve a spot and then pay the day of the cruise. Call 845-220-2120. They only accept cash or checks NO credit cards.

Meet Jon and Mike at the Newburgh Ferry Dock in Newburg, NY at 12:00PM to purchase tickets. We plan on packing a lunch with beverages to bring on the boat with us. Let us know at the campsite if you'll be joining us. We'll be leaving from the Hudson River Sunbathe/Swim event held earlier at 11:30AM.

2PM: Breakneck Ridge Hike (Leader Needed)
This is a short 2.8 mile hike that can start right from the Hudson River Sunbathe/Swim event earlier (see above). This loop hike steeply climbs Breakneck Ridge, with many spectacular views over the Hudson River. It starts using the Breakneck Ridge Trail and returns using the Breakneck Bypass Trail and Wilkinson Memorial Trail. 

6PM: Group Potluck BBQ Starts

Information in the Food/Saturday Night Group Potluck BBQ section above. Afterwards we'll make some announcements and hand out the names / location / email of everyone who attended.    

8PM: Campfire
We'll light up the firewood and crank up the music! Lots of chatter and laughter...

10PM: Fireworks!
We'll shoot off some fireworks to celebrate the good times together! 

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Today we start packing up since we have to vacate by 11AM. Many guys leave but some stick around to enjoy more activities in the area.  

11AM: Pelton Pond Nature Hike
This is a 1.5 mile pleasant stroll around Pelton Pond.

Activity Leaders Get A Discount

If you would like to run a group activity, let us know! In return, we will only charge you $20 for the entire weekend. The Activities Schedule above has openings for group leaders and we'll provide you a copy of the map/trail description to assist you. You can of course come up with your own group activity. The park has a great network of mountain biking trails and there is a kayak outfitter in Cold Spring to rent kayaks from if you want to run a paddling trip on the Hudson River. 
If you have volleyball equipment, willing to set it up, and organize at least one volleyball game (before or after the potluck is the best time) let us know and we'll only charge you $20 for the entire weekend.
This discount is only offered if you pre-registered. Contact Us for more information.

Volunteers/Firewood Wanted

In the registration form, we'll be asking you to give us a hand running this event or adding to our firewood collection at the campsite. If everyone volunteers for at least ONE thing, it allows the organizers to socialize more with everyone else and the other volunteers to work less!  

We only have so much space in our truck to bring firewood so if you can bring some in your truck/car that would be great! 

Volunteer tasks include 1-hour shifts for Friday registration between 3-9PM, Friday Beer Swap (getting ice/Name Tag Distribution), Potluck Set-Up, Potluck Clean-Up and Sunday Campsite Clean-Up. 



The cost for the weekend is only $45 per person with full members only paying $40 if they register before June 30. If you want to join us but will be spending the night somewhere else, there is a $20 weekend entrance fee. You can walk-in and register this year however you will not be listed on the roster given to all participants at the end of the weekend.   

Click Here To Download The Registration Form.  This is an Adobe Acrobat Form and if you have trouble downloading it, contact us.  


What To Bring

Bring typical camping supplies including tent, sleeping pad/mattress, sleeping bag, pillow, stove, cooking/eating utensils, paper towels, ice cooler, flashlight, lantern, toiletries, towel, bathing suit, change of clothing, outdoor gear/equipment, etc.


Cold Spring is a pleasant town to walk in with many bars, restaurants, and quaint shops. It's about 6 miles away from our campsite. To get to Cold Spring head north on Dennytown Road (road where our campsite is) for a mile toward Rt. 301. Turn left on Rt. 301 and follow for 5 miles.

For a decent size grocery store on the way towards Cold Spring take a left at the traffic light (Route 9D) and you will see it in about a mile on the right side (PSK Supermarket).


Location/Getting There

Fahnestock State Park is located 1 1/2 hours north of New York City and 3 hours west of Boston in the Taconic Region of New York State. Due to road construction and heavy weekend traffic, give yourselves extra time.

From New York City or Westchester: Drive north on the Taconic State Parkway and turn west onto NY 301. In about 2 miles you'll pass the park office and about 3 miles further take a left on Dennytown Road. At approximately 1.2 miles look for a rugged dirt road leading uphill on your right. It is just before the trailhead parking lot on the left.

From Albany and points north: NYS Thruway (I-87) South and turn east on I-84. Turn south onto Taconic State Parkway (Exit 16S) . At NY 301, turn west to reach Fahnestock State Park. In about 2 miles you'll pass the park office and about 3 miles further take a left on Dennytown Road. At approximately 1.2 miles look for a rugged dirt road leading uphill on your right. It is just before the trailhead parking lot on the left.

From New Jersey or Rockland: Drive north on the Palisades Interstate Parkway and cross the Bear Mountain Bridge. Continue north on NY 9D to Cold Spring, turning west onto NY 301 to reach Fahnestock State Park. In about 3 miles after you cross NY 9 take a right on Dennytown Road. At approximately 1.2 miles look for a rugged dirt road leading uphill on your right. It is just before the trailhead parking lot on the left.

From Massachusetts and Connecticut: Drive west on the Mass Pike (I-90) and turn west on I-84. Turn south onto the Taconic State Parkway (Exit 16S) . At NY 301, turn west to reach Fahnestock State Park. In about 2 miles you'll pass the park office and about 3 miles further take a left on Dennytown Road. At approximately 1.2 miles look for a rugged dirt road leading uphill on your right. It is just before the trailhead parking lot on the left.


You'll love getting to know the other GOers who are on the trip. We've built a great reputation for being an outgoing, laid back, low-maintenance bunch, and as anyone who's been to a GO Gathering can tell you, there's a whole other level of bonding that happens at this event!

Your hosts,
Mike Boisvert & Jon Normand

© 2008 Gay Outdoors All Rights Reserved.

Hiking, backpacking, camping or vacation adventures, GayOutdoors [GO] has been the LGBTQ outdoorzy community leader for the last 22 years. We are an informal group of diverse hiking enthusiasts in the United States with a shared love of the mountains who prefer hiking with friends. We invite you to join us on our hikes, to post hikes for other members to join you and to share your hiking photos, stories and advice.

Become A Member

If you find it invigorating to hike along a mountain trail with friends not knowing what’s just around the corner, to get some fresh air, to stop and soak in the views on a summit, and to soak your feet in a mountain brook after a hike, give us a try!


Powered by Ecomsolutions.net - ColdFusion Experts