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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Gray Saturday at Starks Knob and Washington County

Our unprecedented string of beautiful days finally came to end yesterday and today was forecast to be overcast with a chance of a stray shower as well.  I still wanted to get out at least for a bit, so I headed up to Starks Knob in Schuylerville, NY.  Starks Knob is historically relevant because it played a key role in the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga all the way back in 1777.  No battle was fought on this site, but General John Stark and his troops did cut off the British retreat of General John Burgoyne's army here ultimately ensuring the American victory.
The Knob is a 70 foot high hill formed out of an unusual volcanic rock, called pillow basalt.  It is said that either on the knob or between here and the Hudson River that Stark and his men placed cannon's blocking the only avenue of escape for the British.  The views to the east over the river and towards the Green Mountains of Vermont are commanding.

Looking back towards the top of the knob.  The top was likely much higher back in the Revolutionary days before quarrying took place.
I then headed over to some rural back roads of Washington County.  An agricultural area that still relies heavily on farming, the back roads here can be very beautiful.  Especially in the fall.
A horse farm in Fort Edward.
 Greenwich near Rexleigh Covered Bridge.
 Cossayuna Lake.
I stopped by Carter's Pond just down the road from Cossayuna Lake and got some beautiful shots too.  Carter's Pond is a Bird Conservation Area as well as a Wildlife Management Area.

Then ventured over to the small town of Hebron near the Vermont state line.  It is a quiet area with a nature preserve consisting of 125 acres of forest and wetland on both sides of Black Creek, a tributary of the Battenkill.  
 A small stream running through the woods.
 Black Creek.
 A "floating" bridge, which was almost completely in the water.  Attempted to walk out onto the next section, but didn't feel very safe.  May be safe but you must be very careful if crossing.  I chose not to.
 Unfortunately the trails seem to have fallen into disarray.
Distant views of the surrounding hills were quite pretty, but the trails here left me underwhelmed.
Headed back to the car disappointed.  A slight mist began falling on the way home.  The air was still quite comfortable though, so I stopped by Nassau Lake to take a quick trip out in the kayak.  
 My buddy was hanging out too.  A good day for a duck.

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