High in the Rotterdam hills, where the elevation climbs up over 1000 feet, autumn is noticeably further along. Most of the leaves here are already covering the ground.
Monday, October 30, 2017
After leaving the Plotter Kill Preserve, I still had a little bit of daylight remaining, so I headed a little further west to visit The Nature Conservancy's 95 acre Moccasin Kill Preserve, located along Crawford Road. There is a very small parking area along the south shoulder of the road, with room for about 2 cars.
On the heels of a major storm which pounded the region with heavy rain and strong winds, skies slowly began clearing this afternoon, so I headed out to do some exploring in rural Schenectady County. My first stop was the 632 acre Plotter Kill Preserve from the much quieter Coplon Road entrance. An added bonus to hiking in from Coplon Road is the very nice vista down towards the Mohawk Valley from the small parking area along the west side of the road.
A pretty, 5 foot drop on Rynex Creek.
Friday, October 27, 2017
After leaving the brand new Fox Preserve, I drove just a little further west into Niskayuna to explore the varied trails located at the Mohawk River State Park. There are several different access points, none very clearly marked, but I would start today from the very end of Whitmyer Drive, just before the gate for the Niskayuna Wastewater Treatment facility. The only thing marking the beginning of the trail, were fake flowers and an obvious foot trail heading south.
The Shaker Gorge Trail eventually heads all the way back to Whitmyer Road, where my car was parked. I cannot stress enough that there are many, many trails that wind their way through these woods so please be vigilant and pay attention to where you are going. Some of the trails have random markings, while others are simply unmarked foot paths. No matter which route you choose, the woods are very pleasant, and you will probably enjoy a very nice walk in a suburban setting. I hiked about 2.8 miles total here and 4 RT for the day.
Visited the 70 acre Fox Preserve, the newest Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy property on a beautiful fall afternoon. The preserve was donated by Dr. Patricia Fox in 2015 and can be found along the south side of River Road in the town of Colonie. An informational kiosk and trail map can be found at the parking lot.