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Thursday, December 3, 2015

North Woods Nature Preserve/ Peter Desrochers Memorial Country Knolls Trails(Clifton Park)

Clifton Park may not be anyone's idea of a wild nature getaway, but one thing that the town does and does well is offer plenty of green space for outdoor recreation.  I visited a couple of small natural areas after work today in the Country Knolls neighborhood, just west of exit 10 off the northway.  My first stop was North Woods Nature Preserve located on the south side of Shadow Wood Way just west of Forest Drive.  The trail head is located between two houses on this residential street and can be easily missed.  Parking is along the side of the street on the curb.
The town of Clifton Park acquired the 81 acre property in 2001.
 The blue marked trail heads away from the road and passes by several backyards.
 Followed the blue marked trail south through a hardwood forest.
The blue trail shortly leads to the old Village of Round Lake Reservoir where a sturdy foot bridge crosses the outlet near a bench.
 The former Village of Round Lake Reservoir makes a peaceful spot to stop and rest.
Another footbridge crossing the inlet to the pond.
 The blue trail forms a complete loop around the pond with both the yellow and green trails branching off.  I decided to take the green trail, which heads uphill away from the pond to the south.  It continues west, paralleling the pond's inlet offering nice views.
The green marked trail passes along the walls of a small ravine.
 The green trail eventually turns north and meets back up with the yellow marked trail.  Here, the yellow trail leads along a steep drop off.
 As I explored the yellow trail, skies began clearing, allowing for sunshine to break through.
 The late afternoon sun brightening up the bare woods.
Hiked a little less than a mile and a half total.  On my way way back towards Ushers Road, I stumbled across the Peter Desrochers Memorial Country Knolls Trails along Wood Dale Road.  Again, parking is along the side of the road along the curb where a kiosk and map are found.
 Trail map.
A trail quickly drops down to the banks of Knolls Hollow Brook with the sun quickly setting in the sky.
 Knolls Hollow Brook.
 There are a series of color coded trails that meander throughout the woods with footbridges conveniently placed at each water crossing.
 Did a couple of loops through the woods through the shallow hollows and hill tops. Here is the view over Knolls Hollow from the white marked trail.
The early sunset chased me back to the car a little after 4pm, completing another one mile here and about 2.5 miles total for the day.

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