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Friday, September 27, 2013

Shenantaha Park and Woods Hollow-Ballston Spa

An overcast day wasn't about to slow me down, as I headed north up towards the Saratoga Region.  It is a flourishing area rich in history and has more natural resources than some people may realize.  The Kayaderosseras Creek runs through the edge of Ballston Spa village and eventually empties out into Saratoga Lake to the east. Also just outside the village is Ballston Lake, a long 3.7 mile narrow lake with many recreational opporunities.  There are many natural springs in the vicinity which first put Saratoga on the map.  A couple of long multi-use trails also can be found in the immediate area as well.  The list goes on.
 Today I would be visiting Shenantaha Park, a great resource for the town of Malta.  It is a community park, with fields, courts, a playground and access to the Zim Smith bike trail.  I was in search of the trails through the woods that closely follow Ballston Creek.  There were many people at the park, even on a cloudy Friday morning, showing that this park is very well attended.  As I began my walk into the woods, I saw a sign regarding Indian Mortars.
 There were many leaves already off the trees in this area, while others still held their green.
 Views along Ballston Creek,
 Ballston Creek otherwise known as "Shenantaha" Creek was the name given to the stream by the Iroquois, meaning "deer water".
 An example of Indian Mortars.
 The leaves are really piling up in the ravine along the creek.
The trails are fairly short and I finished pretty quickly, so decided to head into Ballston Spa and visit the Woods Hollow Nature Preserve.
There are several different trailheads you can start from so I chose the yellow trail entrance along Rowland St.  I didn't see any cars in the parking areas I had passed, so it appeared that I had the whole place to myself.  I immediately came upon a pine plantation. Along the trail, there is signage, explaining some of the nature around you.
 Looking directly up a eastern white pine.
Near the middle of Woods Hollow is a pretty lake with trails surrounding it.
 Reflections along the shore.
There are some interesting sand pits further along near the blue trail.

And as always, when you really slow down and take note, there are wonders all around!



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