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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lawsons Lake County Park(Coeymans)

Tucked into a quiet little corner of rural Albany County sits 420 acre Lawsons Lake County Park, situated near the Coeymans/ New Scotland town line.  This is a multi recreational park, with kayaking, fishing and hiking trails available to the public as well as a couple of parking areas found along Lawsons Lake Road(County Route 109). I parked in a large pull off just south of the lake, along the road near a park sign.
I first followed an unmarked path which basically shadows the county road before crossing a park access road and then leads to the east side of the lake.  This was one of the only areas I had to contend with ice all day.
The path is easy to follow and hugs the shoreline of the lake, offering up some nice waterfront views along the way.
The lake was frozen over, but temps hovering near 40 certainly wasn't doing the ice any favors.  I did stumble across a hockey stick someone appears to have stashed away in the woods.
After walking the length of the lake, the path turns up towards the road and eventually another small prking area. I turned back here and headed south towards the car, but crossed the county road here and arrived at a closed park road.  This is labeled on maps as Upper Camp Road, and I followed this until arriving at an area scattered with cabins.  These were old day camp cabins, which were frequented by summer camp users in prior decades.
Walking past the cabins, look for orange hiker discs which mark the beginning of the upper loop trail.
The upper loop is easy to follow on a wide trail which heads north before turning sharply west up a steep slope at a property line.  After a short but steep climb, the trail arrives at a large plateau area.  There are broken views through the trees, and soon the trail bends south closely following the top of the ridge line.  A better view down towards Lawsons Lake is available from a small clearing.
Looking west at a satellite tower on a nearby ridge.
The trail soon drops steeply back down to the cabin area.
Once back at the cabins, I followed the Upper Camp Road all the way down to County Route 109.  I then crossed the road and walked over to Lower Camp Road, which is located along the lake's south side. Turned left into the woods at the sign indicating the loop trail. Followed this trail south past a nearby backyard and eventually meeting up with a small unnamed stream, which was frozen over.
After crossing over the stream, the trail winds uphill to the west, with the stream meandering below.
Found a small cascase and some flowing water a bit upstream.
The trail crosses the stream again and makes a bend to the north and eventually meets back up with the Lower Camp Road. I followed the road past rustic Waldman Lodge and back to the car.
Hiked about 4 miles total for the day and didn't see another soul the entire time.

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