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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Albany County Rail Trail

Got out for a New Year's Day hike along a couple of small sections of the Albany County Rail Trail in both Delmar and Voorheesville today.  The Albany County Rail Trail is a nine mile recreational trail that is a converted stretch of abandoned Delaware & Hudson(D& H) railroad tracks.  There are several different access points along the trail, as well as sections that are still not completed.  I decided to start from the Bethlehem Veterans Memorial Park along a busy stretch of Delaware Ave(Route 443).
A gas station next to the park provides direct trail access only several feet away from where I parked my car. As of now, the trail is not paved and doesn't allow for any other access other than pedestrian traffic.
A typically cold New Year's day with sunny skies but wind chills in the teens.
 Looking east up Delaware Ave from the bridge crossing near the hamlet of Elsemere.
 Urban artwork.
 Most of the trail is flat and very straight, making for very easy walking.
 A typical stretch of the Rail Trail.  While not being the most scenic nature setting, it does provide a wonderful chance for many local residents to get outdoor exercise in a suburban setting.
 Passed several people out enjoying the sunny day, many jogging on the level trail.
 A quiet stretch.
 The Rail Trail passes through small patches of woods, but mostly residential streets through this section.
 Although the sun sets just after 4:30 today, the days are slowly lengthening, extending opportunities to get outdoors.
 I went west for about 1.25 miles before turning around.  Here is another jogger I passed as I headed back to the car.
After leaving the Delaware Ave section of the trail, I drove west a few miles to visit the Voorheesville part of the trail, where an ample sized parking lot near the end of Grove Street provides access. The trail immediately heads east from the lot, where a brand new, well built foot bridge crosses the Vly Creek. 
 The partially frozen Vly Creek which eventually empties into the Normans Kill a few miles away.

Unfortunately, a full day of work limited my abilities to really get out and explore, but still walked about 2.6 miles on a cold January day.  Nice to have an opportunity to get out in a more residential and unfamiliar area.

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