With air temperatures in the single digits and wind chills well below zero, I was looking for a short walk close to home today, and settled on the Papscanee Island Nature Preserve in Schodack. While not actually an island anymore(more of a peninsula), these 300+ acres are owned by the Open Space Institute and offer up to 4 miles of trails from its two entrances as well as access to the Hudson River.
From the southern access road, a beautiful view of Albany's skyline rises to the northwest beyond Papscanee Creek.
According to the signage posted, the southern access is only available April 1-November 1 and the northern entrance is the winter access point. To find the northern entrance, you must drive to Route 9J in Rensselaer and turn onto the Irwin Stewart Port Expressway before it becomes American Oil Rd and continue through the Port of Rensselaer. There are many tankers along the road here and it would be safe to assume that the last thing someone would expect to find here would be a nature preserve, but so it is.
Just off the start of the trail there is a decent amount of ice in the woods where a shallow amount of water must have settled.
Here is a view north from a clearing along the partially frozen river with the Bethlehem Energy Plant visible on the west banks.