After leaving the short green trail, we picked up the blue marked loop trail. Wide trails and good trail signage make it a nice, easy walk.
After leaving the New Karner Road trails, we headed a bit southeast down Western Ave to Fuller Road where access to Rensselaer Lake is found. This popular public access area is found in a large parking lot at the roundabout just off exit 2 of I-90. Rensselaer Lake(also known as Six Mile Water Works) was mostly frozen over on this cold winter day.
The headwaters of the Patroon Creek, basically nothing more than a small stream here, are found near Rapp Road and crossed on a tiny foot bridge.
Patroon Creek's headwaters.
After nearly reaching the Rapp Road trailhead, we turned around and returned back to the car before heading a bit further west into Guilderland. Located just off of Western Ave and at the very end of residential Willow Street is the trailhead of this next section. Known simply as the Great Dune, this area contains the largest sand dune in the entire preserve, as well as other smaller sand dunes. This would be our last stop for the day, as the sun was beginning to set.
There are three different trail options through these woods, but we stuck to the well marked red trail.