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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Corkscrew Rail Trail(Stephentown)

Early sunsets and inclement weather can, at times, make this time of year a challenge for hiking. With this in mind I still try to use every opportunity I can to get out and do some exploring.  I visited the recently opened(June 2015) Corkscrew Rail Trail, which follows the old rail bed of the Rutland Railroad until 1952, in Stephentown after work today.  The trail can be accessed from either Knapps Road or Wyomanock Road(County 28), just west of Route 22.
I parked the car along the shoulder of gravel Knapps Road and began my walk south along the old rail bed.   
 The season's first snow blanketed the ground yesterday, leaving behind a coating of slushy mess. 
 A nearby red barn, as seen through the trees from the trail, on a dreary, drab afternoon.
The sounds of running water can soon be heard as the trail crosses a small stream, which passes through a culvert of some kind.
The trail is flat and wide with almost no elevation change at all.  The only recent tracks I encountered in the snow were dog, presumably coyote.  About .4 of a mile into the hike, the trail meets a small road for the Berkshire Mountain House.
After continuing along the Berkshire Mountain House Road for a short distance, I emerged at a road crossing.  This is Wyomanock Road(County 28), a county road that does see a fair amount of traffic, so be careful when crossing.  This spot also makes another option for parkin(please do not block the Berkshire Mountain House Road).
Continuing south, a large meadow becomes visible just off the trail to the east.
A bench provides a peaceful spot to rest and soak in a beautiful view of the nearby mountains across an open field, complete with a small pond.
The walk was nice albeit sloppy due to the mess left behind from yesterday's storm.
As of now the trail continues for about 2 miles to the New Lebanon town line.  I stopped a little short of about 1.5 miles south before turning around due to impending darkness.  Completed about 3 miles RT. on a murky Wednesday.

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