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Friday, August 14, 2015

Stewart Preserve(Sand Lake-Rensselaer County)

Went out for a short, quiet walk at the Nature Conservancy's Stewart Preserve with my dad after work today.  To find the preserve, take Route 43/66 south out of Sand Lake just past the southern end of Crooked Lake and turn right on Methodist Farm Road until you see tiny Stewart Lane on your left.  Follow this one lane road until its very end, where a very small turn around is found near the last house.  Be careful not to block the driveway or barn.
The trail's entrance is partially overgrown but can be found where a small preserve sign is hung.  This part of the trail is actually an easement so be careful to stay on the trail.
The beginning of this 123 acre preserve is actually found where a preserve sign is posted.  This actually marks the start of the loops, which was farmed as recently as the early 20th century.
There are multiple stone walls that line much of these woods, remnants of old clearings and farmland.
There is a one mile orange loop and a half mile blue loop that traverse these woods.
An impressive stand of hemlock is found along the southern end of the preserve.
  I completed both loops, with only one section of the blue trail showing significant elevation gain and loss.  Overall, hiked about 1.8 uneventful miles RT through very quiet, breezy woods.

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