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Monday, October 24, 2016

Dyken Pond(Rensselaer Plateau, NY)

Took Bella out for a nice hike this afternoon high up on the Rensselaer Plateau at the Dyken Pond Environmental Center.  I parked along gravel Dyken Pond Road at a small pull off near the entrance of the red trail.  My goal was to explore the new Newcomb Pond area, and then loop all the way around the center's trails back to the car.
 We headed north through the quiet woods on the red marked Spring Trail, and then took the new Newcomb Pond Two Project trail to the pond. 
 The trail skirts the east side of the pond, offering several nice views.
 The trail eventually turns right, bearing east with a view of the northern end of Newcomb Pond.
 Heading east, we passed over 1700 feet in elevation, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how many leaves were still on the trees.
 Passing stone walls, as we headed south towards the County owned land.
 Only a few feet off the Old Road section of trail is a foundation, that appears for all intents and purposes to be in pretty good condition.
 Turned right onto the Mary Mcfalls/ Long Trail passes through the large boulders, known as "The Sentinals".
 Bella leading the way over puncheon.
 We followed the Mary McFalls Trail, which heads south, eventually crossing Dyken Pond Road.
 Did a combination of trails and road walking to the Long Trail, which passes by a rustic Lean To.
A short distance south of the Lean To is a long boardwalk crossing over Dustin Swamp.
 The boardwalk may not look too safe, but provides a very interesting perspective of Dustin Swamp.
 The sun broke out for a few brief moments, as I crossed the swamp.
 Another questionable footbridge crossing.
 Crossing a backwater area of Dustin Swamp.
 Recent heavy rain had tiny Teal Brook cascading quickly through the woods.
Followed the Long Trail northeast to its junction with the green marked Koch Trail.  Turned right onto the Koch Trail and followed it back to the car.  Walked about 4 miles total on a brisk late afternoon.

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