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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hudson-Mohawk Bikeway (Niskayuna Railroad Station)

Yesterday's cool(upper 30s) gloomy, rainy, foggy day eventually dropped below freezing at night, leaving us with a coating of ice everywhere, making driving or even walking potentially dangerous this morning.  All untreated surfaces, such as my dad's driveway(pictured below) became extremely dangerous.  Fortunately, with ample sun, the temperature jumped pretty quickly through the morning into the 40's making for beautiful conditions.  
After a very nice lunch with Heather, I drove out to Niskayuna to take a walk on the paved and cleared bike/ hike path.  The small park near the parking lot, established with assistance from the Niskayuna Lions Club is a pleasant picnic spot during the warmer months with benches, tables and a comfort station.  This is also a popular section of the Hudson-Mohawk Bike trail, so I figured a warm, sunny weekend day would mean a busy trail, and I was right.  There were people up and down the trail, from couples holding hands, people walking their dogs, joggers and even bike riders.  Everyone was glad to be out soaking up the relative winter warmth.  The only caveat would be a biting wind, that made the 45-50 degree temps feel a bit colder.
 The bright blue skies and puffy, cumulus clouds made for a gorgeous setting.
 Walked for about a mile up the trail to the Niska Isle bridge and then turned around, and walked the one mile back.  Near the Lions Park are beautiful views out over the Mohawk River and a popular birding area.
 A very pleasant area of the trail with the frozen Mohawk River just below.
 Looking upstream(west).
 The deep snow pack on each side of the trail is receding quickly with today's warm temps.  Unfortunately the melting snow makes things very messy, turning everything to mud and slush and was actually the driving force for me to come find a cleared trail today.
The warmer temps sure made for a nice day, but the colder temperatures to follow this week will make trail conditions in the snow much better.   By the time I got home the driveway had turned to complete mush.  Each step turned ice into slush and then into mud.  
 The skies remained mostly clear and made for a nice evening sky over frozen Nassau Lake.

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