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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Deer Mountain Nature Trail(Albany County)

Went for a walk after work at the 170 acre Deer Mountain Nature Trail, owned by Lafarge North America Cement corporation and located just outside of the Village of Ravena in the town of Coeymans.  The cement company dedicated the trail in 1995 and has 3+ miles of trails open to the public.
 The trail can be found by taking County Route 101 just south of Ravena High School and then a left onto Jarvis Road North and finally a right onto gravel Deer Mountain Village Road.  A sign and small parking area amidst the quiet woods is where you get started.
From the parking lot, you cross a small field to a kiosk with trail map.  Turning left towards the East Trail, you will pass by a pleasant, shallow pond.   There was even some open water in the pond, and a pair of ducks flew off as I arrived.
 There are a few small streams that run though the woods and even cross the trail.
 Steep hills covered in hemlocks and chesnut oaks run alongside the East Trail.
 Hemlocks crowd this area of trail.
 A steep part of the trail is made much easier with railing and wooden steps.
 From the top of the steep slopes is a nice vantage point over the woodland below.
 A large wetland borders the trail for part of the distance.  The wetland is in a ravine between two hills and both trails follow the edge of the swamp.
 After one mile you come to an abrupt end to the East Trail.
 After retracing my steps for one mile I crossed the small field near the kiosk and re entered the woods on the West Trail.
The West Trail follows a swamp and has several very wet areas, where wet boots are likely.  Unfortunately after about half a mile I was forced to turn back due to darkness setting in.  Hiked a total of 3.19 miles total.
  Driving back on County Route 101, there are several views of the sprawling Lafarge Cement Plant, owner of the Deer Mountain Nature Trail.

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