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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Barbersville Falls(Poestenkill)/RPI Tech Park(North Greenbush)

Yet another picture perfect fall day in the capital region, so I set out again looking for a taste of autumn.  Found myself on the rural back roads of Rensselaer County.  Such a gorgeous time to be out and about, beauty around every turn.  Located a small set of falls near the outlet of Burden Lake where the Wynantskill flows under a bridge.  I pulled off on the shoulder of the road and scrambled down to the edge of the water.
 When I began to climb the small hill back to the car, the trees surrounding me left me stunned.  The foliage has really taken off the last few days locally and the canopy above me was almost heavenly.
 I proceeded on my way through county back roads on my way to Barberville Falls Nature Preserve in Poestenkill.  There are a couple of different trails from the pulloff on Plank Road.  One is a trail near the parking area that goes down a ravine and to the Poestenkill creek.  It is the lesser known of the trails but the Poestenkill is a beautiful, rugged creek that eventually empties out into the Hudson River at Troy.  The walk is fairly short and mostly downhill but the sound of running water is audible all the way from the parking area.

 Used a different camera setting to really focus on the fall colors in this photo.
After spending some time along the banks of the creek, I headed back up the trail and on my way to the Falls.  Unfortunately, to get to the falls trail, you must walk along a well traveled two lane road for about a third of a mile.  Certainly not my favorite walking to do but the Falls are definitely worth the effort.  Walking down to the base of the falls gives you the best view and an overall appreciation for the size and raw power of these falls.  They are over 80 feet high and absolutely gorgeous.

 There is a viewing platform at the top of the falls too.
 Hard to find a bad view.
Directly across the road from the Barberville Falls parking lot and sitting high on a hill is Brookside Cemetery.  It is a very picturesque cemetery, but especially so in the fall.


After leaving, I continued exploring rural Rensselaer County through Poestenkill and eventually Nassau.  Along Route 66 in Sand Lake, I happened upon this nice view of the sun shining on Glass Lake.
And in North Nassau, this maple tree was showing off its autumn gold.
After getting home at about 5:30pm I thought about settling in for the night, but it was just too nice of an evening so I ventured out to the RPI Tech Park, located about 10 minutes away from my apartment in North Greenbush.  For someone unfamiliar with the area, it can be very tricky finding the trails.  The Tech Park is a very big area with many different side roads, buildings and fields throughout.  It took me several tries to actually find my way around but now that I'm familiar with the park, I can navigate it fairly easily.  The trail begins in a wide open meadow that quickly becomes overgrown with high weeds and has a trail cut through.

 After a pleasant walk through the path in the meadow you enter the woods.  Immediately crossing a footbridge, you are faced with several trail options.  The brook under the bridge flows down the ravine to the left and has a series of falls along the way. I opted to follow this trail for the waterfalls and quickly came to a fenced area at the top of a hill.  To get the best view of the falls you have to go past the wooden fence and off the trail, then venturing slightly down the hill.  This is about as close as you can get to view the 20 foot waterfall.
A little further down the trail I came upon the second falls.  It is a smaller waterfall, but you can get much closer to this one.  
 There are many trails meandering through the woods, most of them informal foot paths, so I created my own and followed the brook the rest of the way down the woods to the clearing where the railroad tracks run.
On the other side of the tracks is the Hudson River.  This section of the river has suffered as much as any from Pollutants and chemical dumping, as well as garbage and sewage, but has been cleaned up in recent years.  It is a long uphill battle that will take many more years to fully recover, but the river is certainly making a comeback.  From the shoreline it is very pretty, and even more so at sunset.

 Once back in the woods, there was a brilliant display of color to fully get lost in.
Loving autumn every day!

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