Search This Blog

Monday, March 23, 2020

Hand Hollow Conservation Area(New Lebanon, Columbia County)

Headed out for an easy walk this morning at Hand Hollow Conservation Area in New Lebanon, owned and managed by the Columbia Land Conservancy.  As I headed out, light snow squalls were passing through covering parts of the ground in a coating of white.  Parked at the trailhead on Gale Hill Road(no other cars there when I arrived) and headed down towards Meizenger Pond on the blue trail.  A short spur path brings you down to a kayak launch spot.  A stiff, cold breeze blowing across the open water said today wouldn't be a good day to be out there!
Followed the blue trail around the west shore of the pond, pausing in a small clearing by the water's edge to soak in the view.
The blue trail soon meets up with the green trail, which is the main trail through the conservation area.  As I made my way around the south end of the pond, the quiet breeze and light crunching of snow underfoot were the only noises I could hear.
The trail winds it way around towards the dammed east edge of the pond, where I captured this nice look across the water.
The green trail meanders its way east, dropping down to one of two handsome footbridges that cross Hand Hollow Brook.
 Hand Hollow Brook dropping down through dark shaded conifers and a coating of white.
The trail weaves its way through mostly hardwoods, with the sounds of rushing water never too far away.  As I descended a small rise, I came across the remnants of an old stage coach crossing on the brook. 
The trail hugs Hand Hollow Brook for a spell before heading towards a clearing on the east end of the property.
Just beyond a junction with the yellow marked trail, I passed by a couple of sprawling beaver ponds and wetlands.  The beaver ponds through this section appear to be a bit out of their normal banks.
At the very far edge of the conservation area near the County Route 9(New Britain Road) parking area, what once was a beaver pond filled with water is now just a dried up muddy pit.
Turned around at the parking area and retraced my steps back west on the green trail.  Took my time returning through the quiet woods passing over old stone walls along the way.
Hiked about 3.8 miles RT and didn't see another soul all day.  A peaceful retreat on a cool early spring day.

No comments:

Post a Comment