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Friday, January 17, 2014

Cohotate Preserve

The last warm day of our January thaw found me exploring the shores of the Hudson River in Greene County at the Cohotate Preserve.  Coming in at only 52 acres, it is a small preserve, but with nine foot bridges, over 3000 feet of Hudson River frontage, a pond and nearly 2 miles of trails there is plenty to see.  
Much of the preserve's property is on steep hillsides leading down to the river.  There are also several streams that flow down the hills and empty down into the river, such as this one near the top trail.
A trail skirts the outside of a teaching pond, that is utilized by Columbia Greene Community College and for field trips by local schools.
There are plenty of unobstructed views out across the river.  The Hudson is much wider down here than it is up north near Albany.  Views directly across the river are of the hillsides below Mount Merino and the countryside just outside the city of Hudson. 
This is an interesting view north and east up the river where the Hudson Athens Lighthouse can be seen in the foreground, with the City of Hudson rising along the east banks.
Another eastern view of the hills below the City of Hudson.
There are many footbridges that cross the small streams flowing down the steep banks as the trails meander through the woods.
One of the few streams with a good amount of flowing water.  Many of the streams are merely dry gorges that only run after heavy rainfalls.
From the large clearing at the base of the steep slopes there are views out to the river in all directions.  This is a gorgeous view south looking at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge that connects the cities of Hudson and Catskill.  This clearing was actually the former site of an historic ice house, but there is only some concrete from the foundations that remain today.
Much of the river is open water now, but there are many sections near the shoreline that have plenty of broken ice.
Here is a view of the ice chunks floating aimlessly around in the water.
The sun and clouds made for beautiful skies over the river.
On the northern shore of the clearing there are some rather large chunks of ice that have floated broken off.
An interesting place to get out and explore, it made for a perfect little afternoon walk on a warm winter day.

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