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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Holt Preserve(New Scotland)

Took a gorgeous Sunday morning walk with Kalli in rural Albany County at the 148 acre Winifred Matthews Holt Preserve, owned and managed by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. 
 For more information and directions, visit their website:
The morning air was still cool as we put on our jackets and headed out on the trail.
 We first turned right and soon arrived at a picturesque little pond, covered in a very light coating of ice.
 After looping around the pond, we followed the blue marked trail west to the Helderberg Overlook Trail.  This section of trail heads north with screened views through the bare trees down into the valley below.
 A clearing in the woods presents a nice view west into the New Scotland countryside.
 A small ravine dropping down the steep west slopes of Copeland Hill.
 At the north end of the Overlook Trail is one last view to the west. 
 Passing through a softwood plantation.
 We turned south on the blue trail, before meeting up with and taking the green trail north, which leads to the yellow marked loop trail at the extreme north end of the preserve.  Good footing is essential on the yellow loop due to very steep drop off right off the trail.
 After finishing the yellow trail, we followed the green trail south to another yellow trail at the southern boundary of the preserve, where a small stream flows. 
 We continued west steeply downhill towards Lower Copeland Road and the red marked trail.
Icy crystals on a stream crossing on the white trail.
 The steep ravine carved out by the small stream.
 We finished up our hike with warming temps under mostly clear, blue skies.
Finished up hiking a little over 2 miles on a series of marked trails throughout the preserve. 
As we got in the car and began driving on Upper Copeland Hill Road, we paused to take a look at the weathered, abandoned buildings at a turnaround.
 An old barn losing its battle with father time.
 The far reaching east facing views along Upper Copeland Hill Road(Appleby Road).


  1. As temps have risen dramatically and the ground is no longer frozen, would this walk be reasonable for avoiding muddy areas with a puppy dog. If not this one, would you recommend one from your extensive experiences? thank you!

    1. Hi Bill! Thanks for reading the blog! You are so very correct about the ground no longer being frozen, especially at lower elevations. My best bet would be to stick to areas like this one that see less foot traffic, although there were a couple of wet sections along the stream. It will be tough to find many spots that are completely mud free in the coming weeks, but if I had to recommend one spot I guess the Niskayuna Dog Park located at Blatnick Park would be a good start. The paved bike trail runs right next to this spot as well. Hope that helps.