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Monday, March 31, 2014

Helderburg Adventure

Headed west out to the Helderburgs of western Albany County after work today to take a look at some waterfalls.  Early spring is often the best time to see streams and creeks running at their fullest.  First stopped in to Fox Creek Park in the town of Berne.  It is a small park in the center of town with the creek flowing swiftly beside it.  
 Fox Creek is a medium sized creek that rises near Heldberburg Lake and empties into the Schoharie Creek near Middleburgh.
 The powerfully running water flowing downstream.
 A closer look at the falls.
 18th and 19th century mills were located here, using the creek's water as power.  The Route 443 bridge stands above the top of the falls, as seen here.
Water was roaring from all directions, including from a pipe under the parking lot into the creek.
Took a short ride up to Cole Hill State Forest and stretched my legs for a short walk.
 Cole Hill Forest's early spring woods.
 Happened to notice this cascade flowing down a hillside near Cole Hill State Forest.
 Drove further west to Partridge Run Wildlife Area where there are several small falls and cascades to view, with just a little effort.
 There are two falls along Partridge Run road.  They are found at the bottom of a large glen and can only be accessed by bushwacking down the hill off the road.  It is well worth the effort to find these falls on the unnamed tributary of the Switz Kill.
 Several hundred feet up the stream is the other falls.  These are even harder to access, especially in the deep snow and ice, but are very beautiful.  The water was flowing strong.
 North winds kept it feeling cold, but the sun was doing its best to warm it up.
 An old dam along the Redbelly Trail, where a series of small cascades flows downstream.
 Cascades on an unnamed stream that flows out of White Birch Pond.
 You must bushwack a short distance to get to these falls but they are very scenic.  They actually continue further into the gorge and in drier weather would be nice to get a better glimpse of.
 For my final stop in this leg of waterfalls, I headed down to Rensselaerville Falls in the Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve.  These are some of the most beautiful falls in the entire area.
 The falls are actually a series of falls totaling over 100 feet.  It was hard to capture the beauty of the water because the trails were extremely icy and dangerous.
 Ten Mile Creek.
 Ten Mile Creek's swift waters.
 Took a gorgeous ride to rural Rensselaerville in the Cheese Hill area, where there are breathtaking roadside views of the Catskills.
 A farm house and the beautiful Catskills to the south.
 Late afternoon sun from Travis Hill Road in Rensselaerville.
 A farm deep in the valley.
 A beautiful evening.
 A view to the southeast into the Northern Catskills.
As March ends and April is set to begin, it seems that we may have finally turned the corner.

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