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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Saugerties Lighthouse(Ulster County)/ Keep Conservation Area(Columbia County)

Following cool weather and morning flurries, the sun burst out this afternoon and brought temperatures close to 40 degrees, making for pleasant hiking conditions in the Hudson Valley.  My first stop was Saugerties Lighthouse, site of a historic lighthouse along the Hudson River. 
As expected, the lot was full on a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon.  A kiosk and interesting vine wrapped around a tree marks the start of the trail. 
 Walkers beware!
 Ideal late winter conditions.
 A couple of boardwalks cross through normally damp trail areas.
 Melting snow and ice combined with the thawing ground can only mean one thing.  Mud season is nearly upon us.
 The trail closely follows the Hudson's shore for a distance.  Here is a panoramic view to the north.
 The trail winds through over a foot of snow.

The trail soon emerges into a sea of cattails blowing in the wind.
 Cattails and blue skies.
 The first view of the lighthouse.
 The Saugerties Lighthouse, originally built in 1835 and replaced in 1869.
 A gorgeous spot to relax and soak in the river breeze.
 The front door of the lighhouse.
 Hard to beat this picnic spot, a deck looking north upriver.
 Saugerties Lighthouse from the east.
 Window detail.
 No Wake.
A nice, short, easy walk of just over a mile under mostly sunny skies.  After leaving Saugerties, I headed north and stopped by the Keep Conservation Area on the east side of the Hudson, in the town of Germantown.  The preserve is located a few miles east of the town center on the north side of County Route 8.

 A kiosk can be found in an open field about a hundred yards from the road.
 A very quiet woods walk.
 Towhee Knoll.
 A bench overlooking open fields.
 Hiked about 2.5 miles RT and a total of 3.6 miles total for the day.
Puddles and dirty snowbanks make for a typical late winter scene as I stopped by to gas up on the way home.

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