One of the Hudson Valley's most beautiful lakes was once the location of a complete and catastrophic explosion. Nuclear Lake earned its name the hard way.

As Hudson Valley residents start to get outside and hit the trails we're starting to hear about more and more hiking locations and hot spots that may have gone unnoticed or just plain forgotten about. Recently, several friends have told me about a trail near a place called Nuclear Lake.

If you've never heard of this place you may be wondering, "Where is Nuclear Lake and why the heck do they call it that?"

The Nuclear Lake Hiking Trails begin in Pawling and can serve as an entry point to the Appalachian Tail and the reason behind the name isn't that shocking. According to Hike Hudson Valley, in 1972 a chemical explosion at a nuclear research facility scattered weapons-grade plutonium all over a nearby lake. The research facility is now longer there and the site of the disaster was cleaned, thoroughly tested and was deemed safe decades ago. I know it sounds made up but it's all true.

Have you been to the Nuclear Lake Hiking Trails? If you haven't and you're looking for a new one this might be a good walk to add to your list.

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